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Lonnie E. Holder's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1931
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Lonnie E. Holder "The Review's the Thing" RSS Feed (Columbus, Indiana, United States)
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Crayola Color Wonder Light Up Stamper
Crayola Color Wonder Light Up Stamper
Price: $24.99
10 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another marvelous Color Wonder product., September 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have been big fans of Crayola Color Wonder for some time, especially after our granddaughter was born. She can color to her heart's content without getting anything else messy, particularly herself. Crayola has augmented the Color Wonder line by adding stampers.

This particular set includes 10 different stamps with an ocean theme, such as whale, clam, fish, crab, etc. Three different pads are included for three colors, with a cover to keep the pads from drying. This set also includes three Color Wonder markers to color the various sea critters created by the stamps. In addition to all the other goodies, this set includes a twelve page drawing pad so that an artist can create an undersea extravaganza.

The stamps connect to a stamper that lights up. The only drawback to the stamper is the connection to the base where the batteries are located. While keeping the batteries in the base makes the stamper lighter than it otherwise would be, it means the stamper needs to be connected to the base by a wire, which can get in the way. It does help to orient the base so that the wire is directly over the paper, providing the greatest freedom of movement. Even so, the wire sometimes needs to be repositioned so that a budding artist can fully explore their medium.

We continue to buy Color Wonder products, and have multiple sets of markers and coloring books. The stamper provides another creative option for the Color Wonder line, and we love it.

Enjoy!


Manhattan Toy Travel + Comfort Tactile Bear Play Mat
Manhattan Toy Travel + Comfort Tactile Bear Play Mat
Offered by SXT Performance
Price: $54.94
5 used & new from $50.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Soft Attractive Mat for the New Baby, August 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Though this soft round pad is advertised as a play mat, we consider it an all purpose location for changing a diaper, a temporary place for baby to rest, etc. It can also serve as a relatively small play area, but at 30 inches in diameter, it is a bit on the small side for a true play area. On the other hand, this mat can be positioned on a blanket to form a large play area.

As can be seen from the image, this small mat is shaped like a peacefully sleeping bear cub. The outer surfaces are soft. This mat could potentially be used for baby from approximately newborn to more than a year old. By the time most babies are beginning to do some serious crawling and walking, they will be leaving their play mat behind, though they may still be attracted to it just for the familiarity of the mat.

Parts of the mat make crinkly paper noises, which can provide a bit of entertainment for baby as baby recognizes that it can affect its environment.

As it arrives, this mat is beautifully presented folded with a pretty bow, ready to be a gift at a baby shower or directly to a new parent or parent-to-be. Though the color is light blue, truly this mat could be used for either boys or girls.

While this small, soft, attractive play mat may only be used for the first year or so for most babies, it's size makes it portable and useful on trips. Even if the mat suffers a bit of wear and tear and becomes soiled, pop it into the washing machine and it will be ready to go again.

One disadvantage to this mat is its price. Yes, the mat is beautiful, almost a work of art, but many people are seeking affordable functionality. This mat is more oriented to be a gift as most parents will be trying to figure out how to pay for the new addition as well as all the things needed for baby's first year. On the other hand, any new parent would be thrilled to have this beautiful mat, which can start as a place for baby to lay, and once baby grows beyond the need for this mat, it can be a wall hanging.

This soft mat is pretty and makes a great gift. It combines beauty and functionality, and can either be kept for another baby, passed on to a friend or family member, or turned into a wall hanging or other decoration.

Enjoy!


Fisher-Price Little People Spinnin' Sounds Airport
Fisher-Price Little People Spinnin' Sounds Airport
Price: $39.93
12 used & new from $32.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Either start a Little People set or add to an existing set., August 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When my children were small, we had the original Fisher-Price airport, along with another plane, a helicopter, and some related items. We also had dozens of the little round people; enough to fill a Fisher-Price sized stadium. This set carries on the tradition started by those Fisher-Price sets.

The earlier Fisher-Price sets were big on imagination, with little to nothing in the way of sound or noise, and voices were completely non-existent. This Fisher-Price set contains a major action piece that provides its own sounds and voices in the form of a tall tower. When a child or adult lifts the center platform on which is positioned a two-passenger plane that also holds a piece of luggage to the top of the tower, a latch holds the platform in position. During the lifting process, the toy provides sound effects. Once at the top, a button on the top of the tower releases the plane, which spirals down for a landing, providing additional sound effects and voices. By pressing on the pilot's seat, even more voices and music are provided.

In addition to the central tower, this set includes a control tower, with its own radar antenna, a wheeled transport that holds two pieces of luggage, a fueling station/maintenance bay, a couple of chairs, a table, and two characters. The two characters can be positioned in the plane, on the transport, and in the chairs.

Are there any downsides to this airport complex? My main complaint is that the airplane must be screwed to the platform rather than being removable. Being removable would have made this set better. The only other thing that would be nice is more characters, but those can be obtained by purchasing other sets. It would also be nice to buy another plane or two separate from the plane affixed to the central tower to have some truly long distance flights.

This Fisher-Price Little People set is great fun for children ages 2 and up. While Fisher-Price suggests ages 1 1/2, I suggest a bit older to reduce the risk of permanent destruction of the set.

This little people airport set is a great gift for just about any child age 2-5. This set is even better with other Little People sets. This set has enough features to be the core of a Little People city. The sounds and voices are great extras.

Enjoy!


Fisher-Price Nickelodeon Blaze and the Monster Machines Super Stunts Blaze
Fisher-Price Nickelodeon Blaze and the Monster Machines Super Stunts Blaze
Price: $34.97
15 used & new from $30.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun if you have lots of room., August 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This toy is a knock-it-out-of-the-park hit. Sure, the toy is, as one reviewer noted, "limited play." The "limited" part is that it does five things, and requires a ton of room, like a family room or a really big outdoor area. Blaze does not work well on carpeting. Though Blaze "only" does five things, periodically you get cued to give Blaze a hand, like filling his tires or revving his engine.

Blaze is surprisingly heavy, but the weight is needed to help Blaze do his multiple stunts. A lever automatically lowers to help Blaze do his various stunts. Technically, Blaze only does five things, four of which are stunts, but Blaze seems to do a bit of ad-libbing from time to time that makes the five stunts seem like a lot more. Blaze lifts up from the back, from the front, from the side, and does tail spins. Blaze also talks and provides his own music. Admittedly, the talking and music can get a little old, but it is so amusing to watch Blaze do tricks that we had little time to be bored.

The only "down side" to Blaze is that Blaze requires a LOT of area without carpeting to do his stunts. Blaze does have a power mode that works okay on carpet, but any stunts that use the automatic lever work much better on a relatively smooth surface, like a concrete or hardwood floor.

We have had many different toy vehicles over the decades, some of which were nearly the cost of this vehicle. Many of those vehicles only did one thing. Occasionally they might do something else, like pop a wheelie. But none of those vehicles would do all the things this vehicle will do. Frankly, I would have loved this toy as a child. What the heck, I love this toy as an adult. Then there are the grandchildren, if they can get it away from grandpa.

Enjoy!


Wrangler Men's Authentics Premium Straight Stretch Pant
Wrangler Men's Authentics Premium Straight Stretch Pant
Price: $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Affordable pants that fit well and look good enough to go to the office, with or without a sport coat!, August 30, 2015
These pants are comfortable and match with a sport coat. Essentially, what's not to like about these pants? They have 5% spandex, meaning that they stretch to help you out with a few pounds, and they still look good. I originally thought these pants were denim, but they appear to be Wrangler's version of khakis, which means you can wear them to an office that requires the dreaded "business casual." Or wear them on casual Fridays.

The only concern I have is that pants are generally something that I like to try before I buy, because everyone's body is a different shape. I have had two pairs of pants of allegedly the same size: one fit perfectly, and I hated the other. So, even though I like these pants for their look and fit, I am slightly reluctant to provide an unqualified recommendation because of how each person wears pants.

These affordable pants look good, wear well, and can go with a sport coat. If you find these pants fit, you should get several pairs to fill out your wardrobe.

Enjoy!


My Little Pony Poppin' Pinkie Pie Game
My Little Pony Poppin' Pinkie Pie Game
Price: $21.99
6 used & new from $21.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive, Fast, and Easy Game to Play, August 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Here is a toy that inspires mixed feelings. On the one hand, it can be addictive for short periods of time. On the other hand, the game is the same thing over and over. We played it and liked it. Winning is a matter of 100% chance.

Assembly is easy. Out of the box there are a few parts. One portion is the upper tier of a cake. Pinkie Pie is on a post that gets pushed into the lower tier of the cake. After Pinkie Pie is pushed into the upper tier, a lid covers Pinkie Pie. Lastly, there are twelve decorations. Each person inserts a decoration into the cake until Pinkie Pie pops out. The winner is the person who made Pinkie Pie pop out. Remove all the decorations, reset PInkie Pie, and repeat.

On the plus side, this game is fast. From start to finish, the game is over in less than a minute. I doubt there are many children with an attention span of less than a minute. Resetting the game is relatively quick as well. If a couple of players are enthusiastic, they can keep track of the number of times each person wins. Also a plus, Pinkie Pie is the central character. If the game gets to be too boring, leave PInkie Pie popped up and keep the cake decorations on, and set the whole thing on a shelf as a decoration. What's to lose here?

On the down side, the game can get old quickly. On the other hand, you play for twenty minutes, get popping Pinkie Pie out of your system, and move on to another game. Some people might see the simplicity of the game as a downside, but in the 3-5 age range, simplicity is generally a good thing. However, even older children, all the way to grandparents, can find sufficient enjoyment in this game to make it worth playing for short periods (remember, a period is a non-zero duration of time).

This game is attractive, easy to play, and fast. It should be easy to explain to most children in the target age range, and even grandparents should find the game interesting for short periods.

Enjoy!


Wrangler Men's Authentics Fleece Lined Cargo Pant
Wrangler Men's Authentics Fleece Lined Cargo Pant
Price: $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Work Pants, August 29, 2015
All I can say is wow. These pants include heavy material with deep front pockets. The pants are lined with fleece, which will help keep me warm during cold weather. The pants even look sturdy, appearing to be ready to hit any job. The fit is fine around the waist, with extra room in the seat and thigh area for being able to move around, whether bending over, climbing a ladder, squatting down, or whatever.

Enjoy!


LeapFrog Scout's Build and Discover Tool Set
LeapFrog Scout's Build and Discover Tool Set
Price: $19.99
5 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Toy for Imaginative Builders, August 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Toddlers live in a world that is completely different from ours. This toy fits perfectly into their world. While it does not seem as though a toddler is "building" a dog house, after all, the two walls snap together onto the handle, and the various fasteners exist only for the tools, in a toddler's world, they are "building" the dog house with their screw driver, saw, hammer, wrench, and ruler.

This toy is colorful and pretty, and the toy tools really can rotate a couple of screws and a couple of bolts, and the hammer can be used on three nails. These tools are a great introduction into the basics of real tools, and could be the springboard for later interest in using and mastering real tools.

In addition to the beauty of the set, this toy includes sound. The sound is a bonus with music that will keep most toddlers entertained for a while. Indeed, when a toddler discovers that the two units they measure with the ruler matches what the voice says, they will likely be thrilled, if only at first.

This toy is perfect for younger toddlers, perhaps 2-4 years old. After that age, the novelty is likely going to wear off, if not a little sooner, because most toddlers will be mastering more complex toys. The tools and matching fasteners are great for developing hand-eye coordination. The voice adds a little because it talks about the various tools and teaches a few basic things, such as counting and colors. A perfect toy for Christmas, a birthday, or just because.

Enjoy!


Petcube - Interactive Wi-Fi Pet Camera
Petcube - Interactive Wi-Fi Pet Camera
Price: $199.00
31 used & new from $123.25

2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, not so great execution, August 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I do not hate this product, but I definitely do not like it. It was difficult to install the software and to connect to the camera. I could not get the sound to work reliably. It seems as though this product is on the market before it is truly ready to be on the market.

Because I had a problem with another wireless application recently, I decided to follow the setup instructions PRECISELY. I installed the Petcube application on my HTC One Android phone, connected the Petcube camera to power, and completed the registration process. Then the troubles began. First, I got a popup saying I needed to connect directly to the Petcube camera on WiFi, which I did. Then I could not get the Petcube application to respond, at all. I finally gave up and uninstalled the software and unplugged the camera to start all over again.

The next time around, I got the software installed, and the camera installed, and it seemed as though the camera worked fine, but I could not get the sound to work well. I finally gave up and decided to reset my WiFi router and cable modem to make sure all was well. I should point out that my download speed is about 30 mbytes per second, and my upload speed is about 6 mbytes per second. Those speeds should be more than sufficient for a camera and sound, but they apparently are not.

After going through the resets, the camera would not connect, at all. I finally decided to wait the camera out. It dropped the connection twice, and I finally turned power off to the camera and turned it back on again, only to get hung up on the Petcube application. I am not exactly sure how I got out of the stuck screen that said I should recall the call, but I finally did, and restarted the connection. Finally, the camera worked.

I have given up on the sound. With no sound in the house (no television, etc.), I went to another room to see if I could talk over the cube. The sound breaks up. The picture seems fine, but the sound works very poorly, if at all.

From start to finish, it took me about an hour to get the camera going, including experiments with camera sound, though it still does not work properly.

The laser is offset from where it is supposed to be in the picture. The laser calibration mode does not seem to exist in my software, which I find puzzling. On the other hand, neither is the "Me" tab that the online manual describes. Indeed, it appears that there are multiple differences between the software and the online manual.

Incidentally, the Petcube application gobbles power like a starving man at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Be sure you have a fully charged battery, or are connected to power.

I am a huge fan of people with great ideas that implement them for fun and profit. However, this particular idea is hardly even half-baked. The Petcube seems like an interesting idea that needs more development to make it a robust solution for home use. Until then, I wish I could send this one back to get it out of my house. We will not be using the Petcube.

Good luck!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 30, 2015 11:02 PM PDT


Panasonic RP-HGS10-P Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones with Reflective Design, Pink
Panasonic RP-HGS10-P Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones with Reflective Design, Pink
Offered by DIGITALGUY
Price: Click here to see our price
4 used & new from $35.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Bone Conduction Technology Includes Advantages and Disadvantages, August 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have heard of bone conduction technology for some time, but these headphones are the first I have tried that actually use that technology. My opinion is mixed.

On the plus side, because these headphones rest on a bone in front of the ear, and also direct sound toward the ear, the leave the ear open to hear other things, such as cars, other people, etc. I like the way the headphones sat on my head. The headphones feel a little strange at first, but once you get accustomed to their location behind your head, they feel fine. They do require a bit of adjusting to get them to sit properly. I do have a Blue Tooth headphone as well, but I have been having problems with connectivity and life, and these headphones use a wire, which is much more reliable - until the wire breaks.

On the negative side, it can be challenging to position the headphones to hear sound well. I played with the headphones and found a kind of sweet spot where the sound level of music was fine, while being able to hear others speak. No one else reported being able to hear the music, so that must count as a plus as well. However, certain frequencies do not seem to be amplified well, so keep sound quality expectations low.

These headphones also feature reflective portions. Of course, if you position your hair over the headphone, one or more of the reflective strips could get covered. The reflective strips are small, so their effectiveness is debatable.

I like the basic concept of these headphone. Bone conduction is a technology that is under-exploited, but given issues in amplification and the attenuation of some frequencies, it may be that the technology has inherent limits. I do sometimes prefer a wire over Blue Tooth because a wire is more reliable than Blue Tooth, though you have to stay close to the source of sound. I can definitely see an advantage to these headphones if you are jogging, running, or riding a bicycle on a busy road where safety requires the ability to hear happenings around you. Ultimately, each person needs to determine whether the combination of advantages and disadvantages is going to yield a benefit to that person.

Enjoy!

These are old-style, wired headphones. No Bluetooth so they don't require charging or pairing to a device. No mic or hands-free calling. You plug them into a headphone jack and they are ready to go. The headset is a semi-rigid plastic with a rubberized coating that goes behind your head and over each ear. The bone conduction part is nicely padded so it feel comfortable on your skin. The part that goes over your ear is a very soft, flexible rubber so it is very comfortable even when worn for long periods. There are three strips of reflective material on these headphones for safety when running or walking at night.

The headset is water resistant which makes it a good choice for use at the pool, beach, while working out or in wet areas.

The wire extends down from the left ear piece and measures almost 4 feet long. The wire is covered in a tangle-resistant rubberized coating. I really like that the jack is longer so it works great with my thick battery case on my phone.

If you're an audiophile and want to use these as your primary headphones for music enjoyment, you won't be happy. You can't achieve higher volumes and the high and mid ranges are slightly muffled. (The bass sounds great though.) You can achieve greater volume by moving the headphones around a little, getting closer to your ear canal. Of course, that muffles some of the ambient sounds so it's a trade-off.

However, I really like these because I don't like things in my ears and I can use them during times when I really need to hear what's going on around me. I also prefer the semi-rigid band around my head vs. just wires coming down because I don't have to worry about tangling and I think this style is more durable. These would be great in the workplace and I think these would also be especially good for teens, who are notorious for turning up the volume on their music to unsafe levels.

My only real complaint is the price. For headphones that aren't Bluetooth and don't have hands-free calling controls, I think the current sale price of ~$50 is kind of high but I notice other bone conduction headsets are similarly priced so that may be just my personal bias.


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