* Prices may differ from that shown
Paper Jamz Guitar Rock 3
The Paper Jamz Guitar is another of my 9 year old brother James' purchases which decided he needed when I took him shopping. Before the shopping trip I had never heard of Paper Jamz, however by the end of the trip I was fully informed, not only by James, but also by the shop assistant in The Entertainer who just happened to be doing a demonstration of the Paper Jams products at the time we entered the shop.
Paper Jamz make a variety of products mainly consisting of 'guitars' and 'drum kits'. However they are not actually real instruments, but rather a thick(ish) piece of cardboard backed with a very thin piece of plastic and shaped like the relevant instrument. Within this cardboard and plastic mix is some wondrous technology which enables the user to 'play' the guitar or drums as if they are a real instrument by simply moving their hands across the guitar styled, decorated cardboard, well this is the idea of it...
Upon getting the Paper Jamz Guitar home it was simply a case of unwrapping the thin plastic and removing a couple of pieces of cardboard and a printed instructions sheet before James could play. The guitar came with 'demo' batteries already included and we haven't actually needed to change these yet.
The guitars (and drums) are available in various different designs, the one James has is style number 3 and features a design which I personally think looks like a shark mouth, however James is insistent that it is actually spiky metal as there are what looks like bullet holes in another part of the design. As well as the imaging the guitar is also designed to look like it has real strings and this is where you will need your hands when you play. Each guitar comes with 3 pre-recorded songs on it ready for you to play along with or to. The songs differ depending on which design you choose. On James' style 3 Paper Jamz we have Born to be Wild, Smoke on the Water and Mississippi Queen. All of which in my opinion are a little too old for the target market of this toy. James is 9, but at the time of purchase he was only 8 and had only heard of Born to be Wild thanks to our mums taste in music.
There are 4 modes for playing with the Paper Jamz Guitar, once I managed to convince James he should let me play I had a go of them all.
The first mode allows you to play the guitar to the pre-recorded songs that come included on the guitar. I found this mode to be rather boring because as long as you move your hand back and forth across the 'strings' the song seems to play perfectly. Needless to say I was instantly unimpressed!
Another play mode involves you playing with the rhythm of the pre-recorded songs and again I didn't really find this too exciting as by this point, to me, it felt like I could have had more fun with a cardboard box and a few elastic bands!
The next mode is slightly better as it is freestyle and a bit more fun trying to actually play your piece of cardboard... erm I mean Paper Jamz and without the pre-recorded songs you can get a much better idea of the ability of this toy to detect where your fingers are and play what you theoretically would be playing if you had real strings and not just a drawing!
Finally we have Karaoke mode, by the time I had reached karaoke mode I was ready to sing to release my frustration from this toy! My to my brothers amusement and my mums horror I took this as a great opportunity to dance around the living room singing 'Born To Be Wild' at the top of my voice and very out of tune with the guitar held in an air guitar style. I really enjoyed this... even if no one else did!
For me, I think this is a toy I will never really understand and would much rather get the Guitar Hero game out for the Wii instead. For James, I think this fulfilled his love of showing off in the playground for about a week and the guitar doesn't seem to come into much use these days. James has had the guitar for around a year now and while he tells me he really likes it and plays it, I think he prefers the idea more than the actual playing and like me, he likes Guitar Hero much better as it feels much more realistic.
The sound quality from the Paper Jamz guitar is reasonable. The volume can be adjusted and even at maximum volume I don't think it is too loud. There is a headphone jack on the guitar as well.
James paid £12 for his Paper Jamz about a year ago in The Entertainer in Birmingham. At the time it was reduced from £25! I would say the £25 is way too high and personally I wouldn't pay £12 for this toy but it might be worth it if it will keep your kids amused for a while.
Overall, I think I would just about recommend the Paper Jamz guitar if you can find it at the right price and if your kids are into the kind of songs which come pre-recorded on them. The guitar is well made and while I think that the idea behind it is great just like the super thin technology built in somewhere between the cardboard and plastic which enables you to simply touch the surface to play, I still felt as if something was missing from this toy to give it the 'cool factor'.
Only 3 stars from me and James, mainly awarded for the amazing thinness and yet still well made high quality of the toy and also because I enjoyed my karaoke!
Thanks for reading! :)
3 x AAA (included)