With V.Smile even toddlers can be high-tech!
Excellent learning tools. Easy to contact company for assistance.
You need the Jaws of Life to get cartridges in/out of game slot. Price!
The Bottom Line:
I highly recommend this toy because of the large range of educational fun and skills that it provides.
My 3yr old received this for Christmas and immediately wanted to play with it. Imagine our disappointment when we found that it came broken from the manufacturer. I called the company and they sent me a return ID# and directions to ship the console back for a replacement. The directions advised that I was responsible for packaging and purchasing postage and insurance to return the console for repair. Because it was a gift and came with no receipt, I was told that V-Tech would not honor the warranty on the console and I would also be responsible for repair/replacement charges. We were so frustrated that we just went out and bought another console. This console works perfect and our 3-yr old is constantly using it. Just yesterday, while playing Dora's Fix-it Adventure, my daughter was counting in Spanish. I have seen her fine-motor skills improve while using the joystick. It's nice because the joystick is such a perfect size for little hands. The graphics are fantastic with lot's of bold colors. One thing I have noticed about the vtech brand are their age ratings. It's not always a wise decision to purchase smartridges geared toward older children than yours. For example, the Dora Fix-it Adventure game is rated for a child one full year older than my child. Though she is advanced in many areas, this game is longer than the games in her age group. It requires more information to be retained and can become difficult when she has run out of patience. My solution to this problem is to play along with her since we purchased a second joystick. It's pretty fun and she loves that Mommy is playing her games. I recommend that any parent play the games with their children so that they know how the games are played. My daughter will sit and play with this system the entire morning if I let her. She is tough on her toys and has managed to drop this one more than once and has thrown the joystick several times. Amazingly, everything still works and there is not a rattle to be heard so I know nothing inside the unit is loose.
Current Smartridges we own for this system:
* Alphabet Park (included with Console)
* Dora's Fix-it Adventure (ages 4 to 6)
* Elmo's Big Discoveries (ages 3 to 5)
* Thomas & Friends (ages 3 to 5)
* Blue's Clues Collection Day (ages 3 to 5)
What I love:
* The educational benefits of the system
* Versatility - Games can be played in V.Smile Pocket
* Motor-skill development by utilizing joystick control
* Joysticks are designed to switch from left-handed to right-handed with the push of a button for any child
* Two-player feature allows Mom & Dad to play, too!
* Large library of Smartridges for each age level
* Games geared toward three levels ranging from 3yrs to 8yrs
* Additional accessories - Jammin' Gym Class exercise mat, Art Studio drawing board, etc.
* Excellent parts-replacement program. Broken battery doors, cartridge covers, Cartridge replacements are all replaced free minus $5.50 S/H fee.
* Even more learning possibilities when you log onto the vtechkids website and join the free club vtech with access to more tools for kids and parents.
What I don't love:
You need the Jaws of Life to get the games in and out of the slot. My child is very strong and still unable to press the cartridges into the slot or remove them. This means that your child constantly has to have assistance when they want to switch games. My 3-yr old gets impatient very quickly when she can't DO IT HERSELF like the children on the commercials. The console only stores six smartridges so, if you have more, you risk losing them.
A sampling of the offered curriculum as listed by VTech:
Letters, Geography, Colors, Animals, Counting, Phonics, Vocabulary, Size, Comparison, Addition, Right & Left Concept, Problem Solving, Shapes, Number, Sequence, Directions, Telling Time, Alphabet Order, Music, Subtraction, Comprehension, Logic, Numbers, Matching
Current Available Smartridges (as of 2/12/2007):
3-5 Years (Early Learners): 10 Titles Available
* The Backyardigans - Viking Voyage
* Winnie the Pooh - The Honey Hunt
* The Lion King - Simba's Big Adventure
* Elmo's World - Elmo's Big Discoveries
* Bob the Builder - Bob's Busy Day
* It's Wiggle Time
* Thomas & Friends - Engines Working Together
* Barney's Land of Make Believe
* Blue's Clues - Blue's Collections
* Noddy - Detective For a Day
4-6 Years (Junior Thinkers) : 10 Titles Available
* Bert & Ernie's Imagination Adventure
* The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Majestic Journey
* Spider-Man & Friends - Secret Mission
* Scooby-Doo - Funland Frenzy
* Toy Story 2 - Operation Rescue Woody!
* Dora's Fix-It Adventure
* Finding Nemo - Nemo's Ocean Discoveries
* Lil' Bratz
* Disney's & Pixars Cars - Rev It Up in Radiator Springs
* Soccer Challenge
6-8 Years (Master Minds) : 8 Titles Available
* Spiderman & Friends II - Doc Ock's Challenge
* The Batman Gotham City Rescue
* Mickey Mouse : Mickey's Magical Adventure
* Aladdin's Wonders of The World
* Cinderella - Cinderella's Magic Wishes
* SpongeBob SquarePants - A Day in the Life of a Sponge
* Shrek Dragon's Tale Smartridge
* Superman - The Greatest Hero
What's in the box? (what do you get with your console)
* V.Smile TV Learning System
* One Joystick
* Alphabet Adventure Smartridge
The unit also requires either 3 'D' Batteries or the optional 9 Volt adapter to run. These are not included with the system.