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I bought this for my then 3 year old boy to try and keep him away from his older siblings' nintendo ds consoles, and it actually worked! We bought it with a stiffened fabric carry case and with various 'boys' games - Shrek the Third and Thomas the Tank engine.
The console is well designed for small and chunky hands, and having the fold down screen ensures that it is well protected when left lying around. It has taken quite a few knocks and scrapes, both accidental and deliberate and is not damaged in any way. The games are quite big, so will not be lost easily, and are quite easy for even quite young children to put in and take out on their own.
The games are designed to help teach the building blocks of learning - their favourite characters on the screen encourage number, letter and sound recognition as well as colours and shapes. It is all done in a fun way, with targets or missions to complete and rewards at the end of each level. Difficulty levels can be set according to the age/ability of the child, so the console can progress with the child at their own pace.
The games used in the Vsmile cyber pocket are the same as those used in the Vsmile TV console, this was invaluable to us as we could borrow and swap games with friends who had this console in their homes.
As an additional accessory, the bag was also very good allowing the games to be carried along with the console, brilliant for long car journeys and holidays. The console will also work off of a V-Tech mains adaptor, which was readily available in our local toystore as well as online.
Brilliant value for money, will last for more than one child so is also an investment buy for a younger sibling.
I bought the vtech cyber pocket in pink from argos for £69.00. The vtech cyber pocket came with the cinderella game.
I also purchased the travel bag for it from amazon for £4.99
My daughter is 4 years old and loves it, its keeps her amused for hours.
It tough and durable witch is good as my daughter has dropped it a few times.
The games are educational and helps improve on maths, spelling and the alphabet. There is a huge verity of games that can be bought for it from £3.99 up.
There is many games that my princess likes due to them all being tv or disney characters.
My daughter loves guessing games and sing alongs.
The console has a flip screen and is in full colour.
Also has a pen for the touch sensitive board, i found this improved her co-ordination.
The games are very cheap to buy compared to some kids game consoles witch i feel is a bonus to the console.
The travel bag is great to store the console and has compartments to sore the games.
I buy rechargeable batteries for it as my daughter uses it a lot it takes 4 aa+ batteries. Because it is hand held and portable she takes it in the car, bus, train and even to grandmas house at the weekends, she has had a lot of use out of it so far.
I highly recommend this console for children between the age of 4-8 years.
Thanks for reading jemz x
I purchased this in pink with the Cinderella game and i cant praise it enough. I purchased this for my 5 year old which i think is just the right age, i wouldn't recommend this for any younger. The console is very sturdy/strong and has withstood a few drops on the floor already. It has a small screen but big enough and the resolution is fantastic, im very impressed for such a small childrens computer. My daughter absolutely loves it and played with it for hours when she got it. We have only got played the cinderella game so far but that is excellent and is a really good learning tool as well as being fun. It teaches many things such as maths, spelling, numeracy etc and games just for fun such as singing. We have not had a use for the stylus pen yet but my thinks it a fab addition and keeps pretending with it so will be purchasing a new game very soon
I brought my dayghter the v-smile cyber pocket for christmas. She is only two years old and doesn't really get how to play the games just yet but she has immense fun pushing the buttons to move the characters around the screen.
I decided to purchase this as she was obsessed with her older sisters ds and I was worried she may damage them.
The screen is large and clear and the games are educational (when she learns to play them properly) and teaches children their colours, numbers, letters and in some games reading and math skills.
The fact that the console can be purchased in pink or blue is great although the games that come with them are a bit stereotyped. Blue comes with scooby doo and pink comes with cinderella. I know many boys who love pink but hate cinderella!!
Since owning the console my daughter has managed to knock it off the sofa onto a hard floor, drop it when carrying it around and has dragged it behind her using the pen as a "lead" but it stll works perfectly.
Another plus point is that the games from tho original v-smile console can be used in these too.
I think my daughter would love to have more options to use the touch pad. There are only a couple of games that use the pen/touchpad but she is too young for this. She enjoys the ds as she can scribble away in chat mode. I have tried using the art studio game in the cyeber pocket but it does not work. If it had then this would be perfect.
I bought this for my 5 year old boy; it was to be his "main" Christmas present this year from me.
I was debating between this and a Nintendo DS, and due to money being tight I stuck with the Cyber Pocket, since it was around half the price of the DS and the games are somewhat cheaper, as well as being more educational than some of the Nintendo games I have seen.
VTech is probably one of the most innovative brands as far as kids toys go, so I knew I wouldn't go far wrong with this games console. They are also known for making their toys educational, so I was happy to let my son have this as his first ever games console, there is plenty of time for him to have the likes of the DS.
The box isn't very big of course, so it didn't look as extravagant under the Christmas tree as some of his other toys, not that it mattered - this was an instant hit.
The console comes with Scooby Doo's Funland Frenzy game; which, as far as my son goes, I wasn't too optimistic about because he's not a fan of Scooby. Or if you buy the pink version, I believe it comes with a Cinderella game.
_____________________The console: _____________________
The machine itself is really quite bulky, but it doesn't matter. It has a flip up screen and a touchpad which allows for more interactive game-play using a pen; this encourages hand-eye co-ordination in a fun way, just one of the many impressive features. The pen can be handily clipped onto the back of the console when not in use, something I didn't discover until a few days of having it.
Another thing you should note, is that if you've ever bought your child a VSmile console (not handheld, or indeed the non-flip screen version of the handheld) then the games are compatible with all of these, so it may well be that you don't need to buy the games if you have them already.
_____________________The buttons: _____________________
Around the touchpad there are the usual useful buttons. The first is the Exit button which you can use to navigate back through the menus in-game. Under this is a help button, which in most games will remind your child what to do next in case he forgets. There is also a Learning Zone button which is a handy shortcut to get to that part of your game, although we've never really used this.
On the right side is On and Off buttons, clearly labelled for young readers. There's also an Enter button, but I can't see why this would need to be used since there's a big round button which does the same thing.
Underneath is the 4 coloured buttons which your child will be prompted to use in most games.
The main buttons are the "joystick" direction pad and a big round enter button; both of these are big, round, and well-placed for little or large fingers and thumbs. There is a small clip on the back of the machine which you can use to flip these buttons upside down, to reveal these buttons in blue, and opposite for left handed users.
_____________________The screen: _____________________
The screen itself is clear, large and bright. You can adjust the contrast with a dial on the front of the console, but ours has stayed on highest. There is also a handy volume control.
When flipping up the screen the first thing I noticed was that you cannot choose how far back you have the screen, which was just a minor niggle, it will only stay part way up if you keep very still, but it's designed to be folded all the way back.
_____________________The extras: _____________________
There is a built in microphone, but I've not yet used a game which requires this, I'm sure there's plenty. There is a headphone socket which is also a nice little extra.
In the box you get a cable to connect to the TV, very handy and easy to do. Simply plug in the white and yellow connectors and it shows on your large TV screen; although not crystal clear, but good enough.
You also get a wrist strap, but as I mentioned earlier it is a little bulky so I'm not sure I'd let my little one carry it around anywhere far.
_____________________The games: _____________________
The games come in a range of ages and characters. The ones I bought are Disney Pixar Cars, Nemo and Wall-E, all of which have been hits - but my son (who doesn't like Scooby) particularly likes the game it came with.
I was concerned I'd bought games aged 4-6 for my almost 6 year old but there are different levels of difficulty which you can select so they are fine.
_____________________The price: _____________________
I paid £49 for the console in Toys'r'us, which was £10 lower than RRP.
I also claimed £10 cashback from VTech directly - I believe this promotion runs until March 2009, I posted the barcode and receipt to the address on the box, along with my name and address and received a £10 cheque a week later, along with my receipt.
The games are expensive though, I bought them on a 3 for 2 offer which was available to me as I was buying the console at the same time, they generally cost around £18 - £22 each which is a little too much in my opinion - it is worth finding out if your friends have any of the VSmile range so you can swap games etc.
_____________________The batteries: _____________________
It runs on 4 AA batteries which actually (and surprisingly) last quite a long time, it's worth getting some rechargeable ones though. I don't know exactly how many hours of play you'll get but I would estimate at around 6-8 hours before they die.
Alternatively, you could do as I did and buy the 9v adaptor (I paid £5 in a sale but they're generally £6-£9). The problem with this is it's no longer mobile, and the wire isn't very long to allow for moving around. I'll be sticking with the rechargeable batteries unless he starts sitting in one particular spot when he plays. Also if you're halfway through a game and accidently pull the plug then you lose progress! So having batteries in there too is a good idea.
_____________________Overall opinion: _____________________
My son loves it; I like it and have played it regularly. It's educational and fun, and fairly priced if you can get a good deal on games or especially if you have games from an existing VSmile console. He hasn't stopped playing with it since Christmas day.
I would recommend this for anyone who believes their child is too young for some of the older consoles out there, but if you feel you child would grow out of it too quickly (the game go up to age 9 I think) then maybe you'd prefer a DS.
A portable educational gaming system.