ELC: Past and present wooden farm sets

Take a look back at old and more recent Early Learning Centre wooden farm sets available from the last decade.

Early Learning Centre have released many wooden farm sets over the years, relying on the self-assembly method - mass produced in MDF. And well they may have started with less vibrant colours or realistic design, the range has improved over the years.

Take one of the first, the ELC Farmyard Play Set - or many variations of the model - which has very basic design, based on old 60's toy design with very little colour and much of the MDF unfinished.

ELC now produce far more attractive - and in many respects more educational - farm sets with the MDF fully printed with the edges painted for a far more impressive finish, representing farms how they look today with plenty of add-ons and accessories available.

We only have here Early Learning Centre wooden farms, from their humble beginnings up until early 2016.

ELC Brambledale Farm

ELC set of five farm buildings with base
ELC latest - bright and colourful wooden slot-together farm

This model currently stands as the only farm set in the ELC range. But for the ELC Brambledale Farm it follows up on an improved design from the much loved Cobblestone Farm.

But in this updated farm, you get far more detail and bright colours offering just as many features.

These include five major farm buildings in total including: the main building in the barn, the stables, shed and coop. This all sits on a baseboard that can be positioned as you like.

ELC Cobblestone Farm

ELC Cobblestone Farm with buildings and yard
Highly realistic ELC farm with five big farm buildings

The release of Cobblestone Farm was always going to let down parents. But well this model does show plenty of character, is just lacked colour and perhaps just a little to realistic.

But as normal in the range it came with plenty of buildings with lots of features.The main building is the barn - or cow shed - with the big swinging doors, farmhouse, stable, animal and sheep pen and of course the chicken coop.

This farm sat on a big square base with a track, pond and plenty of space to sit the buildings.

ELC Rosebud Village Farm

ELC wooden pink toy farm aimed at girls 3 years
Pink toy farm for girls with lots of accessories

ELC's long list of toy farm design has always stuck to the same theme, which appeal to both boys and girls. But what better way to get girls interested more, than a specially made farm set for girls - finished in pink with light, playful colours.

But where there's a pink toy farm, needs matching accessories and add-ons, and ELC have provided all this for you in the set with farm animals, farm people and a few panels of fencing.

ELC Wooden Farm Play Set

Four big colourful wooden toy farm buildings with fencing
ELC farm buildings used as stand alone, or grouped together

A wooden farm set with lots of character, but without the need of a fancy, friendly name. This ELC 'Wooden Farm Play Set' is very different from the range but really only a few things separates it.

A few things you'll notice in this set are no baseboard, much bigger buildings and the whole set centred around a big red American style barn.

So, with the barn features a swing opening door and a sliding door on the side, 2 stall stable, shed and set of 4 slot-together fencing panels.

ELC Wooden Farm

Minimal effect was put into this early release with both the design and name of the item lacking. But this doesn't deprive a very good farm set offering lots of activity, and is effective today then it was back then - and a cheaper item to buy.

The slot-together method still was going strong then, but the unattractive colour of the MDF showed through on the surface and the unpainted edges - making a very dull toy farm.

But well very effective, access inside the buildings can be accessed through the roofs thanks to a thick, green tape holding the roof panels together.

The ELC Wooden Farm included three buildings used as a tractor shed, barn or animal pen, with a chicken coop and pig sty included.

ELC Classic Farm Playset

Product naming back then lacked imagination but as we know today, ELC began to give their farm sets friendly names like Cobblestone or Brambledale. But it might be a push calling this one a 'classic' farm playset because toy farms built in the 50's through to the 90's weren't made from MDF or had a slot-together design.

But Early Learning Centre do have the right idea with the building design, because they did look like that in the olden days.

Aimed at 3 to 6 years, this farm included five buildings in total, with two barns, stable, chicken coop and pig sty. But well the sty had no gate or the building entrances lacked doors, imaginative play would encourage young ones to use the fencing panels to stop the animals escaping and create pens.

As with the designs back then, you could sit a couple of buildings on the base or positioned them around the base to allow more space on the board.

ELC Farmyard Playset

Last but not least is this early ELC Farmyard that represents a farm made with love.

Firstly you'll notice this isn't the slot-together design we've become accustom to, but using wooden dowels that fit into the corresponding holes. And well still made in printed MDF, natural wood is featured like beech or maple to use in the fencing panels.

The set includes: a red barn with green roof, stable, cow shed, sty, coop and hutch with even a tree to complete the set.

Well Early Learning Centre have produced more wooden farm sets than featured here, what we do know is that the releases continued on the early designs with variations in wooden, play, farm, and set making up the product title.

Published by Toy Farmers on 11 February 2016

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