“ Brand: Bratz / Age: 3 Years+ „
My (now) fourteen year old daughter was a huge Bratz fan as a child; she had dozens of the dolls in varying sizes, loved to dress in Bratz branded clothing and hankered after all the novelty items surrounding these quirky little dolls. One of her most treasured items was this gorgeous Bratz portable DVD player, we kept it for years - in fact Alice's five year old sister used it most recently and after a guesstimated seven years of regular use it only went to DVD heaven last month!
Visually it's probably (nay, definitely!) the prettiest portable DVD player I've ever seen, and thanks to a bizarre spate of competition wins six years ago I can honestly say we've had plenty of them to compare aesthetic properties. The only one which even comes close is a neon pink machine made by Samsung, stunningly girly but ultimately useless as it went haywire on the third disc play and was binned shortly afterwards. And anyway, that one looked great - but this one looks better!
When closed the DVD player is shaped to look like a pair of lips, anyone who knows the Bratz range will know the dolls have prominent shaped lips (usually dark pink/red) so this design for the DVD player is perfectly in keeping with the whole Bratz ethos. It's 3D to a brilliant degree and while the lip shape is actually pretty basic, it's been plumped out through clever moulding and shaping - I love the curves of the lips and every time I glimpse the player I think what a fabulous design it is for little girls. The dusky pink of the lips is a beautifully soft contrast to the silver inside, again adding to the overall super-girly appearance but also making the DVD player look more functional when opened. Well, almost - the large depiction of Yasmin (a main Bratz character) on the control panel whips away from functionality, as does the fact that the four DVD control buttons are shaped like lips to match the casing. Fabulous!
When new I remember it was already set up and Alice was able to take it out of the box and play a DVD straightaway - I remember this clearly as she was given the DVD player for (probably) her seventh birthday and was sitting halfway through her new Bratz DVD before I even gave the setting up of the player a thought!
It plays DVDs, CDs and is also MP3 compatible; Alice has tested out all functions over the years and providing she uses PAL (Region 2) discs they've worked, it'll play some home-burned discs but not all and can be a little temperamental when playing photo discs but on the whole I've been impressed by the range of media the kids have been able to play on it. I realised extremely quickly that discs have to be scrupulously clean to play properly, this is most noticeable with audio CDs for some reason but any specks of dirt or grubby fingerprints can bring DVDs to a skipping halt too. This isn't really brilliant news considering this machine is designed for kiddies; you'd expect it to be a little more forgiving, I get sick of Hollie bringing me discs for cleaning when she finds they won't play - so irritating, and one thing I definitely won't miss now the DVD player isn't working!
It's ridiculously easy to use, Alice had had portable DVD players before this one so took to it straight away - Hollie was using it before her third birthday, and no one really gave her a detailed lesson so I think we can take the fact that the DVD player is pretty self explanatory from that. The four buttons on the console alter the volume, allow you to skip to the next/previous scene, stop/pause the DVD and of course there's the 'Play' button. All of these functions (and these are ALL of the functions!) work as they should, with the buttons being relatively large compared to those I've seen on other portable DVD players - this is good news considering the player is aimed at children as it allows even the chubbiest little finger to activate the player, with the buttons being well enough spaced that your little one isn't likely to press the wrong one at the wrong time. Not that this is a big deal anyway as any 'mistakes' can easily be rectified (usually by said child who made the original error) with the worst that can happen being them skipping a scene or two in a film they've no doubt seen countless times already!
The 6.5" screen is plenty big enough to view DVDs successfully, with the only niggle I have being that the menu text is very small on a lot of the discs so when Hollie was just learning to read she had problems focusing on the text well enough to make the correct selection - another job for mum, but I didn't mind this as much as cleaning the blasted DVDs! The colour and shade contrast is perfect, surprisingly so for such a small DVD player actually with everything I've ever seen myself on the screen having a sharp picture and vibrant colours - there's never a hint of darkness or greying even at the edges of the screen and even fast paced films with lots of action are clear without any blurring or areas of 'stuck' pixels. The vast majority of what's been watched on this DVD player has been cartoon/animated, this type of film is automatically bright and colourful so can be a bit of a test for this kind of player but we've had no issues with loss of colour or dimming so I think I can safely say it's passed this test.
Sound can be on the quiet side but this isn't always the case so I've always assumed it's down to the disc we're using at the time, there's an easily accessible headphone socket so Hollie can plug herself in and listen privately if the sound is a little low coming out of the speakers - or if me and her dad don't fancy listening to Watership Down again! We've noticed that certain music CDs come through quite muffled and tinny, again this isn't something that happens with every disc and there seems to be no pattern to it so it's always been a case of try a CD and if it works it works - and with half a dozen alternate CD players in the house it's never really been a biggie if it doesn't for us.
Bundled with the DVD player when Alice received it was a charging/mains lead, a car adaptor, headphones and a small remote control which worked for the massive period of time of a day before breaking. A full charge takes a couple of hours when the DVD player isn't being used at the same time (infinitely longer if viewing a DVD whilst charging) but once charged the battery life isn't brilliant and often wouldn't hold enough charge even for the kids to watch one short cartoon film. This made car journeys difficult as the cigarette lighter adaptor wire just wasn't long enough to fit through to the back seats, this meant we had to always choose another portable player when we were going out for the day which was a shame sometimes as Hollie in particular found this Bratz one so easy to prop up on her knees. Another plus point was the level to which the screen could be angled backwards and forwards without losing the clarity of the picture, with more than one child jostling to see whatever's on the screen this is important to ensure they can all view the film without heads and hands getting in the way.
When our Bratz DVD player was new it cost £60, and for the novelty value I'd say it's definitely worth that - then the price went down by roughly half and it turned into a bargain. Nowadays it doesn't seem to be widely available, which is a shame, but you sometimes see the DVD player popping up on Ebay or the Amazon Marketplace. I highly recommend it for any little girl (Bratz lover or not) - who could not love a DVD player shaped like a pair of lips, I love it myself and I'm way beyond Bratz appreciation age!
I am sure anyone with a similar aged daughter to mine (9 on Sunday) will have had exactly the same situation as me last Christmas. My daughter came to me with an Argos book in one hand and one hell of a shopping list in the other! When we added it all up, it came to about £700 (and she's good at maths so I think she was pushing things a little there!). We whittled it down a bit (!) and it still left her spoilt rotten. Now, I had really good intentions to stick at that list... but it didn't happen!
Most of you will have seen the many Argos adverts prior to Christmas with the half price offers. I caught the end of one and saw this Bratz portable DVD player in the pile of toys shown on the advert so went online for a look. I had been considering buying it since my friend bought it her daughter for a birthday present and told me about it. She told me they are a lot cheaper in big W but I'm not sure what the exact price is. They are around £65 everywhere else, but I managed to pick it up for a bargain £32.48. A bargain for any portable DVD player, I wasn't particularly bothered how good it was because I knew my daughter could take it on holidays or on long trips in the car and it would keep her occupied.
The DVD player is in the shape of a pair of lips and is pink and silver complete with the Bratz logo on the top. It comes complete with a remote control, battery pack (which fixes on to the bottom), charger and earphones (not the most wonderful set in the world but easy to buy a new pair). When you open it, there is a Bratz picture on the bottom (which is where you lift up to insert the DVD), and four buttons in the shape of lips. These are for the volume, next/previous, pause/stop and play. You can use the DVD player with or without the headphones as it has a built in speaker. Features are:
* 6.2" (widescreen 16:9) TFT LCD screen
* Adjustable angle display
* Switch for 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio
* Play's DVDs and DR-R/RW discs
* Built-in speaker
* Angle function
* Headphone jack
* Audio and video output
The DVD player can either be hooked up to the tele, if your daughter doesn't have another DVD player or can easily be made portable by clipping the battery pack onto the bottom. This is then charged through the mains adapter supplied or if it isn't being used on the go, it can be played directly from the mains. The battery pack is a bit on the bulky side, and means the DVD player is slightly lifted up on the back if it is placed on a flat surface. This doesn't bother my daughter at all though but I would have thought it could have been done a bit better. We charge the battery up over night and have never had a problem with it running out during a film. My daughter tells me that she watched 2 films once without it needing a recharge.
To play a DVD you simply pull up the lid on the bottom part of the player and put your disc in. It is easy to use with the quick access buttons for the basic functions directly on the player, or you can use the remote supplied.
The picture quality isn't bad at all and is more than adequate for my daughter. She uses the player a lot and tends to favour this over her watching things on her tele in her room! She is more than happy with it and I must say her friends are pretty impressed that she has a portable DVD player. It was an excellent buy and I am really glad that I decided to get it. I am not sure if I would have bought it for the full price but it would still be worth the money. You tend to pay a lot more for Bratz branded things than plain ones but that's what younger girls want so while us parents are daft enough to pay it, the suppliers will keep charging us more!
Would I recommend this to other parents? Yes I would. It is everything that a child that age would want in a portable DVD player, it's fun and very easy to use. I'm not so sure about my husbands idea to borrow it to watch something in his breaks at work though!!
Bratz dvd player.
It appears that Barbie is on her way out, and the thing of the moment seems to be those overly pouting lip glossed Bratz girls.
So, for the Little Miss who travels by car to Italy, it seemed the logical progression to try to alleviate the boredom with a portable dvd player, and what better than one shaped like lips.
Not being overly technical, I will describe it in laymans terms.
~~What do I get~~
Inside the box, I naturally get the dvd player, but also included in this box is: remote with 32 functions (no, we havent used them all), AC adaptor, chargeable battery pack, and headphones, so no need to worry about the noise when travelling.
There is also a full set of easy to understand instructions
~~The dvd player~~
Fully portable, this is about 10 by 6, with a 6 screen. The whole thing is shaped like a pair of lips, not surprisingly ours is the pink variety. The Bratz logo is on the top, and to open, all you do is lift the upper lips.
Once opened, of course, there is the screen which is fully angled, meaning, I presume, that it can be pushed back or pulled forwards for best viewing angle.
The 4 small purple function buttons are of course, lip shaped, and show the commands VOLUME<,NEXT/PREVIOUS, PAUSE/STOP, PLAY. The buttons with two functions are worked by pushing either the top or bottom of the button as illustrated on the actual player. This is about the only thing I had to explain to Little Miss, because at first, she was a tad confused as to how a button could do two things.
The dvds are inserted by lifting up the lid. This is easily found, not because it states that it is the lid, but because its the only place they could go. The lid is brightly decorated with one of the Bratz dolls- the blonde one with extra pouting very pink lips. (I havent yet figured out there names but have a feeling that I will be expected to learn). Lift up this slim lid (no complicated buttons to press) and simply insert the dvd of choice.
~~How to use it~~
As I explained, I am not at all technical, so it came as a blessing that this was easy to set up and to use.
Simply plug in, or charge the batteries, switch the on/ off switch to on, insert dvd, and the rest as they say is childs play even a 6 year old has managed to work it!
Among the features, I am going to list the ones I understand. Its not that I deem the others to be unimportant, its just that if I havent understood them then I havent used them in 3 months, so they cant be overly important for normal useage. Full details can be found on the website of any store selling the player.
The dvd players features include:
Ability to play cds (same method as playing dvds)
Built in speaker
4x zoom (worth a mention but only used twice0
Anti shock- good in case its dropped!
High Capacity lithium Battery pack, which thankfully is included, although we have used the mains more often. It seems that once it is charged, it does last for a good couple of films. I think a good idea would be to include an in car charger like a phone.
~~Price and Availability~~
This costs around the £130 mark, and can be bought from places such as Argos and Amazon.
I have also seem the same (or similar) in pink and one in green, each featuring a different Bratz girl.
~~What we think of it~~
Of course, for something of this ilk, we have to ascertain what Little Miss thinks of it, and she thinks its great. Bratz being heavily marketed and popular for some unfathomable reason (but then I AM a lot older), she has a dvd player which she is totally proud of. When she first got it, herself and pals could be found huddled round the tiny screen, looking more at the Bratz picture I would imagine.
Its incredibly easy to set up, and in fact, once out of the box, its all systems go. The remote control is clearly labelled, as is the actual dvd player, and once the functions are explained to children, they know better than me how to use them.
The life of the player once charged is good, and we have not as yet had to suffer any screeches when it turns off at a critical moment of a film. The headphones are a grand idea because it means that we dont have to listen to whatever it is she is watching, but can let her get on with it.
For me, the screen is too small, but she seems to find it just right, although I wouldnt recommend it for prolonged periods of viewing. The sound quality from the built in speaker is good, and it can be attached to the television to play dvds. This was actually a bonus for us when our own dvd player was broken; we simply plugged this in, and had the film showing on a small and large screen very weird!
All in all, I would recommend this for any fans of Bratz who may feel they have the need for a fully portable and cool to carry around dvd player.
Thanks for reading.