Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
A noisy but well made toy
on 17 November 2012
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!