Reading the other review on the bbPOD didn't seem to add up to my experience of this product.
We bought this for my son and he was sat in it at around 3 months, the toy was great and at 10 months he's still playing with it.
i bought it to teach my son to sit upright, and it was an excellent tool for first stage weaning, i could sit him up on the table or any other surface, (attended of course) and feed him as he was a little too small for his high chair. the place mats i have are indeed plastic and funky too. The mushroom part at the front, i too, thought to be faulty until one day i pushed quite hard and it clicked into place properly, once you realise you can push hard there is no way my little one can tug it off. this is a great travel item, i often put it in the car and take it to friends houses when i need to feed him or want him to keep still for 5 minutes! My only complaint now is that my son rolls himself out of it and crawls away, but short of getting velcro carpets and rompers for him, i dont think anything is going to stop him from doing this.
Overall a good little product.