I'd never even picked up a Melodeon before, and bought one of these on a whim. I can say I have not regtretted the very modest outlay. Even my wife says it has been hours of entertainment! Its easy to play for everyone from a 5yr old to adults, and its stands up to travel.
Chinese made, with hilariously translated instructions, it comes in a cardboard box which soon disintegrated. The buttons are sized for children's hands, but are not too small for a medium sized adult. The top key sticks on mine, and though I've tried greasing it with butter, it still sticks which adds an extra complication. The Bellows creaks loudly when moving in and out, which I didn't notice when I played (concentrating like fury!), but is noticeable on recordings. It may get quieter with several years of use?! The finish on mine is red (a very pleasing shimmery mother-of-pearl effect), but the see-through one also looks brilliant.
Overall the construction is really robust, and the tone is quite sweet - its NOT a toy, and can produce surprisingly good tunes. The handloops are made of cheap imitation leather which has stretched and come undone, and the screws have worked free quickly. But a couple of washers and a screwdriver fixed this, and its now fine.
My top 3 tips:
1. Buy one of these if you are curious
2. Buy a simple tune book for melodeons and don't move on until you're able to play every tune.
3. Let everyone have a go! (the only rule - always have at least one button pushed!)