Product Type: Paladone gadgets
Newest Review: ... is very cute, the type of object which will happily brighten up a kid's bedroom. The plastic construction feels cheap and light so it is ... more
You could NOT sleep through this!
Paladone Pac-Man Alarm Clock
Member Name: best_deal_hunter
Paladone Pac-Man Alarm Clock
Advantages: Will definitely wake you up. Fun, retro, well-designed
Disadvantages: A bit loud and jarring for some.
The iconic yellow Pac-man, sitting on a black plinth, digital clock in its 'melon slice' mouth ... who could resist?
My son has been hankering after an alarm clock for a while in order to be able to get up a bit earlier to play computer games before breakfast, so it was a delicious irony when I spotted this. I had no idea Pac-man was enjoying such a resurgence, but there appear to be Pac-man products everywhere at the moment, so it's clearly another trend which was about to pass me by.
Actually, said son does own a perfectly serviceable Dennis the Menace alarm clock, but I had been finding this inexplicably moved out of his room or put in a cupboard ... then he admitted the ticking noise was bothering him at night. Hamster scurrying round his cage doesn't disturb him, ticking clock does - can't fathom that one, but never mind! Anyway, what I'm getting at is that it was rather important to me to find a non-ticking clock, and this one is just that. Silent as the grave ... until it goes off, when it's enough to wake the dead!
If you're familiar with Pac-man sounds, you will understand the noise it makes. If not, I can't really describe very well, but it's a cacophony of ear-splitting electronic NOISE. Proper authentic game sounds. And he LOVES it! Me, I prefer to be coaxed out of sleep with a gentle alarm which gets steadily more persistent if you ignore it. This one hits you with the full force of its repertoire and scares the living daylights out of me even in the next room.
It's definitely serving its purpose in waking him up and getting him out of bed, very useful on school days. I suspect that as he approaches teenage years I may be even more glad of that!
So, what of the clock apart from the infernal racket it makes?
Well, the other thing we were after was a digital display - he can tell the time on an analogue clock when he concentrates, but finds digital much easier. This clock has a large digital display - the numbers are about an inch tall. One thing I would say here though is that because the clock is inside the 'mouth', you need to position it carefully so you can see it. If it's about on your eye level it's best, otherwise the overhang can block some of the display.
The clock is plastic - it feels quite sturdy although it is also very light. It takes two AAA batteries.
The controls I think are very intelligently designed. Maybe it's just me, but I find with many alarm clocks it's quite tricky to find the right button to turn them off when you're not properly awake. With this one, there are three distinct sets of controls.
On the side is a simple on/off switch. This turns the alarm on or off completely.
On the front are three Pac-man themed buttons. These have little stickers on (or that's what they look like anyway - haven't tried piddling them off to check!). The left one is cherries - this is the snooze button and can also be used to hear the alarm at any time (hopefully the novelty of this will wear off SOON). The middle one is a bell to turn the alarm off when it's blaring. The right one is a pink ghost and is the backlight button.
Then on the back are four buttons to set the clock and the alarm. Nice and simple, self-explanatory.
I really like the fact that all the controls are separate - it means there's no danger of accidentally resetting the time when you're searching for the snooze button whicle simultaneously trying to keep both hands over your ears!
This clock is fairly widely available. I saw it first at Comet, selling for the RRP of around £15. Sure there was a better deal to be had, I restrained myself and looked around. I managed to pick one up in the sale at firebox.com for £8.99 which I was well chuffed with, but I think it's available at Amazon and the other usual suspects for somewhere in the region of a tenner.
I may have mentioned that it's quite loud, but actually I think it's a great little clock. I wouldn't choose it to wake me up, but for my son it's perfect. Definitely worth five stars on that basis.
Summary: For the right kind of person, a superb present idea.