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My three year old got a few toy shop vouchers for his birthday and chose to exchange them for Gadget the Robot. My son is delighted with it, although it would probably suit an older child better, as my six year old quite likes it too. The robot is fairly big and feels very sturdy. All his parts are made with thick chunky parts which are perfect for little hands. He has a small screen built in to his tummy to display characters and pictures. A large button on his head turns him on and off. A sliding switch at the front allows you to change the learning mode and he talks and moves constantly in response to interaction. He comes with 30 round plastic tokens which are inserted in a slot above his eyes. You then turn his nose to get the disk to drop and hear what he says about each disk, so for example, it could be 'A is for apple'. He has a hard plastic 'backpack' which can be removed from his back and which holds the disks - invaluable for keeping them from getting lost. He doesn't seem to require a lot of battery power - the original batteries have been in since we bought him in September and have not yet needed replacement.
All in all, Gadget certainly has enough to keep my three year old interested and I do think he will continue to play with him for quite some time yet.
Last Christmas my Mam was trying to find a main present for my youngest daughter who was just over 2 at the time and I had seen this toy on an advert on TV and knew she would love it. My Mam bought the toy from Argos on 3 for 2 so she got a free present which was great, the toy was priced at £39.99 although currently it is listed on Amazon at £35.97 with free delivery.
The robot came packaged in a brightly coloured cardboard box with Vtech who are the makers displayed on it along with the usual literature about what the toy will teach your child. The box was open fronted so that you could press a few buttons on the toy although you couldn't get the full effect as you need the chips to put into Gadget for that. The box states that the toy is for ages 3-7 however like I say my daughter had not long turned 2 when she got the toy and she loved him straight away, the toy takes 4 x AA batteries which are included which is always great in my opinion so your child doesn't have to wait to play.
Gadget is a friendly looking robot which is made of hard plastic and very brightly coloured n=making it very attractive to young children and Emily wanted him out of the box as soon as she opened him. Gadget has a yellow button on the top of him which turns him on and off and also lights up along with his mouth whist the toy is in play. He has 2 twisty ears, eyebrows that move and eye lids that come down and then a nose which twists too move the chips through the toy.
On the body of Gadget you have 2 arms which move back and forth and a screen which displays different things depending on what you are doing with the toy at the time. Underneath the screen you have a slider with 6 different settings which are explore it, charge me up, super speller, follow along, robot rock and gadget's quiz. Finally under the slider you have a little chute where the chips leave Gadget and a pair of feet holding the whole toy up.
Underneath Gadget there is a battery panel which is secured but you just need a coin or blunt knife to open it which saves the usual screwdriver hunt, he also has a slider which controls the volume which is fantastic as he can become quite annoying after a while. On Gadgets back there are 2 knotches to attach a green plastic backpack which is where all his computer chips are kept when you are not playing with him, you get the feeling from this toy that everything has been thought through carefully which I like.
The computer chips are circular pieces of plastic which are coloured, bright pink, yellow or green, each chip has a number of ridges on the back of it which must be how the toy recognises which chip has been put inside. You get 36 chips with the toy, you have all the letters of the alphabet and then extras such as language, sing and exercise. Each of the chips has a sticker on the front of it, the alphabet chips have the letter, the word and a picture of the word on it which I think is great as there is more than one way of reinforcement of learning.
To play with Gadget you press the yellow button on his head to turn him on, he will start talking straight away saying "Hello, i'm Gadget thanks, for waking me up, i'm programmed to help you learn just put in a computer chip and twist my nose." Gadget keeps playing little tunes and encouraging your child to play with him which is great however it can be annoying when Emily turns him on and walks off as he just keeps going until after a few minutes he will finally tell you he is running out of energy and shut down.
There are a number of settings like I said above and the slider to select each one moves very easily so Emily doesn't have any issues doing the selecting for herself. There is a slot above Gadgets eyes which is where you put the chip when necessary for the games, the slot is exactly the correct size for the chips and I would have expected it to be difficult for little hands to line the chips up but there are no problems at all with this.
These are the different games to play with Gadget,
Explore it - Your child puts a chip into Gadget and twists his nose, the screen shows you a picture of a what the word on the disc is and then it states the word across the screen whilst speaking it out loud. This seems to be Emily's favourite setting and when she got the toy she actually wasn't talking very well but when she sat playing with the toy she would repeat the words to out amazement as when we tried to get her to repeat words she just shook her head at us.
Charge me up - This setting is to help your child with counting, when you slide to the setting Gadget will tell your child that he is hungry and needs to eat some computer chips, he tells your child how many chips he needs to eat and they have to put the correct amount of chips in and twist his nose for each one to go through. As your child puts the computer chips into Gadget he counts how many they put in and he keeps telling them how many more he still needs. Emily can manage this setting perfectly as the most he goes up to is 7 as far as we have seen and she can count to 13 so this is a great back up for her with her counting.
Super Speller - You have to put a chip into gadget and he will tell you what the word starts with in upper case wording, he then spells it out so "I n k spells ink" if you then turn Gadgets ear he will spell the word out again, at the same time you have a picture of the item on the screen. This setting is great for Emily to listen to but she does get bored with this one and I do think that this setting is for older children but then technically according to the makers she still isn't old enough to be playing with the toy.
Follow Along - This setting has nothing to do with the computer chips but Gadget gives your child instructions of which body part he would like them to turn, each set has about 4 or 5 requests in and Gadget encourages your child and congratulates them through each sequence. When Gadget gives his instructions he tells them a body part and the colour of it which tests Emily quite a lot as she knows her body parts but she is struggling a little to learn her colours but when she gets it wrong Gadget just says oops and asks her to try again and as there are only a maximum of 2 of each body part she always gets it right the second time which is great encouragement.
Robot Rock - When you clap your hands Gadget sings a song to your child about what they can learn with him whilst he dances from side to side, once he has finished one song he asks your child to clap their hands again and he will launch into another tune. Gadget does a set of 3 songs or tunes and then asks your child if they want to go again, if your child claps then he starts again with more tunes and songs some of the tunes can be recognised and others we have never heard before.
Gadgets Quiz - Gadget asks your child a question about a word such as "Ink begins with which letter?" the screen displays the picture to match the word and shows the word minus the first letter so that your child can match it up to the computer chip. To answer the question your child can put the chip into the slot and turn Gadgets nose however a really good thing I think is that they can select a letter by turning Gadgets ear and when they have the letter they want they turn Gadgets nose to enter it. I love the way they have thought about an alternative to answering with the chips as my daughter has lost a couple of the chips so it means she can still play the game properly.
Emily absolutely loves this toy, she plays with him everyday and she never gets bored. We have found that sometimes the chute at the bottom of Gadget doesn't throw the chip out so occasionally she gets loads of the chips stuck in there because once one hasn't come out they get backed up and then an adult is needed to get them out.
The toy is very durable it is pretty heavy so it is no surprise that he has been dropped a great number of items yet he has no damage on him at all and he still works perfectly. The battery life in the toy is brilliant he still has the same batteries in him as when Emily received him and he is played with a lot so I am really pleased that the batteries haven't needed changing yet.
The toy is really educational and Emily has learnt a lot from him already, I have a 5 year old daughter too but she isn't so keen to play with him and I would say that an age range of up to 7 is a little too ambitious and I also feel that apart from the toys weight there is no reason a younger child than 3 can play with him.
When I saw how much the toy was selling for I didn't think it would be worth it as I thought it would just be a toy along the lines of others that Emily owns however I have never seen a toy like this one it is completely individual and makes learning fun which of course means it is easier for your child to learn from it.
I rate this toy 5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone with a young child as they get so much from it, the backpack is really handy for putting the chips into however it can be quite hard to slide the backpack into place on the back of the toy and Emily cannot do this for herself but this is a minor things and certainly not enough to lose a rating as it is so good in other ways.
- LCD screen recognises 30 learning tokens. - Includes 26 letters/object tokens and 4 funny tokens. - Robot's body spins around and his ears, eyes, arms and eyebrows move. - Teaches, letters, numbers, objects, music and more. - Features sound sensor that reacts to clapping. Cool robot friend features moving eyes, ears and arms, 30 computer chips and LCD screen. Teaches, letters, numbers, objects, music and more.