My daughter recently celebrated her 5th birthday and one of her school friends gave her one of these High School Musical 3 microphones as a gift.
On a visit to Asda yesterday I saw a whole stand of High School Musical 3 item prominently displayed by the door obviously to coincide with the recent release of the DVD. Out of curiosity and because I was looking for inspiration for a gift for my daughter's friend's birthday I decided to have a look at the items available.
I could not believe the prices they were charging for very basic items simply because they bore the HSM 3 logo! I eventually found the microphone that my daughter had received and it was priced at £12.69! I was stunned!
The microphone is made of hard white plastic and with a black and gold head. There is a circular part on the front of the handle that is the speaker. There are three buttons on the handle two are numbered 1 and 2 and the third is the on/off switch. The whole thing is decorated in stickers featuring the logo and the red, gold and white colouring of the HSM 3 movie.
The microphone plays two songs from the film which I am reliably informed are 'Can I Have This Dance" and "High School Musical" but the sound quality isn't great. The microphone can also be used just as a microphone although the sound isn't very good and it constantly buzzes and whistles.
My daughter has never seen any of the High School Musical films and neither have I. I feel that at 5 years old she is too young to watch that type of film but I know that a few of her friends have seen the films and even the stage show.
Because my daughter hasn't seen the film she doesn't know the song to sing along with it and so just goes 'der der der' along with the tune that is playing. She is aware of the film because she has heard her friends talk about it but the fact that the microphone was merchandise didn't impress her.
On the whole my daughter uses the microphone as a microphone and doesn't sing along. She prefers to pretend to be a teacher or tour guide and uses the microphone simply as a play thing. She likes to sing and can often be heard using the microphone to sing songs she has learnt at school like 'Sing Hosanna' or 'Big Red Combine Harvester'!
I certainly wouldn't have paid nearly £13 for this toy but I'm sure if your children are big fans of HSM 3 then you will be prepared to pay the price. It is well made but the sound quality isn't great. I would say that a price range of £5 to £7 would be more reasonable. I couldn't find an age range on it but assume it would be 3 and over. Bearing in mind the age range of the intended audience for the film I would say that any child under 6 would be uninterested. There are no obvious choking hazards or other issues with this toy.
The microphone is currently on sale at www.amazon.co.uk for £14.99 with postage costs of £2.45, I have seen it at Asda for £12.69 or on www.ebay .co.uk with prices ranging from about £7.50 upwards but there is obviously postage to add to this.
Anyone with children of a certain age will be aware of the "High School musical" epidemic that hit our shores about 2 years ago.
My daughter Kaitlin is six years old and, along with the majority of her classmates at school, is a huge fan of anything HSM!
At Christmas if you managed to get your hands on the product that I will now review, without paying extortionate prices for it, you were very lucky.
The item I will review is the "High School musical sing a long microphone".
~~~~~~ BACKGROUND INFORMATION ~~~~~~
Hsm can only be described as an up to date version of Grease the film. The films are set around a group of kids that meet at school.
There are the two main characters Troy and Gabrielle, that after singing together at a karaoke, fall in love and realise their passion for singing.
Troy is however a jock, so his new found passion doesn't go down too well with his coach or his dad, so has to prove to everyone how good he is.
Their two main rivals in a school talent show is Sharpay and Ryan, a spoilt brother and sister combo, who really don't appreciate the fact that there are others that sing the same songs as them and better. In the first and second film, the pair of them (especially Sharpay), try there hardest to thwart the couples plans of performing.
Throughout the first and the second there is a wonderful soundtrack of annoyingly catchy songs, most of which may I add I know the bloody words to, so when this product was finally available for us mere mortals to purchase and not just the Ebay community who were prepared to pay up to £15 over the odds, of course I purchased it!
~~~~~~ THE PRODUCT ~~~~~~
The microphone is about 30 cms in length and about 20 cms in width. The mic is made from very sturdy plastic, the body of it is pink with the mouthpiece being grey and textured to look like an actual microphone head.
On the top there a small cluster of holes to sing into and there is a large speaker on the front emblazoned with the HSM logo and a picture of the characters Sharpey and Gabrielle.
On the back there are two numbered buttons, one for each of the two songs programmed into the set, with (thankfully!), an off button underneath them.
There is a base that is held on with two screws, that after the batteries have died (two aa's), can be easily removed to replace them.
As of yet the batteries are still going strong in this unit, and it is played with constantly.
The songs that are played in this microphone, are from the second of the two afore mentioned films and are "fabulous" sang by Sharpey and "you are the music in me" sang mainly by Gabrielle, but also featuring Troy.
~~~~~~ SOUND QUALITY ~~~~~~
I felt a little disappointed with the sound quality on this microphone as from day one it has a crackly sound to it, almost as if the volume needs adjusting, unfortunately there is no volume setting on it, so it's put up and shut up on that matter!
The voice over though is very clear and crisp, and even with the high volume of the backing track can still be heard perfectly.
The microphone can also be used without the backing track playing, so when my daughter inevitably got bored with the two songs, she was able to sing along to her HSM cd, just using the singing setting.
~~~~~~ PRODUCT QUALITY ~~~~~~
Along with my 6 year old I also have a 3 year old son who wants to do everything his big sister does, so is, of course, a HSM fan, unfortunately this means he is very often fighting my daughter for the use of this mic, very often resulting in the mic being dropped or more worryingly thrown at the other child!
This has however, caused no damage (to the mic anyway!), and has had no effect on the usability of the product.....bonus!
~~~~~~ PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ~~~~~~
As I mentioned earlier, these were like gold dust over Christmas and were selling for in excess of £25 pounds on Ebay, I managed to purchase mine for £9.99 from Woolworths just before easter, I am so glad I didn't pay the Ebay price!!
As far as I know there at least two different microphones available, I can only assume one to correspond with each film, with the two songs being the favourites from each one. As this was the first time I had seen them in stock, I have to be truthful I panicked at the thought they might not be in store the next time I went in, so bought it very quickly, not really taking much notice of what songs were featured!
These are advertised in the Woolworths book and Argos (when they have them in stock), and are also available on Ebay, now around there actual retail price!
~~~~~~ CONCLUSION ~~~~~~
Would I recommend this product......... yes! I have had as much fun with this as my kids have, admittedly It gets pretty boring the second or third time of hearing the songs, but just watching my daughter sing into it like she's one of the characters is a joy to watch!! The price I felt, was a little steep, even at £9.99, you do pay more for the brand name on this, but again the look on my daughters face when the "Easter bunny", brought it her was priceless!
Thanks for reading x
Sing along with Troy, Gabriella and their friends from East High or sing alone.