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160
4.2 out of 5 stars
LeapFrog®  Tag Reading System (16 MB)
Price:$113.22 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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301 of 308 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2008
Verified Purchase
There was an article about this toy before it came out in Wired Magazine. It basically interviewed the inventor and peaked my curiosity. So I purchased it. It is an impressive device by any modern day standards. Basically it's a camera that recognizes words and images on specialized paper (the limited series of books that you purchase). Once recognized it plays sound bites or reads the word(s) on the page that you are passing the pen over. It's smartly designed and a child quickly understands how to operate it.

At first it's a game and your child will just want to click on everything to hear the sound bites. As time goes by they start exploring the less than obvious features like read back and games. Before you know it you have a totally transfixed kid. It's great for a long drive and it certainly beats the pants off a dvd. I do believe that this device is positively contributing to my child's learning. I will say that the books vary in quality. I am writing reviews on most of them ; ) so you can follow along if you wish. To start with get Sponge Bob as it is the best of the bunch followed by Kung Fu Panda or Cars.

Last thought if you're still with me. This is a wonderful invention. I do recommend it especially for parent's that are looking for an alternative to TV. I just wish to caution that it is not a substitute for quality reading time with your child so make sure to read to them as well. Overall a great investment.

I hope this review helps.
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139 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2008
We use this toy for our almost-five-year-old during our daily commutes. It's wonderful because a) it grabs her attention and delights her during what is usually a very shaky, depressing, hungry time of day, b) it's not like a video game in which you have a catatonic child in your backseat who refuses to talk--it's an interactive learning toy that prompts questions and interesting conversations, and c) it's not obnoxious--no weird beeping, no shooting noises, no electronic "music." It's filled with great music that's real. (The most obnoxious it gets is when she repeatedly clicks on an interesting phrase. Last week we heard "It was spectacular!" five times, before she informed us what she believes "spectacular" means.)

It's not often when our child thinks that a toy is as awesome as her parents do. But I can tell this one is definitely on her short list. It's the only toy that regularly travels from the car to the living room, to the kitchen table, to the bedroom, and then back to the car. That's right. She *carries* it. She doesn't ask us to carry it around for her. As far as I'm concerned, that's the highest praise you can give.
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173 of 189 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2008
The Tag reading system is definitely a step up from the Leappad in terms of playability. However, it has its limitations.

- Unlike the Leapster where multiple users can share each device, each Tag is for a single user (player profile). LeapFrog highly recommends each child have his/her own Tag reader in order to take full advantage of Tag. Therefore, sharing doesn't work and means more $$$$ spent.

- Using a Tag reader on multiple computers might be cumbersome. I haven't found a way to "migrate" data easily, for example, in case of OS or PC upgrades. This affects the Rewards and the LEAPFROG Learning Path.

- Can only store 5 audio books at a time on the Reader. So if your child wants a different book besides one of the five, you'll have to connect to the computer to download/manage it. This will make it difficult for long trips. Memory is cheap, why not have more memory to begin with?

- Must connect to the internet, but then, who doesn't have internet access these days.

----------------------
Some nice points.

- Has a headphone jack!
- USB connectivity was pretty easy, but did seem a bit slow.
- Reader worked fine.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2008
My nonverbal autistic son loves all things Leapfrog and loves story readers. Leapfrog has combined the best of two worlds with the story reader component along with interactive features. I was worried the tip would be delicate and he would break it but no problems so far. The download is very user friendly, the only drawback is only being able to load 5 products at a time so if you have more than that you have to delete and reload but this isn't a huge deal. The positive feedback for the game features is a very nice touch - not only praise for correct answers, but hints to encourage success and promote self esteem instead of "no, that's wrong" or some other negative statement like many toys. Would highly recommend this product for both fun and education.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2009
All of the positive statements found in the many positive reviews on the Tag Reader are true--when the device works. Unfortunately, the LeapFrog Connect Software suffers from serious problems that makes the overall package unacceptable. Installing new books and updating the device with new software is essentially a crap shoot that can render the device unusable, because your computer can no longer put new books on it. This appears to happen most frequently when a software update is available. The update appears to proceed just fine by erasing everything on the Tag and restarting it, but after that, LeapFrog Connect indicates that it could not update the Tag and proclaims "Error code 3." A check of LeapFrog's website suggests that you should install the Connect software on a DIFFERENT computer (even a friends computer they say) to solve this problem. Since we had already done this once before, our two computers already had the software installed. They also say you can try uninstalling the Connect application and reinstalling it on the same computer, but that a new computer is more likely to fix the problem! We tried that and it didn't work (as they predict). The real responsibility for fixing this problem is with LeapFrog Connect's programmers! Until they address this issue, I cannot recommend the product, despite the fact that when it works it is really quite good.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2008
Verified Purchase
This is simply an awesome toy for teaching kids to read and have interest in books. My son takes his books with him where ever we go and he will sit for hours reading through the books. He loves the sound effects

However I do see some flaws with the system itself that I hope the company can address

1. the memory of the pen to hold audio's for the books is very limited. Therefor when my son wants to read all his books, I have to hook the reader up to the computer and swap audios. I think this is very annoying to do.

A simple solution for this would to make a reader pen that accepts memory sticks so you do not have to constantly swap out book audio.

2. I think a rechargeable battery would have been better than to have to constantly change the batteries.
The batteries die pretty quickly in the reader when used as much as my son uses his.

other than that this learning toy is really great. Hopefully an upgraded reader will come out soon
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2008
We bought this product for my 3 1/2 year old son as something to keep him busy on a long drive from NY to NC. He loves Tag and over a two week period I can't think of a single day where he didn't pick it up to play with it. He has three books: Ozzie & Mack, Click Clack Moo (Classic Series) and Cars Tractor Tipping (Activity Series). While he had more fun intially with the Cars & Ozzie and Mack books he has since invested more time into Click Clack Moo and loves it. This is another great product from LeapFrog and I would recommend it to anyone.

My son actually ripped a few pages (because he fell asleep with it one night) and I put some tape over the ripped areas, the pen still reads it just fine.

Great Product!!!!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2008
My son loves his new tag. He's learning to read and while he still uses his leapster and book reader he really enjoys this. I had no problem loading the software onto my Macbook pro running Leopard, very easy. I so totally love that the books are regular books that fit into the bookcase with no cartridges to deal with or spiral bindings. The tag can read just the word or just the page. And even without the book on hand it will read the whole book to you, like an audiobook. I agree the system would benefit from more memory, but it forces my son to plan ahead when we go on trips. Again though, no cartridges! As far as not being able to share the system, at least you can still use the same books.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2009
We did a full, in-depth review of the Tag on our blog at [...]. Here's an excerpt:

We spent quite a bit of time watching our two boys use this and had some discussions with them about the system as well. Overall the kids really liked it. We liked it too. It's neat, it's well designed, it's cool, and quite frankly, it's fun. But the key question for us was, will this teach your kids to read? Probably not. As great as this product is, it's more about making books enjoyable and about listening comprehension. There's no doubt that both of these are really good things. Anything that gets a kid to pick up a physical book and spend time with it these days is a good thing. However, if you're looking for a system to help your child learn to read, this might not be it. The way we see this working best as a learning tool is if parents actively engage with their kids while they're using this system. When kids are unguided with the Tag, I think they're going to default to listening and game mode, and like I said before, nothing wrong with that. But for real learning, turning off the "read it to me" feature is probably best. And keeping it off most likely requires the aid of mom or dad. With the "read to me" feature off, struggling or even advanced readers can use the reader only to help them with words they are having difficulty with. I think that goes a long way to helping kids learn to read.

And on a separate note, systems like the Tag are great for keeping kids entertained and engaged with books. But, I really believe that as parents, we need to see them and understand them as a good addition to but not a substitute for personal, snuggle-up, reading time. Well, that's my two-cents anyway.

Overall we give the LeapFrog Tag Reading System 4 out of 5 for great design, incredible technology and innovation, entertainment value, and sheer enjoyment. The storage capacity and battery-life both present some technical issues that could have easily been resolved in design and really hinder the overall score of this product. In addition, we'd like to have seen a bit more work done on creating incentives for the kids to read more on their own. That said, this is another rock-solid product from LeapFrog.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2008
This is a review by my daughter Tess, a soon to be second grader:

Tag is lots of fun. I like to read with it and play the games. You can do more than one story at a time with it. I like the nick names. When you touch a character, I like that it says something about the picture. I wish I had all the books.
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