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LeapFrog Alphabet Pal Caterpillar April 30, 2012

Filed under: Toys - for the child at heart — zil_aziz @ 12:00 AM
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What is it?

LeapFrog Alphabet Pal Caterpillar

What’s the price?

RM98.00

Where to buy it?

What are the special features?

  • 4 learning modes – letter names, letter sounds, colours & music
  • Comes with a pull string, when pulled, the caterpillar sings the ABC song
  • Flashing antennae, silly giggle & zigzag walk

Review

The first thing that attracts me to this toy is the vibrant colours. Apart from the body itself, which comes in bright green or deep purple, the 26 legs comes it colourful shoes, each of them can be pressed to make sounds. Even the voice is cute & bubbly, just like a real kid.

Letter names – says the names of the letters i.e. A, B, C and so on

Letter sounds – pronounces the sounds of each letter, A (ei) B (bi) C (si) and so on

Colours – says the colour of the legs pressed i.e. blue, green, red & yellow

Music – a different melody for each individual leg. That’s 26 melodies!

There is volume control just behind its head, and another big button of a bug lounging on its back, that when pressed, also sings the ABC song. The pull string is good in encouraging babies to walk, seeing the caterpillar trail behind them.

What I like about it

The caterpillar is a straightforward & simple toy, but its sturdiness is amazing. All I can say is that it is built to withstand a toddler’s manhandling. My kids’ caterpillar had withstood pretty much all tests – being thrown around, being stepped on, being kicked (poor thing), being pulled by two toddlers. All its pretty legs are still functional. Just don’t let them throw it into the bathroom sink!

Additionally, the wheels underneath the caterpillar is put a little off centre, making it inch along zigzag like an inch worm, which is really adorable.

What I don’t like about it

The cute and bubbly voice gets really annoying when pressed too many times. I mean, how many times can you listen to the ABC song anyway? Kids learn by repetition anyway. So if the caterpillar’s singing the ABC song nonstop, just stuff your ears and walk away.

The pull string is rather short. For young toddlers, it might be adequate length. But older, taller toddlers might need to stoop and bend their bodies a little in order to be able to pull the caterpillar behind them. It makes more sense for the manufacturer to attach a longer or maybe adjustable string.

Conclusion

A simple toy which seems quite expensive for its simple functionality. Buy it if you don’t mind listening to the ABC song 100 times a day.

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VTECH First Step Baby Walker April 23, 2012

Filed under: Toys - for the child at heart — zil_aziz @ 5:53 AM
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What is it?

VTECH First Step BabyWalker

What’s the price?

RM129.90

Where to buy it?

What are the special features?

  • Detachable learning centre with lights and sounds
  • 2 basic learning modes – alphabets & numbers and music play

Review

Both my husband and I loved this walker at first sight. Its bright, contrasting colors are definitely eye catching. Every button pushed or touched will emit a cute sound (except the smiling, yellow sun above the green phone. That’s a purely decorative item). The three colored wheels – purple, green and blue – can be turned together, producing silly whirring sounds. The puppy button plays a game something like “Simon says”, where a pleasant lady’s voice will say “Puppy says, clap your hands.” There are several different easy phrases to teach your kid to follow instructions. The green “cordless” phone which can be picked up, acts like a rattle when you shake it. When you put the phone back, the lady’s voice praises your kid “Well done!” for successful hand manipulative action of putting back the phone.

In the alphabets & numbers mode, the numbers button will give out either a number or the colored shape. For example, if you press the red heart number 1, it will say “red heart” and “One” in turn. Whereas the five letter keys will emit a soft light, the alphabet, the word and an action sound of the word said. For example, if you press the “a” button (the button is huge and can fit the whole palm of your child on it) the lady will say “A is for apple” followed by an apple crunch sound.

Turn the butterfly wing to the left, and you are now in music mode. Press the numbers button and each will produce different, catchy, toddler-dance-worthy tunes. Press the alphabets button and the lady will make the sound of the alphabet. Granted that there are only 4 numbers and 5 alphabets, I would say this toy is not solely for the purpose of learning only, thus the limited numbers and alphabets.

As an additional note, the walker has two sound levels, one is the quieter one and the other is much louder and noisier. Music will keep playing without anyone touching any buttons (which could be creepy for little kids) until the lady’s voice says “Bye bye!” and it goes quiet into its energy saving mode. The whole learning panel can be detached from the walker, so you can, for example, take it for travelling in the car.

What I like about it

As the name suggests, this toy is first and foremost, a baby walker. And a marvelous one, at that. Although it is rather pricey, (but aren’t all toys are?) it is tremendously sturdy and tough. Sturdy enough to be climbed on and tough enough to be thrown on the floor, without any parts broken. The textured wheels and easy grip handle ensures that your kid will never over-roll it and land in a broken heap on the floor, thank God. My boy could hold on to it and stand up by the time he was 8 months old, and he was pushing it around the house by 10 months old. Oh, and he walked not long after that. The walker really helped him build up his body strength and trained his legs to start taking those first independent steps.

What I don’t like about it

The cordless phone is also a con, as it has no string attached, so the phone keeps going missing. Just like a real cordless phone, you’ll be spending some time searching for it, and unlike a real cordless phone, you’ll give up and let it go missing. The lots of flashing sounds and ongoing music might also be an overstimulation for very young babies.

Conclusion

I would definitely recommend parents to buy this. It’s a value-for-money educational toy, despite the price and would last all your kids to come, for years. For safety reasons, I would suggest this toy for older babies around 8-9 months that can already sit up on their own or babies learning to stand up.