Product Type: Syma toys
Newest Review: ... for £10, but will work just as well with a much cheaper adaptor from Argos or maplin. It takes the same games as V Smile's main console, bu... more
A hand held for the littlest gamer.
V Smile Pocket Pink
Member Name: broxi3781
V Smile Pocket Pink
Date: 01/01/11, updated on 22/02/11 (50 review reads)
Advantages: Sturdy, lots of fun for very little ones, lets them have a hand held of their own.
Disadvantages: Price of games is high in my opinion, and the whole system is apt to be quickly outgrown.
I am reviewing the V Smile Pocket Orange, rather than the pink version, but have taken the liberty of doing so here as dooyoo often groups very similar items together. The only difference whatsoever in this model and ours is that where this is pink, our one is orange, or on the very bottom buttons purple. In all other ways they are identical so this review would apply equally to either coloured version.
I got a good bargain on this £19, new in box and so had it put away for our holiday later this year, assuming that since my oldest will be getting his Nintendo DS soon, the youngest would like a hand held console to play with as well. There are a few hand held consoles available for very young children. I chose this because we already own several v smile games for the big console, which we rarely go through the effort to hook up.
Although I had intended to save this for a few months, I ended up breaking it out a couple of days ago to keep the children occupied on a rather lengthy visit to casualty. My youngest has managed to break a bone in his foot with a flying leap from the top of the stair case. He had been insisting he can fly - sadly not for very long before hitting ground.
The console itself is about 8 inches across and seems to very sturdy and shock resistant. It has already had a few good falls. It requires 4 AA batteries and these have lasted for approximately 10 hours of play so far with no idea how long they will last in total. This can also be used with an ac adaptor, sold separately from v tech for £10, but will work just as well with a much cheaper adaptor from Argos or maplin. It takes the same games as V Smile's main console, but not the same as the newer V Smile Motion. The game cartridge simply slots into the back, and is played on the small well lit colour screen ( I am guessing about 3" as my son has lost the measuring tape again), or you can buy cables and attach this to the telly. On and off buttons and volume control (right and left) are small and located discreetly at the top of the console. The main buttons are very easy to use. My youngest is 2 years and 4 months and has very little difficulty. There is a cross shaped directional control on the left, a large enter button, which also serves for functions such as jump or collect. There are also four smaller coloured buttons which children use to select the correct item. These are actually used a good bit in the games, making this very easy for the youngest player. Finally there are 3 buttons to the bottom, the first of which is a "?" which will repeat the rules for whatever game you are playing, next a door which is fairly obvious means exit, and finally a large purple button with "Learning Zone ABC" written on it, which we have never used but in the interest of the review I have tried. At times it seems to function as an enter button, at other times as an exit button. The purpose of including it is beyond me, it is more a nuisance then anything else as my youngest does bump it at times, sending him to an exit screen.
One game "Zayzoo My Alien classmate is included, which I consider helpful and educational for my older son (age 5) but is not really something that captivates his interest for long.
This console seems quite well made and able to take the bumps and drops of being played with by a toddler far better than a DS would. The games are educational to some extent, and the controls are easy enough for a very young child to use this. My son is far below the recommended age of three, but really does have a great time with this. He especially loves just driving Thomas about in one of the Thomas games, but is also able to use the coloured buttons to select the right objects in other games. He would not complete a game without help, but he does have fun. There are games which are more educational that an older child can play, and my five year old has spent some time with this too, but it can not compete with a Gameboy or DS for an older child's favour. Still, for a younger child, who can not yet master DS, and is quite likely to break one, this is a very nice toy.
I bought this because I got a great price on it, and I already had a decent selection of games. I find the recommended purchase price new for this of £60 a bit ridiculous, and I also find the game prices excessive with many exceeding £17 new, and some as high as £24.95. The overall selection of games is limited and there do not seem to be any new ones being developed for this product, with V Smile Motion being the new thing. To the best of my knowledge, the V Smile motion games are not compatible with this. Most of the games I would most like to buy have not been available new here, and can be very dear £15 + for used.
A younger child 2-3 will not be able to complete most games alone, but the older ones seem to lose interest as soon as they discover "real" video games. By the time the children are old enough for the very educational titles they tend to want move on too Wii, Playstation and DS. I think this is brilliant for very young children, but quickly outgrown and considering the price of the console and games probably not worth the investment for the amount of play time unless you already own the main console and games. The price and availability ( or lack of availability) of games costs this product 2 stars in my opinion, but that said, my two year really does love this.
I have decided to add to this review after a couple of months of use. While I still find this overpriced, I am increasing my rating by 1 star. I am changing my rating based on the amount of use my son has had from this toy. I had expected him to tire of it once his foot healed enough that he could be running about again, but this still gets a pretty fair amount of play. My oldest son gave my youngest his old game boy, as he got a new DSI for his birthday, but at 2 1/2 my youngest can not really play the game boy. He is able to play at least some of the games on this, specifically Thomas the Tank Engine and Winnie the Pooh. He really loves this game, and I have been able to watch many an episode of Criminal Minds in peace while he quietly plays away. It is also great for car trips, Doctors visits etc... As an added bonus the games are somewhat educational and I think have helped him learn his colours, shapes, and numbers.
Summary: My two year old loves this, but I am sure he will be wanting DS instead within a year or two.
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