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4.3 out of 5 stars
LeapFrog ABC Spinamals
Price:£26.82+Free shipping
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 17 November 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Leapfrog toys are always sturdy and well built and this is no exception. The large yellow centre can be pressed to spin the wheel, whichever section ends up under the small blue pointer will cause a recorded message to play - either the letter (spoken as a capital), or if you have the animal mode selected, an animal name and sound effect. You can also rotate the wheel manually so that you can pick your own letters. There's a section that promts a song (Old MacDonald or ABC song); and finally a section that causes the machine to ask you to find a letter - though no feedback is given for a correct answer.

Unfortunately, the recording artist they have used has an incredibly irritating voice, and certain phrases 'the animals have something to say!!' are repeated ad infinitum as it is used. With only two volume settings - loud and total din - it's a toy that parents will very quickly find tests their patience. Another issue is the plunger in the middle - it's a bit stiff, and you might find that by the time your child has developed the strength to press it that they have outgrown the toy. It still works with lighter pushes, but the spin is less impressive.

Perhaps the most important issue is the very small age range this product will be suitable for. It's quite a babyish toy, with only one real action to perform. Conversly, the toy purports to teach letters, however most children don't begin this till at least 3. It really falls between two stools then. Certainly, by the time my boy was recognizing letters, he'd rather have a toy laptop to enhance the learning experience, rather than a single push button toy.

If, however, you have a 2 year old and want them to begin recognizing letter shapes early, this might prove useful. It's well made and competitively priced. Don't say I didn't warn you about how irritating the sound is though!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This game can be set in either alphabet or animal mode. Whilst in alphabet
mode you hear the letter names twice as you see the corresponding letter.
It might have been more useful if you heard the letter name the first time
followed by the phonemic sound, or D is for dog for example. In animal mode
you can hear the different sounds animals make. This is mainly fine but
some of the sounds are fairly dubious. I do appreciate it must be difficult
to come up with an animal which makes an interesting sound for all the
letters but a large proportion all sound the same. The noises given for
ant, caterpillar, iguana, jellyfish, narwal, queen bee, rabbit, umbrella
bird, vulture, x-ray fish, yak and zebra are all rather strange! The main
problem with this game is it's practically impossible for a child to press
the sun in the middle which spins the wheel. This is frustrating for the
child & by the time they have the strength to do it will probably have
outgrown the toy. You can alternatively manually spin the wheel which then
sends the recorded voice into overdrive. You soon tire of hearing "Spin
spin a letter" or "The animals have something to say". This toy has good
educational intentions but fails to deliver. It is interesting & attractive
enough to entice children in but it doesn't keep them captivated for very
long.=
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is another brilliant Leapfrog product which teaches either animals or the alphabet depending on what mode you have it set on via the mode button on the side of the wheel.
I was worried this may be a bit too old for my son as he is only 9 months old and the packaging advises 12 to 36 months but in fact I think that 9 months old is the perfect starting age group for this toy and having read some of the other reviews who all appear to confirm that at 3 years old this product is too young for that age group, maybe Leapfrog may wish to amend the age group on this toy? I would think that this toy should be aimed at either 9 months to 2 years or 6 months to 2 years as I see that a similar Leapfrog product (Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo Ball) is aimed at 6 months plus but obviously that is a matter up to Leapfrog to decide.

The Spinamal can be used by pressing the yellow sun button in the middle which auto spins the surrounding wheel or by spinning the wheel itself which my son prefers to do as the sun button is a bit too hard for him to press at the moment as it's a bit stiff for little hands to push.
In the Alphabet mode the toy sings "Spin, spin the letter" when you push the sun button before every new spin but it doesn't appear to do this when just spinning the wheel which gives a bit of respite from the song! It also in either mode says "Press the button to spin the letter/animal wheel" but again I find that this tends to be more when you are using the yellow sun button than just moving the wheel by hand. In the Animal mode the toy sings "the animals have something to say" when you push the sun button but again doesn't appear to do this when spinning by hand.

The toy itself is quite bright and colourful and has a light up indicator to show what letter/animal the wheel has stopped on which for some reason my son is obsessed with getting his eye as close as possible to the light to see where it's coming from!

Leapfrog have been quite ingenious in some of the animals found for some of the more difficult letters of the alphabet such as Narwhal, Queen Bee, Umbrella Bird and Xray Fish but it's somewhat slightly ruined by the fact that they haven't been able to replicate an animal sound for some of them so you get a jingle noise for the Xray Fish and Umbrella Bird and a sloshing gloop gloop water noise for the Narwhal and Jellyfish for example. But having said all that when some of the only choices for the letter X are things like Xeme or Xenopus I think they have done very well to find an animal that your little one will be able to firstly recognise and secondly say so I think they can be forgiven on the animal sounds!

In addition to the letters A-Z and animals Ant to Zebra there are two other sections one with a picture of music notes on and the other with stars on. In Alphabet mode the music notes section sings the ABCDEFG song and in Animal mode sings Old MacDonald. In Animal mode the stars say "Whats this animal?" and does a random animal sound for your child to guess what the animal is and in Alphabet mode says "Where is the letter.....? and picks a random letter such as L for your little one to find.

One other thing I really like about the Spinamal and a feature that seems to be quite prevalent with Leapfrog is that you can slightly personalise the toy for your child so that it recognises your little ones first initial and it's really easy to do. First you turn the toy on and then spin the wheel to the letter L, then you slide the mode switch twice and the toy says "Parent Mode! Spin to the first letter of your child's name", then you simply slide the wheel to the relevant letter and slide the mode switch once when prompted to confirm that that letter is the correct choice for you. Next time the letter wheel lands on your child's programmed first initial (whilst in Alphabet mode only) it says "S (or whichever letter you chose) that's the first letter of your name! Yeay!". I think that the personalisation is a really nice little touch and obviously helps your little one recognise their initial. As I said at the beginning of the review, another great product from Leapfrog and definitely another winner in our house:)

LeapFrog Spin & Sing Alphabet Zoo Ball
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was attracted to this item for my 18 month old godson as he is particularly into animal sounds. I find some of the sounds a bit suspect though; for example, the letter C was accompanied by a squeaking caterpillar whereas a cat may have been more appropriate. The animal for letter N I don't believe is age appropriate in the UK: a narwhal. The big yellow button to create the spin is quite difficult to press and my godson could only operate it by either standing on it or using his head (which highlights the robustness of this product)! Though kids do have the option of just manually turning the wheel as well. As other reviewers have mentioned the tag line "the animals have something to say" is definitely irritating but I have come to expect this somewhat with kids toys and repetition is indeed how they learn.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My granddaughter is nearly two and absolutely adores this toy. She even gave me a demonstration on how to use it. She is thrilled and laughs out loud at the animal noises and is trying to call them by name. It is a real fun toy and is obviously an aid to learning. The price is very reasonable and it is very attractive
A super toy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 15 March 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a good little toy. The general gist is that you press the big yellow button to spin the wheel. There are two settings, letters or animals and depending on which you have it on, there is a jingle in relation to where the wheel has stopped. There are two volume settings.

My 14 month old boy does like this but the button is too heavy for him to press down on his own so he can get quite frustrated with it and throw it across the room. That said, it has survived multiple throws and still works so is very sturdy!
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VINE VOICEon 30 November 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is quite a basic toy but quite educational and enjoyable for the little ones. It is basically a spinner, with sounds and two different modes - letters or animals. When you press down the button in the middle, it spins and randomly stops on a letter/animal and will then tell you what it is and make some sounds. All the animals are on the correct letter for their sound, so a for ant, b for bird, c for caterpillar etc, to help the children associate the letter sounds with words beginning with that sound.
It is bright and colourful and my kids have enjoyed it, and definitely seems like it will help them with their letters as it constantly reinforces the letters while playing. It takes 2 AA batteries and is quite loud but does have 2 volume settings so you can choose the slightly quieter one if it all gets too much.
Although it has letters I would say its more for the younger age group, from babies upwards not really for 3-4 years who would be learning letters in school or nursery, because it is quite basic. My 4 year old has enjoyed it as he's borrowed it off his younger brothers, but I would not have bought it for him, only for the younger children. They will get more use out of it if bought younger. The spinner is fun for babies to see it going round and just to familiarise themselves with the letters and animals making it easier for them to learn as they get older.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A very simple way for your little one to learn the names of some common and not so common animals or so you would expect. The principle is simple push the big yellow button and the disc spins, where it lands will then play a female voice saying the name of the animal.

The downside is that the plunger is quite resistent and this was frustrating for my two year old. The voice they have used could be described as annoying but the real issue is the level of engagement that your child can extract from the toy.

Without help your child will probably end up bashing the plunger with their palm, finding this does not work and then realising they can spin the disc without the plunger which in turn sends the toy (and your nerve endings) into overdrive as it tries to keep up with your little one thinking he or she is on the decks and giving Paul Oakenfold a run for his money with an animal mix that would make Chris Packham hold his head in his hands!

Learning goes out the window and your little cherub will wander off and find something more engaging.

I have found that Leapfrog products are normally a decent product and engaging enough but this one has it's heart in the right place and looks great but just does not deliver which is a shame.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We got this for our one year old and have been pretty pleased with it really. It feels solid and is cheerfully colourful as all Leap Frog toys seem to be. The two volume settings and essential OFF switch are there as is the choice of animal names/sounds or letter names switch. The central push down spinning button is a bit hard to push, our one year old has made it move properly but only when he leant his whole weight on it by luck. That said we have found you can just spin the wheel by hand anyway so the button isn't an essential feature. Our only real grumble is the letter names function, as considering the age range this is aimed at if the toy does letters at all it should be doing the phonic sounds first NOT the letter names until much later so we will purely be leaving this on the animal names/sounds settings (which we find a little amusing anyway) which made me knock off the one star from the rating. That said it's a lovely little sound toy!
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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This big, colourful wheel is really attractive and the baby immediately wanted to play with it. The spinning action and the sounds are captivating, but the middle button is really hard for baby to depress on his own as it is too stiff. Luckily the wheel can be spun manually as well.

Some of the sounds are a bit far-fetched, like ant and narwhal (!), but baby doesn't mind. It makes it quite difficult to play the puzzle game though, where it gives you a sound and you are supposed to turn the wheel to the right animal. I am thinking that the baby will have out-grown the toy by the time he is able to play the puzzle game.

The toy doesn't keep the baby's attention for very long, only a few minutes at a time, but there have been many repeat plays. Best of all the wheel is very sturdy and can withstand some massive thumps. Good value for money.
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