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Customer Reviews: 6
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Helpful Votes: 105


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LeapFrog LeapPad1 Explorer Learning Tablet, green
LeapFrog LeapPad1 Explorer Learning Tablet, green
Offered by founderdirect(We don't ship to HI/AK/PO BOX/APO/FPO
Price: $119.88
50 used & new from $2.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SAVE YOUR MONEY AND BUY AN IPAD, October 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Please do not waste your money on this product. It looks fun, and it is fun...while it lasts. I bought this for my son in August 2012 for his 6th birthday. He did really enjoy it, though I hadn't realized how expensive the apps and games are ($10-$25 apiece) and how few came with the unit. In addition, some of the games are little cards that you insert, not downloadable apps, which, as you might imagine, can be a tracking hazard when you are dealing with a small child. Also, the LeapPad burned through batteries like crazy.

Of course, all of this is designed to entice you to purchase the accessories, which I did: I got the gel cover to protect the unit, a carrying case which has elasticized slots to keep the game cards, an AC adapter to plug in so as not to use the battery (and ultimately I switched to rechargeable batteries). Between these and the approx $150 I spent on apps (about 6 or 7 games -- 4 @ $25 + 3 or 4 @ $10, plus shipping), I easily sunk about $300 into this unit. I figured that it was worth it, since my son did enjoy the games, and it was a great device to take along on plane rides, etc. and he could also take photos and videos.

Around June 2013, the unit began to have problems. At first, the screen would freeze -- I would have to remove the battery and then start it up again a few times to get it to work. Then, once it froze and didn't unfreeze afetr removingthe battery, so I went online and found some fix that said to hold the Home and volume up button for 5 seconds and for whatever reason this worked. (In retrospect I should have called the company then, but I figured as long as it was fixable it wasn't worth the hassle -- I assumed the product would last a while regardless). Then last month, the unit froze, and neither of the above fixes worked. I searched online a little deeper, and found that this has been a widespread problem since as early as 2009. There was a secret fix that LeapFrog would give out if you called, which involved a hard reset of the entire unit (which erases all the apps and then you have to re-download them), and I tried this. Except even the hard reset froze. So I called the company. To make a long story short, they gave me the same fix as the underground railroad gave me online, I tried again and told them that it didn't work, and they basically said that I was over the warranty period (by two months), "Too bad so sad, here's a coupon for %15 off to buy a new one." ?!?!?!

Here was my response:

"I am a little shocked that you are applying the warranty period in this case, given how common a problem this appears to be, based on the discussions and reviews online (including on your Facebook site).

It is one thing not to cover a product if it has an unforeseeable defect after the warranty period is over. However, I have seen complaints of this specific problem going back to 2009. This means that LeapFrog is knowingly selling a product that has a common defect - a defect that, I might add, seems to mysteriously surface a little after one year based on others' experiences and mine. Then you offer a discount code to allow people to purchase ANOTHER LeapFrog product??? This seems like an ethically questionable business practice.

I would like to speak to a manager in LeapFrog about this issue because I would like to know what has been done to address this common problem. A LeapPad is a computer, and this is the year 2013. It seems like something so basic as fixing a bug that makes the operating system freeze ought to have been developed by now, unless the business strategy is to purposely allow the units to fail so that customers like me, who have already sunk a couple of hundred dollars in apps, feel like they have no choice but to purchase another one.

My work number is (XXX) XXX-XXXX if a manager could please call me. In the meantime, I do plan to report this issue to both the Better Business Bureau and to the Consumer Department of the Connecticut Attorney General's office.

Sincerely,
Ren"

FYI that was three days ago and I have no received any response. I believe what I suggested in my letter is true: my guess is that some profit/loss person in the company has figured out that most of the time the unit fails after the warranty is over; that the cost of fixing the bug is higher than replacing the unit for the few people whose unit fails before the warranty is over; and that, in most cases, people will feel like to get their money's worth for all of the apps they purchased they will feel like they only economical option will be to buy a new (and upgraded/more expensive version of) LeapPad. Voila! They are clearly making money hand over fist, so why not.

Meanwhile, I posted a version of this review in my parents' FB group, and here was a response from another parent:

"This is helpful to know but not surprising as this has been our experience with every Leapster product unfortunately - invested in items for [NAME] thinking they'd last through each of the kids but Clickstart, Leapster Explorer, and tag reader have all had bugs and short lifespans:("

So there you have it. FWIW, I did the math, and a new iPad mini costs $329, with 16GB and wi-fi. You can access over 300,000 apps that are probably either free or maybe $1-2. If you do a cost analysis over time, my LeapPad for which I spent $300 and lasted 13 months comes to $23 a month. Meanwhile, if you got an iPad with 10 apps costing $2 (which is an inflated estimate), you'd be at $350 -- though an iPad would easily last you AT LEAST 3 years, for a cost per month of $9.72. And you can watch movies, read books, check email, etc. (In my experience Macs last forever, and at least if you have a problem you can make an appointment with a REAL PERSON at any Mac store.) And even if you added cellular data (so you could access the internet, etc. even in places where there's no wi-fi), that's $14.99 a month which brings you to the same value as the LeapPad -- but with so much more.

LeapFrog seems to be operating on an outdated business model (pre-affordable iPads/tablets) in which this was the only compact, kid-friendly computer on the market. Not so anymore -- they really need to get with the program, get into the 21st century with computers that WORK, and offer much better customer service and affordable apps.

If my review can prevent at least two people from buying this product, I will have succeeded in my mission of costing LeapPad more money than if they had just done the right thing and replaced my unit. Please stay away!

P.S. Go check out the one-star reviews for their newest LeapPad "Ultra" and you will see that some things never change!


Dr. Susanna's World Baby Foods Variety Case, 4-Ounce Glass Jars (Pack of 12)
Dr. Susanna's World Baby Foods Variety Case, 4-Ounce Glass Jars (Pack of 12)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Foods -- Wish There Were More, April 21, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got these for my daughter after she was 7 months old. I learned a lesson with my older son, whom I weaned on bland baby food (both store bought and homemade -- we're vegetarian so there's not too much variety), and from 18mos to 3 1/2 he basically didn't try anything new beyong mac n cheese, spaghetti, and pizza. I read that the time to introduce new flavors and textures is from 8-12 mos, so I knew I had to act fast on my daughter.

These were the only baby foods I found on the web that uses real spices. Other gourmet baby foods have fresh ingredients, and occasionally some vanilla, or cinnamon, added, but these have really complex spices like dill, cilnatro, ginger and cardamom.

I agree with the previous reviewer that the Dahl is the strongest, with cumin. My daughter didn't like it at first (funny, because she's half-Indian), but after a few tries she loved it. She also needed a few attempts at Tokyo Tum Tum (with soy and ginger). She LOVED the Baby Borscht, as well as the Sweetie Tahiti and Que Pasa Calabasa. If you're vegetarian, these foods are great because several of them -- the Mexican and Indian flavors in particular -- have lentils and beans (garbanzos) for protein.

I ordered two variety packs and went through them in about a month. Then when I went to order more they were (are) out of stock. But these foods inspired me to start pureeing stuff we eat all the time -- I've now given my daughter refried beans, stuffed shells, and polenta, and she loves all of it! I hope that she'll end up a less picky eater than my son (who interestingly, not wanting to be outdone by his little sister, has started getting more adventurous himself!).


Tiny Love Symphony-in-Motion Mobile- Farm Yard
Tiny Love Symphony-in-Motion Mobile- Farm Yard

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Happened to the Price???, June 17, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this mobile as a gift when I had my son, who is now 2 1/2. Even after he was able to stand up and we removed the mobile part, he continued to have the music box in his crib until my daughter was born. Now we have given the mobile to her.

Good thing we saved the mobile, because I went online to buy this for a friend's baby shower, and saw the price! This has been my signature gift for the past two years, and the mobile has up until ow been around $50. But $136.99??? Are you kidding me? It' a great mobile, but I'm not sure it's worth that price. They just lost a loyal customer!


The Contented Toddler Years
The Contented Toddler Years
by Gina Ford
Edition: Paperback
96 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Heart Gina Ford, February 26, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this book as my son approached his first birthday, because her baby book was my bible and I was worried that I wouldn't know what to do in the next stage. Fortunately, I haven't had to use this book as much as the first one, only because the first one works so well! By one year my son had a great schedule, was sleeping through the night, was eating three meals a day and two snacks (and eating very healthily and well, thanks to Gina Ford's weaning book). So, I've only really had to use this book as a reference for particular issues. For example, when my son suddenly started refusing foods around two years of age, I found Gina's advice so useful (totally normal, don't make a big deal about it and definitely don't force feed) -- we were able to navigate that so easily. Similarly my son suddenly started waking at night (nightmares, normal around age 2) and started wanting a nightlight (also normal, now he "reads" his books as he falls asleep). I think having a strong foundation was the key, but if you missed the Contented Baby book, this book also has schedules to get you on track. My son will be three this November, and the last guidebook from Gina is the potty training book, which I plan to use. Will write a review when I do!


I Don't Know How She Does It : The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother
I Don't Know How She Does It : The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother
by Allison Pearson
Edition: Hardcover
34 used & new from $2.49

51 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Don't Know How She Got This Published, October 29, 2007
I'm a working mother who read this during the flights to and from a business trip. It is, quite possibly, the worst book I have ever read. Normally I give a book 100 pages to draw me in and it usually does, at least to some level. This is the first one I read where, 100 pages in, it still had no semblance of a real plot or any development of its main characters. However, being stuck on a 3-hour flight and having a morbid curiosity similar to what you might feel passing a car wreck, I read on.

First, Kate Reddy -- supposedly 35 at the beginning of the 21st century --is SO 80s feministe. I'm 33, and frankly, the whole guilt thing about working, having your children in day care, and not being able to bake homemade cookies for school is so passe. I love work, I love my kid, the day care I use is fabulous, and anyone who thinks I'm going to be up at 2am banging on store-bought pastries to make them look homemade is on crack. It's called LIFE, people. You make your decisions, and you live with them.

Second, Kate, despite being a big-shot fund manager, apparently has no self respect. Any 30-something who graduated from a top college today knows her self-worth, and knows that there are plenty of firms and organizations desperate to get top female talent to join their ranks (at least in America). Seriously, if my boss tried to tell me I wouldn't be getting a raise/bonus and then added EXTRA work on -- when I was in a position to not even be dependent on the job financially -- I'd have a new job lined up somewhere else in about a month. Kate seems to think this treatment is just fine. Similarly, when the men at her firm pull a Clarence Thomas-like stunt on a younger female colleague, Kate sighs and offers a "boys will be boys" excuse to the other woman and predicts that it would be the woman, not the male employees, who would suffer if she tried to report it. What planet is she on? Can someone please name me a major company that would not IMMEDIATELY fire a man (who is, incidentally, also a known cokehead) who created pornographic images of a (minority) female collegue on an office computer and circulated them to all of the other male workers? I can see this happening in some factory to powerless women who have no way out, but this scenario really seems absurd to me in a high-profile international private company.

Finally, Kate Reddy is a disaster of a parent and it's obvious why she can't stand her kids -- they are insufferable brats. Being a working mother and having to get outside help to care for your children does not give you carte blanche to abandon your parenting duties and not help them to understand things like discipline, respect, and making good choices. This goes back to the whole "guilt" thing, which seems to be an excuse for Kate to not actually put any work into being an active parent. Maybe Kate should stop worrying about what the stay-at-home mom across the street thinks of her and use that time to read Dr. Spock. Maybe she needs to take a break from her bra-burning, man-hating rants and and actually have a 21st-century marriage where men (gasp!) communicate with their wives and do housework and help with kids and are not completely incompetent. In any event, Kate Reddy is my worst nightmare for a neighbor/friend/colleague and I felt not a single ounce of sympathy for her through the entire novel.

I've spent more time than I should commenting on this book, so I won't get into the stylistic downfalls, like Pearson's attempt to copy Helen Fielding's tone which results in redundant gimmicks like the "To Do List" at the end of each chapter. Unless your only other option is to fling yourself out of a window, don't read this book (and even then it's really a toss-up).
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2012 2:39 PM PDT


The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting
The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting
by Gina Ford
Edition: Paperback
178 used & new from $0.01

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saved our life, April 22, 2007
UPDATE;: I wrote the review below after using TCB with my son, who is now 2 1/2 (and still sleeps all night!). I just had a baby daughter, and am compelled to write again because last night, at 7 1/2 weeks, she slept through the entire night for the first time. This book is not a fluke. I will say, however, that it is VERY important that you read the entire book and not just start with the schedules. There is a method to the madness, and it is important to understand what you are trying to achieve with the schedules (fit most of child's nutritional needs in during the day, and sleep needs in during the night). Remember that Ford is writing a book for the 2 million + babies out there, so her conclusions are what GENERALLy works for MOST babies. Every baby is different. That's another reason to read the entire book carefully -- there are some very important pieces of information buried in the text, in the Q&A sections, and in the case studies, which address problems people have had with the schedule and suggestions to fix them (e.g., what if you have a "sleepy" baby, or a "hungry" baby? What if baby keeps waking up even after getting a little older? What if you get off-schedule due to outings, etc., in the early days?). I will say that there is nothing "radical" about her schedules -- I sent my son to day care at 3 months and guess what? They had a scheduled morning nap, and a scheduled afternoon nap. Babies will tend toward this routine on their own, the book just helps you to get them along a little faster. Oh, and I have had no problem bonding with my kids on this schedule -- in fact, I am so well rested I enjoy them thoroughly!

________________________

This book was a godsend. I think it goes without saying that you will be unable to follow Ford's schedules to the minute, but by giving you a general pattern, she gives you some predicatibility to your day. I honestly am very puzzled by the people who claim that this book somehow suggests that you starve your baby. Did they read the book? She gives you target feeding times, and suggests that you feed when he's hungry, but slowly stretch out the feeding times (by 5 minutes a day) until you are at the suggested times. In effect, she is supporting the "feeding on demand" theory -- she's just helping you to structure your child's day so that he is "demanding" to be fed at certain times. Put it this way: I followed this schedule while breastfeeding and my son was (and is) consistently in the 90th percentile for height and weight!

I put my son on the schedule at 5 weeks. We had to work hard to keep him awake for the first few weeks so that he would nap at the proper times and at night. Almost immediately he started sleeping from 7-10:30pm very easily, giving me and my husband a real evening back -- we could eat dinner, watch movies, and email, like the old days. He continued to wake up once at night (around 3:30) after the 10:30pm feeding until about 10 weeks, but after that he began sleeping from 11pm to 7am. Best of all, thanks to Ford's suggestions we never got him hooked on a pacifier, or rocking, or any other sleep association -- we put him in the crib wide awake and he babbles to himself until he falls asleep (and plays quietly in his crib in the morning until we come get him)!

One note -- heed Ford's warning about trying to put this plan into effect only with a supportive environment. It does take focus and work, and my mother, who was staying with me at the time, was a total naysayer and constantly tried to sabotage me. However, I stuck with it, and after about a month even she had to admit that the schedule was working both for my son and everyone else. But it would have been A LOT easier if she had gotten on board from the beginning.

Everyone we meet comments on what a happy baby we have, and I tell every pregnant friend I have to get this book. I watch my sister, who has three children who eat at different times of day and stay up to all hours -- she or her husband have to drive their youngest around in a car seat to get him asleep, and he still has a pacifier at 2 1/2 years old -- what a nightmare. She, like many of the other reviewers here, is convinced that this is just how my son "is," and her children would never be amenable to a schedule. Guess she'll never find out...her loss!
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2015 12:26 PM PDT


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