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VTech Thomas the Tank Engine Learn and Explore Laptop

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£9.99 Best Offer by: ebay.co.uk See more offers
8 Reviews

Brand: VTech / Age: 3 Years

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    8 Reviews
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    • More +
      12.09.2010 09:16

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      Great teaching aid for small children

      My 3 year old little boy loves Thomas The Tank Engine so was very excited when his Nan bought this item for him for Christmas. It is very attractive on the eye. It comes with a mouse that can't be detached and lost, which is a definite bonus at this age, it has a hard outer casing so the odd knock here and there doesn't affect it, and it also has a carry handle so its easy for him to take out with him especially on long car journeys. There are many different learning games on the Laptop. It teaches you to spell, use numbers and letters, and how to match identical items. The laptop has great sounds and plays the Thomas Theme Tune. Now to the downside- Although my little boy loves this item I think it is a little old for him at the age of 3. He does happily play with it but doesn't really understand what he's being asked to do. As he can't spell yet some of the games he can't do so I would say its more for a 4 year old than a 3 year old.

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      04.09.2010 10:37
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      A fun and educational laptop!

      Last Christmas my 2 year old twin boys had so many toys given to them that they didn't know what to play with first, in fact it was all a little too much so I kept a few stored away for when they got a bit older.

      One toy I put away was the Vtech Thomas The Tank Learn and Explore laptop.

      The main reason I put this one away until now is the age range this laptop is suitable for is 3-6 years so I figured it would've been a complete waste for them to keep it at such a young age as they wouldn't appreciate it and they would just break it. The past 2 months though they have been really enjoying this laptop with the help of me, they turn 3 in November and although they probably won't be able to really enjoy the activities independantly they will be of an age of more understanding of what this laptop actually offers and asks them to do.

      The laptop itself is a surprisingly realistic shape, as it has that flip up lid to reveal it's keyboard and screen. However it's more childlike. It's a chunky, brightly coloured plastic laptop, an oval shape but with an extra 'egg' shape on the bottom right hand corner which is where the 'mouse' is situated. Meaning no wires, therefore no dangers. The bottom part of the laptop is bright red, the mouse attached is silver with a green clicky button. The flip up section of the laptop has a lovely 3D Thomas the Tank Design to it. It is extremely eyecatching and appealing, both to adults and children in my opinion.

      Lifting the thomas flip up part of the laptop, you will first notice the colourful, decorated screen. The screen itself is very small, surrounding the small screen is an island (possibly resembling Thomas's Sodor Island) and all around this island are characters from the Thomas the Tank programme. Next to some of the characters there are clouds with words in, they each say .. Let's Learn Letters, Let's Play Music, Let's Play Games, Let's Learn Numbers. There is just one button on the screen section itself and that is a volume button, Perfect lol!

      The base section of the laptop has a silver background to it with colourful buttons, quite small which surprised me at first but then I remembered what age this laptop is reccomended for. The buttons are all close together making it resemble a proper keyboard rather than a child's play toy. The colours of the buttons differ and each of them are either worded or numbered. The main button to mention would be the On/Off switch. This is one of the larger green buttons, situated further away than the rest of the keypad. Once you press the button the screen 'lights' up and the laptop greets your child with the Thomas the Tank theme tune. You have a male talking to you throughout and he firstly asks what activity you want to play. Now to play these activities your child has a choice of buttons to use throughout, as well as the mouse. There are blue buttons, all numbered 1 to 10, each with a music note pictured on them too. There are yellow buttons, all lettered A-Z, with a smaller 'capital' letter pictured on them too. Last but not least there are 3 red buttons, one saying Answer, one saying Repeat, and the other saying Activities.

      By pressing the activities button your child can sieve through the collection shown on screen. Each activity pops up on the screen, each screen is numbered for each different activity as this laptop actually has 30 different activities.

      I won't go into each and every activity but one my twins have been enjoying recently is activity number 4. When we choose this one together, the narrator tells us Harold wants us to find a letter in a picture. A picture is then shown, but a letter makes up part of the picture for example an Ice Cream Cone is shown, but the cone is actually the letter V. The man then asks What Letter Can you see in the picture.. The twins then have to find the letter on the keypad and press the correct button. If the correct button is pressed then the laptop rewards them with with a moving picture of an engine and congratulates your child by saying things such as 'Excellent' or 'Great'. Obviously though children don't always get things right but the laptop doesn't discourage in anyway. In fact if they press the wrong button for this particular game they are told the letter they have pressed and then asked to try again, he says things like 'try again', or 'keep trying'. The man will do this 3 times, allowing your child to really try their best, but if they don't get it after 3 tries, he will then just tell them the correct answer. My twins are only just learning some letters but they have been really enjoying this game with the help of me.

      My boys actually need help with every activity at the moment but as they get older they will start to enjoy these games on their own and become a lot more independant with this laptop. It's not too 'difficult' and does allow a child to gain confidence in learning new things on their own and being rewarded for getting things right and being told the simple words 'Well Done' which can really help, and not being put down for making mistakes either. The laptop allows them to learn at their own pace, it doesn't rush them into answering questions and doesn't expect them to be learning at any sort of level just because of age. Instead your child can choose any of the 30 activities they like and enjoy learning numbers, letters, basic vocabulary etc all at their leisure. It is a very involving laptop, meaning the child has to do most of the work but it is fun for them to do so. It is a feel good thing when you get something right and when the laptop tells them they've got a correct answer it makes it even more special!

      Not every activity is about learning though, there are a few which are just simple games, such as the numbered buttons I mentioned earlier. During one of the activities your child can press one of these numbered buttons with a music note pictured on them just to listen to sounds and music.

      This laptop would be fantastic, it's perfect for the older children so the age range is perfectly suitable. However the screen itself is small, the pictures look distorted most of the time, and seeing as the screen is needed for all of the activities you take part in it seems a shame that it is a struggle to see what's going on. I wasn't expecting some sort of Nintendo DS screen, but this screen is very basic. It may even have been better if it was larger but it is really small, making it more of a struggle to recognise the black markings which appear on it.

      The laptop is chunky enough and durable enough to withhold a lot of knocks that usually comes with children lol. It is a perfect size for young children, not too heavy nor bulky, yet chunky enough for a young child to deal with it and use it properly. It has a brilliant design to it and the top of the oval shaped laptop acts as a 'carry handle' so it can be easily carried around by a young child too. Apart from the small screen this laptop offers so much for a child. It acts as a realistic laptop but with a brilliant Thomas design to make it extra special. It offers so much for a child to actually learn and have fun throughout. The activities are enjoyable and they provide hours of fun. As your child gets older the laptop allows a lot of independance and when your child is a bit younger a bit like my two it involves a lot of family bonding time where I can really sit down and play games with my boys and really help them enjoy learning so it offers something for all really from the ages of 3-6. Although a brilliant laptop, for me it loses one Dooyoo star because of the very small screen!

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      • More +
        12.08.2010 10:16
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        see review

        My youngest is a complete Thomas fan no princesses for her it is Thomas all the way!

        We purchased this for her Birthday last year and most mornings our house is filled with the chirpy sounds of Thomas puffing!

        What is it?
        This is a child's toy laptop with built in mouse. The toy has what in my opinion is a very small LCD screen but my daughter has not complained about being unable to see properly so maybe just mummy being over critical!

        The laptop has over thirty activities all of which are designed to promote computer skills as well as aid with early curriculum skills personally my daughters favourite button is the one which make the trains whistle over and over and over again!

        Why buy it?

        This laptop really is excellent value currently £11.99 on Amazon and as it is made by V tech you know that you are getting a really great educational product. I also like that the mouse is part of the lap top as it cannot be lost unlike one my Daughter had which had a detachable mouse first outing out of the house and R.I.P mouse and you guessed it devastated child!

        My Daughter is 2 and thoroughly enjoys this but equally my 6 year old nephew also seems to get a lot out of the activities on here and doesn't consider it babyish! I therefore think this is an excellent toy with great growing room in it.

        Games:
        The games are divided into lets learn letters, lets learn numbers, let's play games and let's play music. Under the learn letters there is help Gordon remember the missing word and a word appears then a letter is taken away you have to enter the missing letter.

        Number games with which number is lower than. I think the games are good educationally but are fun as well.

        Recommendation
        Ok the train whistle and soundtrack drive me nuts! I have been sat here with the toy writing this review when the youngest appeared and with very naughty mummy it mine has taken it back and is happily playing with it ! SO she would defiantly recommend it.

        I would also recommend the product as the educational games are very good but also fun for the children I like that this is a fairly small and very compact product with a carrying handle which is great as it means it can be taken on journeys out and isn't too heavy for little one to carry.

        I am also grudgingly impressed by the battery life as yet after 8 months of this toy being played with we have not had to change them.

        Defienatlly the right gift for Thomas Fanatics.

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        • More +
          28.06.2010 16:04
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          Great toy for little boys, but problems with mouse

          My youngest, nearly 4, is quite the Thomas fan. Well, less so now, but he still very much likes it. He got this toy for his birthday last year and has had fantastic use out of it.

          The toy is a pretend laptop, with lots of different educational games to play. My littlest loves being able to put this on when big bro is playing on the real laptop, he doesn't feel left out. After a few goes on it with help, he is now able to navigate it by himself using the mouse or buttons, although of course as all children he prefers it if you sit with him to watch!

          The toy is easy for children to carry as it has a handle as part of the design, and easy for them to open and close as it doesn't have any catches, but just a nice stiff hinge that helps the lid stay closed once you've shut it. The keyboard has nice sized buttons that are easy for little fingers, and a useful integral mouse - it is attached to the base of the laptop, but can be moved around. Unfortunately, this has now after just under a year ceased to function, meaning that some games are now unplayable for my son. I think this is a bit disappointing in a VTech/Thomas product like this which you would expect to last a lot longer and be designed for a bit of tough love from little ones.

          However, my son still enjoys playing the other games. His favourite is one where Gordon goes past on the screen with a letter in his carriage, and you have to find that letter on the keyboard. That gives you an idea of the sort of games there are. There are a couple of more advanced ones too, such as filling in the first letter of a word, but that is a bit beyond my son still.

          The laptop plays the Thomas theme when you switch it on (cue dancing!) and has the voice of the narrator guiding you through the different games. I don't find it irritating at all, as some other electronic toys can be for the adults in the house. And my son really enjoys the praise from the narrator when he gets it right - it is nicely voiced so that when he says 'well done' or 'amazing', he sounds like he means it! Just the other day my son came to find me in another room to tell me the computer says he's marvellous!

          The graphics on this are the standard sort of quality for this type of toy - very simple black lines on a sort of grey screen - but perfectly adequate for my son.

          This was received as a present by my son, but is available for £29.99 from Toys R Us. I think this would probably be a fair price if it weren't for the lack of durability in the mouse. As far as I am aware, the laptop hasn't received any more significant knocks or bashes than the usual wear and tear or being dropped a couple of times.

          Although this is a great toy and my son loves it, I think I can only give it 3 stars - 1 star off for the mouse, and another for the price given the mouse problem. I'd give it three and a half if I could, but I can't!

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            02.06.2010 11:51
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            Great buy for the price!

            The VTech Thomas the Tank Engine Learn and Explore Laptop is a fantastic little laptop for little people, and a firm favorite with my 3 year old 'Thomas mad' boy. This robust and durable toy has been a hit with all the kids that come to play, and the centre of many a battle for playing with - so much so it has to be put up away on play dates in preparation for the argument. I have to say though for the price a very very good buy.

            We've had this since Christmas and it's been played with pretty much every day since, and the change in my sons recognition of letters and numbers is obvious. Comes with lots of different activities that help progress children on, its bulky and easy for little fingers to carry around with the carry handle, Thomas orientated, obviously, in the game play - the theme tunes is starting to annoy after six months that's for sure - could have done with a volume button that little fingers can't mess with so easily! He he! . The only qualm would be the size of the screen as it very pixilated and small, but then at £15 what am I moaning about! Great buy for any Thomas fans.

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            19.01.2010 14:45
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            Would recommend to anyone with young children.

            We've had this toy in our house for 2 or 3 years now and I think it is one of the best toys we've ever bought. It is a fantastic way to learn your child numbers and letters, and I think it played a big part in my eldest son learning his letters. My 3 year old currently plays with it all the time and I'm sure when my 18 month old son gets old enough he will too play on it lots. I love toys that help and encourage children with their learning.

            The VTech Thomas the Tank Engine Learn and Explore Laptop is a little computer for little children suitable from 3 years. It has Thomas on the front of the laptop and has a handle so it is easy for your child to carry. When you open the laptop up there is an LCD screen which is about one and a half inches by three inches. If anything the screen could do with being slightly bigger, it is only surrounded by pictures of Thomas characters with speech bubbles, saying things like 'Let's Learn Numbers' and 'Let's Play Games'. I think it would be much better with a bigger screen. On the base of the laptop there is an on/off button, a row of numbers from 1 to 10 and three rows of letters in alphabetic order. There is also a mouse for them to use.

            When you turn the Thomas Laptop on you are greeted with 'would you like to play a game?' There are then 30 activities to choose from and I won't go into detail about every activity but they are all really good at helping your child learn. It starts off really basic for example activity 1 requires the child to press a letter, they are told what it is called but also shown it on the screen. I know this sounds so simple but it is amazing how doing this activity on a regular basis will learn your child to recognise letters.

            If you then progress to activity 2 this asks you to find capital letters. This is slighly harder because on the keys the letter in capital is only very small. A further activity requires you to press the letter keys and then it will tell you the sound this letter makes. As you go through the activities they do get harder and you have to find missing letters or pick out letters from a number of options.

            I think it is great that there are 30 activities for all different levels of learning because you don't want a game that is no good once your child knows there letters.

            As well as letters the laptop also learns numbers. Again this starts simply asking the child to press the letter 8. Once they recognise their numbers they can then go on to tasks that require them to put numbers in order or to do simple maths.

            As well as learning numbers and letters there are also some activities that are just fun games and some activities that play music ie. 'press a number to hear a song'. There are that many activities there is hours of fun to be had on this game.

            For all those Thomas the Tank Engine fans out there the games and activities are personalised to Thomas by mentioning their characters. Every task will say 'Bertie needs help finding numbers' or 'can you help Gordon get to the station?'.

            I cannot say enough what a great toy the VTech Thoms the Tank Engine Laptop is. It is a fantastic and fun way to help your child learn and has been one of the best things we have ever bought for them.

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            07.12.2009 18:10
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            Overall a great little toy

            This is such a worfit little toy. Quite cheap (GREAT!) and helps a lopt with learning etc. My little sister, carrys it around with her all the time which is so cute. When my mum got it for her i must say she had a regret. 1) She would never put it down. 2) We heard this little sound everytime she put it on and you could not mute it! Ah! Could have thrown it out the windows, so badly! This is quite a quick little review because my dinners ready in 5 mins ( not releavent i know). Definatley worfit and effective. I've heard that it can actually help develop imagination and a variety of other things. Also some of these complex machines for children are good for you and your child to do together. That not only helps them but gives you some time to spend with your child!

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              21.10.2009 09:40
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              Buy one - you won't be disappointed

              Wow! What a computer for a toddler.

              My son was 2 when he got this laptop and was just beginning to take an interest in letters and numbers and it was the best buy you could imagine. Within a week he recognised all of his numbers, and within a month he could tell you any letter of the alphabet.

              The computer isn't just a basic abc 123 either. It has enough games to entertain children until they are at least 5 or 6 in my opinion. There are basic games of recognising the letter and number and matching it to the keyboard, up to entering the missing letter in words which teaches spelling. There are control games for the mouse where you have to direct Harold the Helicopter through a track.

              The Thomas the Tank characters make it a friendly piece of equipment and the bright colour coded keys make it easy to distinguish numbers and letters.

              The design is sturdy and easy for little hands, with a fantastic carry handle to make it easy to transport and take on journeys. My son's computer has had plenty of knocks and bumps and still works perfectly.

              The screen isn't fantastic quality but for a 3 year old you certainly don't need anything better and for the price I would say this is the best buy I have had in a long time.

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            • Product Details

              Steam ahead to early learning and computer skills with Thomas & Friends! Equipped with mouse, LCD screen and alphanumerical keyboard teaches language, maths, time concepts and more with fun music and sounds.