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Customer Reviews: 44
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Reviews Written by
marshalmeg "Meg" RSS Feed (Frankfort, KY USA)

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PLAYMOBIL 6657 - Furnished Children's Hospital
PLAYMOBIL 6657 - Furnished Children's Hospital
Offered by Austin1414-US
Price: $129.98
4 used & new from $109.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Large Structure and Lots of Furniture and Accessories, February 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A fantastic set from Playmobil. I was thrilled to find this here before it was really available in the US, which will be in August 2016 according to Playmobil’s site, so it seems to be a European one but it should be completely identical. I collect Playmobil and love anything medical so when I saw a new hospital set I pretty much had to have it. This set is huge! The size of the box and the set when assembled took me by surprise. Assembled the building is about 22x13x11 and it rivals my big Playmobil pirate ship. Assembly time was about 2 hours. This is not a difficult set to put together, just a large number of pieces. The hospital comes fully furnished with an operating table, various medical machinery, a hospital bed, a basinet for a baby, a reception desk with chair, a baby changing station, and a small cabinet. In addition to furniture there are plenty of small accessories like medical tools, clipboards, laptop, phone, toys for the child patients, and more. If you are buying the set for a child be aware that there are quite a few tiny little accessories that could become lost or go everywhere such a tiny surgical tools, a coffee mug, and little medicine bottles. Even with all the included furnishings it does look a bit sparse overall so buying some of the room sets to bulk out the appearance might be something you end up wanting to do. Five figures are included - 2 doctors in scrubs, a receptionist (a more generic female figure but seeing as there is a reception desk that is likely her job), a little girl, and a baby. On one side of the hospital there is an elevator that can be used to move patients between the first and second floors. it is large enough for one figure pushing the bed along with a full hospital bed and another figure in it. The first floor has two rooms, one large one for reception/waiting and an operating room. The second floor has two rooms (one can be set up as a regular patient room and another for taking care of babies if you use the included furniture) plus a small bathroom in the middle. The front of the building even looks pretty good though it isn’t where the majority of playing would take place. There are lots of windows to let in light though my one complaint about the set is that none of the windows have any clear plastic, they are just open spaces. Theoretically this could make it easier to position things inside but just having these big open holes is a bit odd. Doing the windows this way keeps weight and cost down so I can deal with it. Plenty of floor space in the back allows hospital beds to be wheeled about freely.

Overall I am extremely impressed with this set. It is a large, solid structure with lots of room. It comes furnished, it was fun to build, and the accessories and figures that come with it are awesome.

View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack
View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack
Price: $16.98
115 used & new from $7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Very fun with the right apps!, January 17, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm going to be honestly and say I didn't 'get' the whole virtual reality thing until I got this for Christmas. This viewer has been extremely fun to use and a great experience. My phone (iPhone 6 Plus) fits perfectly and the viewer itself is comfortable with the soft black rubbery material around the eyepiece. The level on the side feels good and works very well. It essentially serves to move a stylus tip to touch the screen of your phone. The included 'reel' is pretty much pointless and View-Master's own apps are nothing special for their $15 price but this is a legitimate Google Cardboard viewer and there are a large number of excellent apps for both iOS and Android you can download (many for free) that work with any viewer and really bring this thing to life. There are all kinds of awesome experiences available through apps from artistic short films to virtual tours. A couple of things to keep in mind are that you will (most likely) have to remove your phone from its case and if you have a screen protector that can blur things and decrease your enjoyment. Also the latch on mine seems weak and it likes to pop open when I'm using it unless I am very careful on fitting it together and sort of hold it together with my hand while viewing. Holding it together is not as bad as you might think since your hands would be in that position anyway. The four star review is really for the weak latch. If that wasn't a problem I would give it the full five.

Again, do not rely on the included reel or View-Master's own apps as this will severely limit your enjoyment. Start with the Google Cardboard app itself and go from there.

Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6" 16 GB Wifi (Black)
Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6" 16 GB Wifi (Black)
Price: Click here to see our price
42 used & new from $128.95

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great big screen budget friendly tablet., January 17, 2016
The Galaxy Tab E is just what I wanted in a large screen tablet for my everyday use that was not very expensive but still perfectly capable. I realized a while ago that even though I love tablets my actual use in no way justified spending hundreds of dollars on a top of the line model - not for browsing the Internet, watching YouTube videos, writing, and reading. I also like to take my tablet with me everywhere - trips, work, and places I can sit and do some writing - so an affordable one is just way more practical. I’ve used small size tablets for a while but found myself missing a big screen, something in the around 10 inch size, but finding something with good enough performance at that size without spending quite a bit was difficult. Enter the Tab E.

From my use of it I feel Samsung has struck a good balance between price and features with this one. There are a couple of areas where you can tell compromises were made for the sake of affordability but for a general use tablet if a big screen matters to you this one is hard to beat.

Great things about the Tab E:
-The screen is big, colorful, and responsive.
-Performance is absolutely stellar considering the price. Everything is smooth, apps open quickly, switching between apps is fluid, and even running two apps at once works with minimal slowdown. It has handled everything I have thrown at it with no problem and never a freeze or even a hiccup. I was able to use it while it was installing and downloading multiple apps and updates when I first got it and not really notice.
-It is running a very recent version of Android - 5.1.1. You have all your Google applications and everything you would expect from the operating system.
-The shape is really nice. This is a very rectangular tablet. Widescreen is great for video watching and it is comfortable to hold. It is not a big square slab like my old Tab 4.
-It looks good and feels very solid. It has some substance to it. Some might call it a bit thick or bulky but I like its solid feeling and it certainly does not seem cheap. It is missing the usual bright metal strip around the outside edge of the tablet but I like the more uniform all black matte look used here. The back has a grippy textured molding. Mine is in a case so I don’t notice this much but it would not be slick or easily dropped without a case. All buttons (home, volume, power) feel solid and very clicky.
-Battery life has been excellent. I charged it full the day I got it and it was not until three days later I needed to charge it again and this was after considerable use.
-There is an SD card slot for video storage to supplement the 16GB of internal memory. I think 16GB it a little limited but expect it at this price. The SD card slot makes it workable.
-Wifi connection is strong. It gets full signal anywhere in my apartment and it both loads websites and downloads content quickly.

Is is for Economy. Less good things to keep in mind:
-While the screen is big and colorful it does not seem as high a quality overall compared to other tablets I’ve owned from Samsung. The resolution is not bad at 1200x800, which is really what I expected for the price. However, you can basically see a pattern of thin lines throughout that just says budget display. It is hard to describe what this looks like and it is not a defect as I’ve seen three of these tablets (my own and two local display units) and the screens all look the same. The screen is fine, just seems like cheaper/older/etc. tech.
-The speaker… Every review has mentioned the sound. I was expecting worse, considering. The sound really isn’t THAT bad, a little tinny, but the problem is with the placement of the speaker. There is one speaker and it is on the back of the tablet near the camera facing away from you. I really won’t get why it was designed this way. I have a case that folds over and I find this helps redirect the sound towards the user. If you want to seriously listen to music I would recommend headphones or a bluetooth speaker, It is fine for streaming video as far as I’m concerned.
-Some might find this tablet too thick or heavy. It is not super thin and weighs a little over a pound.

Overall I would absolutely recommend this tablet if you want something budget friendly but a large screen is important to you. I did not really discuss camera but I just don't use the cameras on tablets, especially large tablets, so I don't really have an opinion. Keep in mind it is a bit heavy and the sound is average. At this price for a well performing tablet from a name brand like Samsung the Tab E is a very good choice. This is a basic tablet experience - no bells and whistles but smooth performance and function. I am very happy with mine.

Kindle Voyage Case - Poetic Kindle Voyage Case [Slimline Series] - [Lightweight] [Ultra-slim] PU Leather Slim-Fit Cover Stand Folio Case for Amazon Kindle Voyage Black (3 Year Manufacturer Warranty From Poetic)
Kindle Voyage Case - Poetic Kindle Voyage Case [Slimline Series] - [Lightweight] [Ultra-slim] PU Leather Slim-Fit Cover Stand Folio Case for Amazon Kindle Voyage Black (3 Year Manufacturer Warranty From Poetic)
Offered by PoeticDirect
Price: $12.95
2 used & new from $7.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Case, July 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a good basic case at a good price. I was searching for a case similar to the official one I had on my old PaperWhite and this one seemed very close. It has a hard plastic shell that the Voyage clips securely into. The front cover is held closed by a pair of magnets that stay securely closed. Very importantly the case has a working sleep/wake feature and provides easy access to all of the buttons and features. The weight and thickness added are extremely minimal. I originally purchased a more expensive case. It felt nicer and was clearly higher quality but it did not function half as well as this one. I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a good, serviceable case for the Voyage.

Incipio Journal Solid
Incipio Journal Solid
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Power Button Cover Design Put Voyage in Reboot Loop, July 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Incipio Journal Solid (Accessory)
This was an extremely disappointing purchase. The color of the case was very nice, a little darker than pictured, and the material felt great, but the the case covers the power button with another button with a rubber nub on the back that presses down on the actual button. The case I got put the Voyage into a reboot loop from the button being constantly depressed either due to the rubber bit being too long or poor design in general. If it didn’t reboot, using the page turn buttons on the Voyage, which requires pressing down, activated the power button and brought up the prompt asking if I wanted to turn the Kindle off, restart, etc. No sleep/wake feature stinks at this price.

Kindle Voyage E-reader, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Kindle Voyage E-reader, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Price: $199.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but Not Perfect, July 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
To preface this, the Voyage is my 4th Kindle. I have owned the keyboard model (dark gray one), Kindle Touch, and 1st generation PaperWhite. I purchased the Voyage as a replacement for the PaperWhite that I have to admit I was never happy with because the lighting was very splotchy and it had a nasty habit of restarting books at page one if you went back to the home screen that no reset or update ever fixed. In retrospect I probably should have returned it. Oh well.

Prior to purchasing the Voyage the keyboard model had been my favorite. I missed the page turn buttons when they went away on newer models though I like the navigation options of the touch screen. When the Voyage came out I was very tempted by it but did not take the plunge due to price and because my PaperWhite was still perfectly functional. Recently I saw a 3rd generation PaperWhite in a local store and it had such even lighting and sharper text that I felt it was worth buying a new Kindle. I almost picked up the new PaperWhite but though since I was already going to buy a Kindle I might as well upgrade all the way to the Voyage.

Overall, I am glad I chose the Voyage and feel it was the right choice.

The big benefit of the Voyage, in my opinion, is the page turn buttons. The buttons are capacitive and both forward and back are available on each side of the screen. I really missed resting my thumb on a button in one place and not having to obscure the screen with my finger to turn the page or get it dirty. You basically give the button a little squeeze and it give a slight vibration and turns the page. These work great. I really wish they were lighted, raised, or more visible though because it’s sometimes hard to find the back button in the dark.

As for other benefits, the screen, unlike other Kindle models the front of the Voyage is complete flat, the screen does not sit down lower. I just prefer this and it keeps dirt and pet hair from wanting to collect in those edges and corners. Thanks to its metal body the Voyage feels overall more solid and ‘premium.’ Honestly, this thing feels expensive and that is niiiiiice. The lighting on my Voyage is perfectly even and that alone is a massive step up from my old PaperWhite. The position of the power button on the back is also a nice touch, no more accidental power offs.

One thing that has always bothered me a little about e-ink readers is that the text was not as high a resolution as a printed book. There was always a certain amount of pixilation. This is no longer the case with the Voyage thanks to a 300ppi screen. Having seen the 3rd generation PaperWhite, which has the same resolution. text on the Voyage definitely looks sharper and I think that is due to the screen being made from glass. This screen is now indistinguishable from paper. This is another plus for the Voyage.

All of the positives being said, there are many reviews mentioning a yellowish tint to part of the screen and I can say my Voyage has this, the top half of the screen is just slightly darker and more yellow than the bottom. I don’t notice this unless I have the light really turned up but it is there and at this price point I don’t like that. The newest PaperWhite I saw did not suffer from this. I also find the auto-brightness a little flaky. It is a good idea in theory but I find I still adjust it manually.

The Voyage is an absolutely excellent reader but writing this from the perspective of the newest PaperWhite with the same screen resolution being released that model is probably perfectly suitable for the vast majority of people at a much more reasonable price unless you really want those page turn buttons, and those matter a great deal to me. The new PaperWhite is also running a newer software with the addition of the new Bookerly font (looks excellent) and it saddens me that the Voyage is the top of the line but is currently lagging behind on software. I’m sure an update is coming soon but wonder why it isn’t already available.

Update: This update is late but the new update has been available for the Voyage for quite some time and the new Bookerly font really does look fantastic on it. The Voyage is still working just fine over six months later and I am pleased with my decision.

Kindle for Kids Bundle with the latest Kindle, 2-Year Accident Protection, Kid-Friendly Blue Cover
Kindle for Kids Bundle with the latest Kindle, 2-Year Accident Protection, Kid-Friendly Blue Cover
Price: $89.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going to exchange for more advanced model but this bundle is fantastic., July 20, 2015
I chose this bundle for the warranty as I’ve lost a Kindle to a pet stepping on the screen and because I liked the colorful case. The intention was to replace my old (1st gen) Paperwhite that I have never really liked due to the very visible individual lights and uneven lighting coming from only the bottom of the screen. Once it began restarting all books at page one if you went into another book it was time for a new one.

This bundle contains two main items:

Kindle - This is the basic model. It features only one physical button (power) and a touch screen. I love the clean design of this model and how the case is uniformly the same size. The darkness and crispness of the text are far superior to my old Paperwhite, it also seems quite a bit snappier. This model also comes with the ad-free version of the Kindle and I love that. I’ve had ads on all my old Kindles (old keyboard model, Kindle Touch, and the Paperwhite) and had gotten used to them but not having them has convinced me to just shell out the extra $20 going forward.

Case - I have the pink case and it is a nice dark pink color, especially when on the Kindle. It covers the whole back and the power button, giving the device a nice colorful edge. It has a nice grippy feel, being model a lightly bumpy-texture with two smooth panels on the back where your fingers rest. I have nothing bad to say about the case. It would certainly deter the Kindle sliding off a table or sliding around when propped up on your pillow or bed.

Software wise I really like the achievement feature in FreeTime on this Kindle and want to see that added to the regular adult mode. It reminds me of achievements in the Audible app on other devices and I moved quite a few books to FreeTime just to get achievements. FreeTime is solid and I can really see the appeal for kids. It is simple to set up and add books to FreeTime.

This is an excellent bundle and would be a solid choice for a child who just needs a basic reader. It is a great value. The biggest downside is the lack of a light. The one on my PaperWhite drove me crazy but it seems the lights have been greatly improved in the newer models and though I have a lamp by my bed I do most of my reading at night before going to sleep so I miss the light. The option for a light would probably benefit kids as well if they share a bedroom or read before bed so that is something to think about if you think you or your child would need/benefit from a built in light. I am personally going to return this Kindle and upgrade to the Voyage for the light and 300 ppi screen, but that is less a reflection on this bundle and more my own need. I thought I would be fine, if not happier, with this basic model but want the light option back. The bundle itself is great and I would absolutely recommend it.

Bandai Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Shuriken Gattai DX Bison King
Bandai Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Shuriken Gattai DX Bison King
Price: $46.00
195 used & new from $23.52

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally!, July 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I’d been waiting for this guy to show up as Prime eligible for months and when he finally did I snagged one quickly. Like all the other available Ninninger toys this one is highly detailed and fun to play with. I like how ornate everything from Ninninger is and pictures really do not do them credit. That said, I find one point of the design for Bison King to be very odd. When he is in ‘robot mode’ there is a large piece sticking out of the back by a couple of inches. You can fold this piece down a little bit but it looks odd this way. This long piece fits fine in the ‘buggy mode’ but in the form you will likely want to display him in it just juts out. This also makes him more difficult to display, I had to put him in the corner of my display shelf at an angle to work around this. Overall, I like Shurikenjin much more but really can’t complain since I intend to collect all the toys from this series. His combined form with Shurikenjin is very tall and looks great. Both look good displayed side by side and share the same red color plastic that ties the set together.

nabi DreamTab HD8 Tablet (Wi-Fi Enabled)
nabi DreamTab HD8 Tablet (Wi-Fi Enabled)
Offered by All-Great-Deals
Price: $89.95
79 used & new from $49.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Upgrade from Nabi 2, Still Not Where It Needs to Be, July 20, 2015
I also picked this up on sale at a local big box retailer a few weeks ago but thought I would come leave a review as I did for the Nabi 2. My biggest issue with the Nabi 2, and the reason we didn’t stick with it, was the lack of Google Play making the tablet way too limited and too fiddly to get content you would actually want onto the device. Now that the Nabi tablets have Google Play I thought it might be worth another try, especially on sale, and with the intention of returning it if it did not work out. The DreamTab was a huge step up from the Nabi 2 as it was back in 2013 but there were still too many problems.

Good things about the DreamTab include the screen, the built in pen, and performance. We had no trouble updating or setting up the tablet. Yes, there were updates, but no more than I would expect from any other new tablet. The main reason we got it was to be able to use the Wings learning system that we waited moths to come out on the Nabi 2 and eventually gave up on. From the time I spent messing around with Wings I was really impressed. I was also pretty impressed with Nabi Pass and liked the available content for the money. The screen was overall very sharp and colorful with no more of the limited viewing angles from the Nabi 2.

So, why was it returned? Well, I ended up returning it twice. Once I exchanged it for a second DreamTab to be sure some of the issues were not just a bad tablet, and a second time because it was clear they were not.

Poor Battery Life: The biggest issue was battery life. I knew from professional reviews that about 4 hours of use was to be expected and this is accurate. The real problem was only getting 8-10 hours of standby time. The tablet was pretty much always dead and had to be plugged in to a charger at all times when not in use. Looking at the battery capacity in the specs it is clear that something in the software is running it down horribly as I have older devices with much smaller batteries and somewhat equivalent specs that get days of standby time - including my two year old Android smartphone. Yes, I could turn off wifi or disable other features but I have never needed to do that on any other tablet or device. I could power it all the way off but, again, this is something unnecessary on other devices and the DreamTab takes a long time to boot back up. I exchanged the DreamTab largely for this issue and battery life was identical on both. I changed the battery mode to ‘Balanced’ in settings and it absolutely tanked performance, even on the home screens, thus leading me to believe the issue is software and not just a poor or insufficient battery.

Headphone Hissing: Both DreamTabs had excessive hissing and cross-feed through the headphones no matter what pair of headphones were used. The second one was much worse, to the point it was hard to hear over the hiss and high pitched whine. I haven’t seen this in about 4 years and only on the cheapest electronics. Either there are very poor audio components being used or the jack is not shielded properly due to a design flaw or oversight. Since headphones would be used often this was a deal breaker. Our little $99 Fire HD 6 is even cheaper and with no headphone hissing. The built in speakers were nasty and tinny sounding. The digitizer or adhesive was visible on both screens in the form of thin horizontal lines over the picture, really hurting the otherwise beautiful display. On the second DreamTab the square grid on the back was malformed. For the price, the hardware quality seemed inconsistent and poor. I also cannot fathom why a proprietary charging port is still being used. The port has been updated since the Nabi 2 but I just don’t understand why a standard MicroUSB is not in pace like the kind used on all other Android devices at this point.

Incomplete Software: The software still seems inconsistent and unfinished even after two years of further development. To give some examples - there are three web browsers that all do different things and have different types of controls. Why not one full featured one? The main one, Nabi Web, was especially disappointing as it just had built in sites you cannot control, 90% of which were DreamWorks sites and one was even a teen celebrity gossip site full of ads. I get that Fanlala, which is the company behind that site, powers Nabi Radio but I can’t see many parents of young children wanting that sort of site available. Figuring out how to get new lessons into Wings without finishing the current lesson was bizarre and under an app called “Bookstore” in parent mode. I could never figure out how to remove lessons. Some of even the 3rd party apps pre-installed just brought up a coming soon message. I am glad many of the features stuck in ‘coming soon’ limbo back in 2013 are available but Nabi needs to put an end to this tactic. Unless I am knowingly running a beta I expect all apps and software to be functional. Another software annoyance was picture books downloaded from Nabi Pass required a few seconds between page turns with a boxing saying 'please wait a while' spinning on the screen... so much for reading as this ruined the experience.

Excessive Bloatware: The software overall is still rooted in the pre-Google Play days of Nabi and now that the Play Store is available most of the pre-installed stuff is just unwanted or taking up space. I am not referring to the Nabi Apps and Utilities such as Wings, FoozKids, Nabi Pass, and other apps specific to Nabi. The problem is pages and pages (4 1/2 full home screens to be exact) of DreamWorks and 3rd party games. Many of these are not installed but in order to minimize the icons you either have to install them (then group into a folder) and take up a bunch of the limited free memory space or install and then uninstall them meaning you can’t get them back without a factory reset if you child ever wants to play one of the games. There was also a big chunk of unwanted Laurie Berkner music, a full DreamWorks movie (Turbo), and another shorter cartoon. On the one hand it is nice of Nabi to give you free stuff be free space is already very limited (7GB or so) and installing it all takes you down to about 6GB or less. Most families will already own things on Google Play or kids will already have their favorite Android games and videos. Most of these pre-loaded games are older and average. The DreamWorks games all wanted additional registration as well. No thanks. Thankfully there is a microSD card slot so you can use that to load up videos. By default, apps cannot be installed to the SD card.

In conclusion, the DreamTab is a big step up from the old Nabi 2 and it is far from the worst choice for a kid’s tablet. If not for the battery life and headphone hissing we probably would have kept it despite the software and bloatware problems. At the regular price for this tablet there are way better choices with higher quality hardware for either the same price or just a little more than is worth paying - Fire Tablet, Galaxy Tab A, Galaxy Tab 4, MeMo Pad, even previous generation models of the iPad mini are all better choices with higher quality hardware and much more polished software. We replaced this one with the Galaxy Tab A (which has an easily downloaded app for Kid's Mode) when it was returned and it is massively better in terms of quality and responsiveness, plus the battery goes for days.

Second Grade Big Workbook
Second Grade Big Workbook
by School Zone Publishing Company Staff
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.84
75 used & new from $1.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome workbook! Great colors and activities, June 5, 2015
Awesome workbook! Great colors and activities. No complaints.

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