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Try finding games cartridges for this product before you buy it, if you find them can you let everyone else who has a smart cycle know where you can buy them. Be warned, unless you enjoy an e-bay bidding frenzy over the very few games that ever come up for this all you will ever have have is the game it came with AND KIDS GET BORED REAL QUICK!
I spent £50 on this for a friend. They can be more expensive but there are usually goods deals around. It is pretty expensive for a one-dimensional toy but it is quite innovative I think.
You can plug it into your tv and a child can cycle on it and race on the screen. I definitely do not think it is a good idea to use this to teach your child to ride a bike, because part of the joy of cycline is being outdoors and a real bike helps them to balance and stear. In fact, this could be a bad idea for a child who can't ride, as it will teach them bad habits when they do learn. However, for children who already cycle, this is a great toy.
My friend is so grateful for the present. It keeps her child occupied when it is raining but she doesn't feel bad that they are playing a game in front of the computer, as they are also getting exercise.
It says it is suitable from 3 years. I bought it for a 3 year old who still loves using it a year on.
It does take up quite a bit of room though.
But very easy to use.
Overall it's great!
Fisher price Smart Cycle - Perfect indoor exercise for kids.
We bought this for our 4 year old daughters birthday when it was on offer at £39.99 and what an absolute bargain it has been. It is like a computer and exercise bike put together with lots of educational things thrown in.
When it arrived it was in a smaller box than I imagined and I wondered if it was going to be quite small for her but I was pleasantly surprised. My 7 year old niece easily fits on and my 18 month old also tries. It was extremely easy to put together and looks bright and inviting. It doesnt take up the whole room either.
It is easily plugged into your tv although be patient as it takes a little while to start up.
Once your child sits on,the hard plastic seat which we have bought a bike seat cover for, it is really easy for them to work out how it goes. They can choose which mode to play either explore as you go or pedal through different environments or learn letters or shapes etc along the way. There is even a part that they can take a break from pedalling and visit an arcade and use the joystick to play games. The only thing that I find is that the graphics are poor but that is something that doesn't seem to bother the kids.
There is a race mode where 2 players can be timed against each other or they can race against cars.
I have found that although this comes with a cartridge purchasing additional ones in this country is not easy, luckily my sister sends some from America where they are widely available.
It also requires 4 huge D size batteries which quickly run down.
Overall an excellent purchase that really tires the kids out when it is raining outside.
Fisher Price Smart cycle is an interactive educational toy aimed at children in the 3-6 age range.
It combines both physical and mental interaction that will help to develop your child in their early stages of development.
With a wide range of extra game cartridges available you should have no problems in keeping them entertained for hours and be safe in the knowledge that they are getting both mental and physical stimulation.
So exactly what is a Smart cycle?
Well it is an educational toy that takes the form of a cycle for indoor use, not too different from an exercise bike but smaller in scale to cater for the 3-6 Childs age range.
It is also fitted with an electronic game cartridge system that plugs into your TV via an audio/video cable which is already attached to the unit. You are supplied with one game cartridge and as mentioned the cable comes fitted to the smartcycle, you also have the option of buying different cartridges for the system which will keep your child interested for a long time after the initial purchase.
On opening the box-
The product will require some assembly and you are provided with easy to follow instructions to aid you in this task. Assembly should take you around 20-25 minutes and you will need to have a Phillips screwdriver to hand as you are not supplied one with the product. The assembly of the seat, pedals, handle bars and base is all that is needed to be performed.
The seat is fully adjustable to cater for different sized children to allow for its use to be as comfortable as possible. The addition of an adjustable seat will allow for longer use of the unit as your child grows which will make this product a worthwhile invest for the long-term. You will also need 4x D size batteries as they are not included in the box (I find that I never have these size batteries available in my house so you will need to buy some with your initial purchase of the unit).
The supplied game cartridge slots onto the side of the smart cycle and is easy enough to be inserted and removed by the smallest of hands allowing your child to take ownership of the product from the beginning (the cartridge will only slot in one way so no danger of it being inserted incorrectly).
Then you will need to connect the audio/video cable to your TV with the yellow connector slotting into the yellow video connection and the red and white ones slotting into the left and right audio connections (everything is colour coded here so no danger of getting this wrong).The press the power button o to the on position and off you go (the power button is located on the front of the unit near the handle bars).
The games on the cartridge are controlled by utilising both the handle bars for steering and the pedals for forward and reverse movement. There is also an easy to use joystick sited just below the handle-bars for use with games that are not cycle based.
The game cartridge comes with games that are based around three themes-
Driving-This is where you steer and pedal around a course with the aim of collecting letters and numbers(very educational) and can visit such places as maths mountain, shape lake, numbers field and letter creek.
Learn-sing the joystick you can play games and puzzles which have different difficulty settings that cater for different ages of children.
Race-Pedal as fast as possible against opponents on screen. Against the clock or even against another player. The faster you pedal the more speed you gain.
An excellent toy for stimulating both physical and mental development of your child. Is fun to play and very easy to setup and use. With extra cartridges available your child will get hours and hours of fun to help keep an active mind and body. I would highly recommend this product and it is well suited for the 3-6 years age range.
I paid £99 for this item from toys r us but it might be worth shopping around to see what offers are on,
Thank you for taking the time to read my review and please feel free to leave feedback, thankyou Paul.
This review is listed on ciao under the user name phensh
Fisher Price is one of the most established toy company around and has been for quite a few years now (well I had some of their toys) and is synonymous with play learning. Their parent company is Mattel that we all know make the legendary Barbies. One of their must have toys last year was the Smart Cycle and of course, my mum and dad saw this and sent it of to Santa for my son to enjoy during the Christmas period. This cycle is advertised as being a bike, a gaming system and a learning centre in one.
This was by far the biggest present in size that my son had received and I have to admit that it was left in its box until the holiday period was over and some of the smaller toys had been send to toy heaven (or in my case, the spare room). On opening the box, I found that the bike was actually even bigger than the box as it needed to be assembled. It came with a main frame in grey with a saddle, the steering wheel and the steering column. I managed to put it together within 30 minutes as I was taking my time to make sure that everything was in the right place. Everything that you need is provided including a spanner so no need to rush around to the neighbours to ask for a specific tool. I also have to say that everything was there (nothing is more annoying than toys with missing parts or too many for that matter) except for 4 D batteries which Santa kindly provided for us in the box. If I managed to do it in that time, it shows that it is fool proof as I am not the most diy minded person.
THE BIKE ITSELF:
Once put together, the bike is 65cm High x 70cm Long x 48cm (taken from fisher price website as have not measured it). It has a grey main frame with a green steering column and green handlebars with purple handles. The handlebars each have a red button on them at thumb level: the left one with a horn symbol above it and the right one with a camera symbol. There are also purple flat stabilisers at the front and back so it will stay put. The pedals are in red and the saddle is purple. The "dashboard" has a pretend speedometer, fuel gauge and rev counter. Just below, on the left, there is the red button to turn it on with a 0 and 1 position. In the centre, there is a round red joystick with directional arrows and below this there is 3 buttons: 1 green one with a scroll, 1 red one with an opened hand and a blue one with a book. They all have their functions but I will save this for later. The seat adjusts to the child's height in seconds with a plastic screw, which can easily be taken off (although slightly too hard for a child) and put back on.
After putting it together, you will need to adjust the seat to your child's height and to make sure that they will have a comfortable ride. Next comes the TV connectivity. This is also foolproof. It has an extra long lead (I haven't measured it but it would go to the other end of most living rooms) so the bike is not too close to the TV (square eyes and all that) and connects to it with the yellow, white and red holes (sorry, not very technical minded either) which are colour matched by the plugs (child's play). Before switching it on, you will have to insert the cartridge provided in the slot at the side of the bike, which has a handy key ring attached to it, and make sure it is inserted properly. To turn on, simply switch on the red button to the 1 position and check which extension the picture appears on on your TV set.
Once it is turned on and connected, you have the Fisher Price logo coming up, you are then faced with the main screen. This allows you to choose your vehicle (choice of a bus, a racing car and a quad bike) and customise it. To select one of these, just press one of the red buttons on the handlebar (good for right or left handed children). Just repeat the same for the choice of colour (yellow, purple, red, orange or blue) and the choice of 5 car decorations and horns. If you do not press in a certain amount of time, it will automatically choose one for your child. All this is done with instruction from the friendly talking bus.
Learning adventure is the main game. This is the first screen you come to when you have done the above selection. Once your child starts pedalling, the front of their car moves along on the screen. The faster the pedalling, the faster the car goes. You use the handlebar to steer towards some circular shapes and catch them. The first one you get will determine what you will have to get. You have a choice of letters of the alphabet, numbers and shapes. I have to say that my son will steer towards the first one that appears and it usually is the alphabet. Thereafter, you have your target catch on the top left hand side of the screen in sequence (eg: for letters, the first 3 ABC, then DEF and so on), until they have all been collected and a new set appears as your next target. This is currently my son's favourite section of the game as he is only 2 and a half and is still getting to grips with pedalling. Most of the time, we end up pedalling backwards and this still allows for the game to take its course (except that we cannot see the shapes ahead but collect them when we bump into them) and it has the added bonus that it beeps as it is going backwards, which really delights my son.
Throughout the game, there are a number of off side ramps, which can be veered into for extra games.
1. Alphabet Barn:
This is the first stop in the learning section of the game. You arrive at a barn, which has 3 letters on the front (either lower case or upper case). Then a lorry arrives with some hay bales and a missing letter. The game will ask your child to pick the missing letter. When successful, there will be a "well done" and the letter will complete the word. Then the barn door will open to reveal the image of the complete word (usually an animal or farm object). This section is really good even for my son as he already recognises letter but this introduces him to lower and upper case and also shows him word formation. I think the image is also really good to associate the written word to the picture and sound.
2. Letter Creek:
This game is a bit more complicated but will be great when my son gets older. The main screen shows a river bank with a frog sat on the river. On the lower left hand corner, there is a word that will need to be spelled correctly. Bugs with letters attached to them fly across the screen and you have to use the joystick and the handlebar controller to direct the frog towards them and flick out its tongue to catch the correct letter. If you get it right, you score a point and move on to the next level, if you lose, you lose a frog's live (you have 5 of these). The score will appear on the lower right hand corner. Each level has harder words and the bugs fly faster. I have tried this one with my son and I find that he enjoys moving the frog around and flicking its tongue but we have not yet concentrated on the letters themselves.
3. The Big Race:
This game is were the exercising side of the bike really comes into play. My son has seldom played this as he is still trying to get the hang of the pedals but my nephew (aged 4 ½ years) is always on it every time he comes around. The first screen is the starting line of a racing track with black and white lines, a road ahead and stands full of people on each side. You can choose whether to have 1 or 2 players with the handlebar control. In the 1 player mode, you have to pedal as fast as you can down the road against 2 other computer-controlled vehicles. You win if you come first but there are no disappointed sounds if you finish last, only a well done and your time. This is really good as it doesn't discourage the child who will then go on and play again. The 2 player option is a single race with no other cars but each child has to take it in turns to race and try to beat each others time. The one with the fastest time wins. This option was used by my nephew to compete against himself and he really enjoyed it.
4. Shape Lake:
For this section of the game, you are underwater at the bottom of the sea with seashells. There is a nozzle that you use to point and it contains a shape. There are shapes, which come down from the top in bubbles and you have to point the nozzle (using the joystick) and shoot at the matching shape to burst the bubble and score a point. If it is wrong, the bubble floats back to the top. You have to try to pop all the bubbles before they reach the bottom. There is also a blowfish , which sometimes appear, and you can use it to blow any bubble even if it isn't matching (only realised this recently but my son does not understand why you do not have to match it so we ignore it). There are several levels and each has the bubbles going faster. I have not counted them as I have not yet got to the end of a full game. This is a great game to enhance hand eye coordination and teach children the different shapes. My son loves it as it is easier than Letter Creek and he can actually do this one.
5. Math Mountain:
This one is great for recognising numbers and seeing a representation of them in characters. You have a screen full of clouds and you move the joystick over to reveal a number. You then hear a number and can see and hear it being counted out. An example of this would be you see the number 3 and you will see three owls being counted individually. I have been using this quite often as my son can count to 15 but is still in the process of recognising the number. Although I always try to point him towards this one, my son only does it for a short period of time as it doesn't really involve him but any time spent on this is time well spent.
6. Number Fields:
I have to admit that besides the actual game play of collecting items, this is my son's favourite game. You have a tractor in a field, which is controlled by the joystick and you have to collect pumpkins with numbers inside them whilst avoiding obstacles such as fences. The numbers collected then add up in the bottom right hand corner and you have to collect as many as you can in the time allocated. This is quite fast paced and gets the adrenaline going as my son has realised that the timer on the bottom left hand corner (a long bar with yellow wedges counting down) goes down and the game ends when there are no more bars. Each level has the pumpkins disappearing faster and more obstacles to avoid. My son really goes for it on this game as he controls the tractor and the joystick takes a bashing when the timer nearly runs out and it is always a source of laughter and excitement.
These are all the activities accessible from the main road game but there is a bonus activity available on completion of all the others. I will mention as it appears in the handbook as I have not yet reached this stage and I have not personally seen it in action. The ant parade sees ants marching in summer outfits displaying letters, numbers and shapes. This seems pretty boring but cannot comment as there may be more to it than that.
All the games can be terminated by pressing the red button with a hand motif and you can then return to the main game. It will, however, always ask whether that is what you want to do so as to avoid a mistake.
Throughout the game, you are able to take pictures of the road and surroundings by pressing the right hand handlebar control. These can be accessed in the travel journal by pressing the blue button with a book motif. There you will see which picture has been taken and it will allow you to select them to put on your own picture on the screen. I have found that this feature is quite redundant at the moment as my son seems to either take pictures by mistake or takes pictures of everything.
The last button is the green one with a scroll on it. When pressed, it will take you to the map. From this, you can access all the games without having to pedal through the main game simply by moving the joystick and selecting an activity.
This is a great educational and exercising tool, which introduces children to letters, numbers, shapes, computers as well as exercising. I am not one to condone spending time in front of the TV as I like my son to be outside and to draw or flick through a book as much as possible but this is a great alternative to TV on a rainy day or later on in the afternoon. The age range for this bike is 3 to 6 years old and I have found this to be about right although the seat adjustment may be too small for a 6 years old child. However, I am glad that my son had this slightly earlier as it will grow with him and he will start to appreciate some of the harder games as he grows up so it was a wise investment (especially as I did not buy it). It is also easy to clean as it is mostly plastic and can be wiped over with a damp cloth or a diluted solution of anti-bacterial liquid but bleach is not advised.
There are also more cartridges available to buy to fit this bike with different activities. There is Dora the explorer, Sponge Bob square pants, Thomas the tank engine, Hotwheels, Go Diego Go, Dinosaurs, Elmo and Barbie Fairytopia. These range in price from £14.99 to £24.99 and I have so far only seen them on Ebay and mainly from the USA. I have not yet bought another cartridge for it but may consider it in the future as it can only enhance the bike.
Always seat on the seat
Always wear shoes (this is a must although hard sole slippers will do the trick from my own experience)
Only one rider
More information on this product is available on www.fisherprice.co.uk
Prices for the Smart Cycle vary from £85.00 on Ebay and £89.99 on Amazon. I am unsure of how much mine cost as it was a present but I would buy this for my son even at this price but I probably would not buy it for a 5 years old as it would not last as long and they would not benefit from it as much.
Will also probably be posted on other review sites.
A revolution in indoor play! It's a stationary bike, a gaming system and a learning centre - all rolled into one! It plugs straight into your TV and as your child pedals, favourite character friends guide them through games, learning discoveries and even exciting races. Keep them active even when the sun's not shining - watch as they improve their bike riding skills (hand/eye coordination). Multiple levels of play for different ages and stages! Includes Learning Adventure game cartridge, plus use the joystick for plenty of extra games and activities.