“ Brand: VTech / Type: Educational toy „
My son's grand parents bought him this system for Christmas. We wanted something stimulating for him to do to improve his motor skills and for a bit of fun for all of us.
It comes in 2 parts - the console that connects to the tv and the shaped key pad that you can either link to the console to play games on the tv or play as a stand alone game.
It retails for about £50 and you get 2 games: the zoo and in the night garden. We chose this vtech system because our son loves itng. It's easy to set up it just plugs into your scart socket and off you go, the cartridges slot into the console just like a regular games machine. All games have 2 options: watch and learn or to play.
We've concentrated on playing so far, my son is only 13 months so he won't sit still through all the watch and learn - although from what I've seen of the zoo one it's very good. He loves playing the games, each button does something different or makes a different sound. Some games use the joystick or the swivel key instead. The nice thing I like is that if a button isn't being used it still creates a splash of colour or sound so that he can associate pressing something with something happening.
The only down side is I'm struggling to find other titles - but this is replacing an older model so I guess they'll appear on the shelves soon.
I think this is excellent, the game pad is bright and colourful, with easy to press shapes. It's also withstood being dropped many times and smothered in chocolate. You can also take the game pad out with you to provide entertainment (it doesn't need the console for the stand alone mode).
It's suitable for 9 months to 36 months but I think around 12-13 months would be the earliest I'd give it to a child any younger and I don't think they'd get full use out of it.
A good toy for bonding with and encouraging them to learn. My son already recognises the shapes and loves the heart beat noise on the stand alone game.
Update Jan 2014!
For Christmas I tried to buy some more games to go with this console for my second child. They have now changed the shape of them, and made them bigger. I didn't realise this until I opened the packaging! Bear that in mind if you are purchasing an old model or any new games for it.