VTech's latest teaching tool, the MobiGo Touch Learning System, has just come out at Toys R Us -- and for those of you wondering whether to get it for your child, I'm giving you a sneak peek right here! I was so excited when VTech invited me to review the MobiGo at this early stage -- keep reading below to see what we thought, and enter to win one of your own!
MobiGo Touch Learning System is VTech's latest educational product for ages 3 to 8 years. It's available exclusively at Toys R Us and online. The unit costs $59.99 and games are sold separately for $19.99. We encourage you to let your readers know where they can get the MobiGo for their kids, too – Here's a description of the product from VTech:
Young learners mimic Mom and Dad with their very own touch-screen learning system. Major fun meets classic school skills to create the perfect edu-gaming experience.
- Touch-screen: MobiGo’s touch-screen technology adds a modern twist to electronic learning games, so kids learn while mimicking the way parents use touch-screen devices.
- Educational games: From fishing, coloring book pages, drawing and playing instruments, kids can discover a wide variety of fun and engaging learning games.
- Learning skills: MobiGo teaches a wide range of skills including math, vocabulary, spelling, logic and categorization. The slide open QWERTY keyboard introduces older kids to text typing skills.
- Portable: Handheld robust gaming console makes learning fun on the go for little hands and is equipped with headphone and AC adapter jacks.
Here are the things I love best about the MobiGo:
* This is the coolest-looking device for young kids ever! I love the sleek, sophisticated look, the QWERTY keyboard and the way you flip and twist the screen to open it up. You know how toddlers always ditch the colorful plastic keys in favor of your real-life car keys? I don't think you'll have a problem with the The MobiGo. It looks enough like a big-kid device for younger kids to use it without losing cool points from their friends. Yet it's still little-kid friendly -- for example, they can use the touch screen if they can't quite manipulate the arrow keys or the QWERTY keyboard, and it's rimmed in sturdy plastic to break the inevitable fall or scratch.
* My son Jammy said the touch screen was the best part, and I think he's on to something. The MobiGo's touch screen is awesome, really sensitive so younger kids don't have to keep punching the screen. I really wish this had been around when my kids were toddlers and kept getting frustrated when they played games on the computer and couldn't work the mouse!
* Based on the appearance of the device and the games, I would buy a MobiGo for kids ages 3 or 4 -- but the great thing is, this device will grow with your child and last a long time. The game cartridge that comes included with the MobiGo (the Touch & Learn Game Pack) has a variety of games that at first seem geared towards younger kids (i.e. the graphics are simple and bright, and the skills taught are very basic like lines and shapes and letters and numbers), but we quickly learned that even kids in the older age range (i.e. 6-7 years) will be challenged.
Case in point: Jammy selected the Difficult level in the "Space Challenge" numbers game, and although the game started easy (i.e. 1+2, 5+0), within a couple of minutes problems like 9+4 and 6+7 were flying across the screen. He had to capture the spaceship with the correct answer on it by tapping it on the touchscreen, so he was entertained and engaged while practicing his addition facts. Way to go, MobiGo!
Here are a couple of things that could be improved:
* There is no preloaded content on the MobiGo. Turn the device on, and you will get a message on the screen asking you to insert a cartridge. Yes, one game cartridge does come included, and if you connect your MobiGo to an internet-enabled computer you will be able to head to the MobiGo website to download new MobiGo games (I haven't yet figured out how to do this), but game cartridges get lost or forgotten or broken, and kids like to be off and running from the start!
* Each MobiGo unit can only store one named account. For a family with multiple kids (3 in my case), that's kind of a bummer since they can't track their progress individually or earn their own badges for playing games.
* We can't find the pause button anywhere!
* The MobiGo requires 4 -- yes, four! -- AA batteries so I can see we're going to have to budget for more of those supersized club warehouse battery packs. And even though the age range is 3-8, there's really only 1 game title (Ben 10) out of the 11 initially available that would be of interest to older boys (i.e. age 6-8), and none for older girls.
The Bottom Line
With a Vtech MobiGo, your young child will finally leave your smart phone alone because now he's got his very own tech tool to entertain him. It's a sound investment that should last for a couple of years of fun and learning.
Win a Vtech MobiGo
One lucky Bonggamom Finds winner will receive their very own MobiGo from Vtech!
Leave a comment on this post and tell me where and when your little one would use the MobiGo. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.
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I entered the VTech MobiGo giveaway on Bonggamom Finds! You can enter too at http://tinyurl.com/26kw47t
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You could win the new MobiGo learning device from @VTechToys! Enter now on @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/26kw47t #giveaway
US Addresses only. This giveaway ends at midnight PST on July 15, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on July 16 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a MobiGo by VTech for this review, but was not paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product facts were provided by VTech; the views and opinions expressed here are my own.