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Amazon Customer "i did" (Bucks)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Clevamama Mattress Protector King Size 150 x 200 - Fitted
Clevamama Mattress Protector King Size 150 x 200 - Fitted
Price: £26.24

4.0 out of 5 stars not too sweaty!, 19 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An extremely tight fit on our very deep mattress. A very taught sheet which is tricky to get on! However, it doesn't result in night sweats, like other waterproof sheets we have tried.


Fisher-Price Glow Motion Soother
Fisher-Price Glow Motion Soother
Price: £25.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A very much loved addition to our little ones sleep routine., 4 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our little one LOVES this snazzy rain maker/lullaby machine (and the capitalization i totally justified in this case). Aside from lulling her off to sleep turning it on has stopped her crying and calmed her down. The device itself plays a number of tunes and has but the real beauty of it is the soothing sounds of the coloured balls that constantly fall and give of an eerie but pleasant fluorescent light. It has a little button that she can press which activates and light and some sound. I can't recommend it enough.


LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra XDi Learning Tablet (Green)
LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra XDi Learning Tablet (Green)
Price: £74.99

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst. Tablet. Ever., 29 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Oh my goodness!
Are the 5 star reviews for the LeapPad Ultimate XDi written by people who have never seen a tablet computer before?
I can imagine being impressed with this device if I'd seen it in 2008. But in 2014 this is a grossly under spec'd and over priced product. I am sure we have all seen hyperbolic statements in reviews such as "I wouldn't give this to my kids if it was free!!!!" but in my case this is absolutely true. I was sent the LeapPad to review and I had intended to let my children have it, but it's such a bad device that I have decided they are better off with out it in their lives.

So here is a break down of my beef with the Ultra XDi:

The screen is terrible. Just terrible. The box claims it is "Hi Res" and the PR blurb on the Amazon product page makes some daft claims about delivering rich and dynamic graphics. In truth this is a very low resolution screen with poor viewing angles, murky colours and massive pixels. It is not suitable as an ereader and I think Leap Frog should not be allowed to sell ebooks on their app store (which they do) when their devices are likely to cause discomfort in young readers.

The touch screen is the old style resistive type like a Nintendo DS. For non techy people, this means you use a stylus to press against a thin film over the screen and not the glass surface you'd be used to from every mainstream smart phone released in the last 5 years. I can sum up the touch screen interface in 2 words: cheap and nasty (so not like a Nintendo DS then).

"Durable" and "Kid Tough" - quotes from the box. But resistive screens are neither. They don't shatter on impact like iPads can but they bend, warp, get grit stick between their layers and ultimately do not stand up to a lot of heavy handed tapping.

The cameras - more cheap rubbish. I don't know what the spec on these is as Leap Frog do not say but they are extremely poor producing photos full of pixel noise. The photo editing app is not very user friendly either.

The built in apps. You get 10 out of the box and your choice of a free app from a selection of 3. However, the 10 built in apps include things that every tablet and smart phone feature as standard: a camera app, a calculator, a note pad, a music player, a web browser, etc. The only unique apps that offer any fun are the pet store game and it's separate multiplayer app, the drawing app and your choice of free app. All of which I found to be basic and not much fun. My children spend hours on our other tablets with educational games by companies like Toca Boca (more on them later) so I feel I have a fair basis for comparison. And the apps here compare very poorly.

The App Store. The price of the apps is crazy. The cheapest I saw was £5 but most titles seems to be £12.50 and £20. Toca Boca games are available on iOS, Android and Windows 8 and cost £2 each (check them out, my children love them and so do I). The sheer cost of the apps on the store removes any supposed saving in buying a Leap Frog over a mainstream tablet like an Android.

SLOOOOOOOOOOW performance. This is Leap Frog's worst crime. The LeapPad Ultra XDi is so under spec'd that it can't run it's own bespoke apps at a usable rate. The load times are terrible, transitions to the home menu take ages but to see it at it's worst just fire up the included art app and draw a circle, then wait 2 seconds for the LeapPad to catch up. Kids cannot be expected to be creative with junk like this!

Oh and it's really heavy too.

On the plus side the parental controls are good and I was genuinely impressed with the child friendly internet browser. It's understandably limited in every sense but it does offer a nice age appropriate selection of content. It runs like a 486 PC with a dial up modem so the games are unplayable and your kids will have finished school by the time it loads a video, but it does work.

Please do not buy this terrible money grabbing parent trap. So what should you get?

Ipads are expensive but in my experience Apple still have the best tablet app store for children's software and there are a range of companies making "Kid tough" cases. The Retina screens are great for young readers.

Android tablets can be much cheaper and more versatile and there are plenty of affordable ones made specially for children. Amazon sell some that are half the price of a LeapPad. Once again Google's app store is better than Leap Frog's and the screens won't strain your children's eyes so much, especially if you stick with the Nexus or Samsung brands. The Amazon Kindle Fire has fewer children's apps available then a full Android tablet but the it's a decent enough alternative.

Or you could pick up a Windows 8 tablet from Amazon for the very same price as the LeapPad, the app store is not very good but it's certainly cheaper than the Leap Frog store and it has the best mobile web browser available meaning you can use every feature of things like the Cbeebies web site so you need fewer apps.

In conclusion then from my point of view as a platform agnostic who has owned tablets of all kinds and enjoyed them with my children, I urge you not to buy a LeapPad at any price.


Graco Nautilus Elite Group 1/2/3 Car Seat (Monaco)
Graco Nautilus Elite Group 1/2/3 Car Seat (Monaco)
Price: £134.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is easy to adapt between the two sizes, 23 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We have used this now with our one year old and five year old. It is easy to adapt between the two sizes. It feels well padded and sturdy.

My problem with it, is the size. It is very substantial which in our teeny tiny Peugeot 207 means that the chair overhangs the seatbelt button and it is really difficult to click it in without losing skin from your knuckles! Think carefully if you are in the small car club.


Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline
Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline
Price: £33.78

4.0 out of 5 stars NIghtmare to assemble but good now it's up!, 15 Oct 2014
This review is from: Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a nightmare to put together! It states that two people are needed for construction - they're not wrong! Strength of the bear needed also!

Not to mention the screw which would not fit in the hole.

This is an attractive trampoline which our 2 and 5 year old (who is above the recommended weight, but seems fine) love.

The velcro tortoise head keeps coming off but is easily put back.


LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table
LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table
Offered by Buy-For-Less-Online
Price: £28.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Fab (but more 6 month than 36 months), 7 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our 7 month old nephew came to play on Saturday. He did not leave this alone! He must have played with it for nearly an hour. He was transfixed by it!

It is billed as 6 months to 36 months. Although our 23 month old is not particularly interested. She has a little play but seems to prefer real books and her little keyboard.

The French function is a nice idea. Our 5 year old has enjoyed having a go and learning some French. She doesn't really believe that bleu is a real word!


Leifheit Pegasus M Classic 81514 Drying Rack
Leifheit Pegasus M Classic 81514 Drying Rack
Price: £44.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for bad backs!, 3 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was a bit skeptical bout this dryer, I thought the design would take up too much space (and it does take up a lot more space then our other dryers). But the benefit of this style is that there is more room to hand the clothes out and to keep them separate. The Dryer itself is nice and sturdy, everything snaps out nicely. I'm very pleased with the results and I expect you will be too.

The height is fantastic. For a bad back sufferer I have really enjoyed being able to hang out clothes without needing to bend down.

It is extremely light too so very easy to lift and move.


Soehnle 63350 Pharo 200 BMI 8 Person Recognition Analyser Scale
Soehnle 63350 Pharo 200 BMI 8 Person Recognition Analyser Scale
Price: £35.56

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but bo back-lit display., 2 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My trusty Salter scales have recently died (still 'work' but every consecutive reading is different so I take an average!)

I love that you don't have to step on and off to get a zero to start. You just hop on and get your reading.

I also like that if you shift a little, the weight changes. All past scales have come to a weight and then if you realise you're not quite on you have to step off. Step on to get zero and then try again!

The body readings haven't worked for me so far. I've tried after a shower but my feet obviously haven't been damp enough.

I am really missing the back-lit display of my Salter scales. When I hop on first thing in the morning, as the first one up, I can't see the reading without putting the light on.


Graco Evo Mini Pushchair 2014 Range (Berry)
Graco Evo Mini Pushchair 2014 Range (Berry)
Price: £119.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Review from a Petite Starr Zia user, 23 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We have been using this buggy for 2 weeks now. We have a Petite Star Zia buggy - which is similar in style and price - so I will be making comparisons at times between the two.

Things I LOVE:
The handle. It is very easy to steer one handed which is very useful with a pre-schooler as well as a toddler. You can still hold a hand - something I missed with the Zia. However, it does mean you can't hang bags on the handle, unless you purchase a hook/carabiner for this purpose.

The ENORMOUS basket. The basket on the Zia is tiny and barely holds a thing. We went to the market last weekend and bought two big bags of fruit and veg. They handed them to me and it was then I realised that I did not have individual handles to hang them on. I was amazed when they both fitted under the buggy. Similarly, my changing rucksack can't be hung on the buggy but does fit underneath.

It folds down very easily and can be done one handed.

It is light (although not brilliantly small - see things I can't stand)

Things I CAN'T STAND:
The Zia folds down so small - a must for my very small Peugeot 207 boot. This buggy folds down easily and very flat but it is much wider and only just fits in my boot - the wheels have to mount the rubber seal of the boot slightly.

The bottom strap of the harness is so short. My 2 year old is an extremely petite 25th percentile child - and it is tight around her nappy. When her nappy is full it kind of wedges the nappy into two halves. I am still fiddling around with loosening the other straps to try and help with this - but no luck yet.

Should you buy this buggy over the Zia or similar? It depends on what you value in a buggy and this one does have lots of good points.If the strap wasdn't an issue I would give it 5 stars.


iStorage IS-FL-DAP-DB-8 datAshur Personal 8GB 256 Bit USB Flash Drive - Dark Blue
iStorage IS-FL-DAP-DB-8 datAshur Personal 8GB 256 Bit USB Flash Drive - Dark Blue
Price: £32.41

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very fiddly buttons, 23 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Extremely fiddly buttons and larger than a normal memory stick. I get on much better with my Corsair encrypted USB.


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