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Customer Review

1,097 of 1,124 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in LeapFrog, July 21, 2010
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: LeapFrog Leapster Explorer Learning Game System, Green (Toy)
To be fair, we've only played with one cartridge game and three leaplets so far, but I am thoroughly disappointed in LeapFrog right now. I will come back and update the review if the next few cartridge games end up being incredible.

My biggest beef is with the built in advertising. First off, for every new user you create, the leapster goes through a minute long ad insidiously called the "connect movie" about playing online and downloading leaplets, telling the child "for your included game, ask your parents to connect your Leapster Explorer to your computer, now" and again at the end, "for great games and more on your Leapster Explorer, ask your parents to connect now." Gee, thanks LeapFrog, and since you only get one free game per toy, not per user, this isn't even accurate. Once you're done with that, you reach the main screen where your child can re-watch this "movie" as many times as they want by clicking what looks to be one of the game icons.

A second built in icon on the main screen really jumps out because the little pet you can create always starts out standing in front of it and it looks like a old movie reel. It's the first button my four year old taps each time she turns on the leapster. Guess what? Is it a game? No, of course not, it's just a bunch of trailers for different games and it looks like it's maybe going to be automatically updated with new trailers as new games come out. I'm guessing this because the narrator tells your child "It looks like you've got some new trailers to watch - play away!" in a super excited voice. Back to the question of "is it a game", if you set the filter in the top left corner to only show games, the "connect movie" does disappear but the trailers icon stays. LeapFrog, if you're reading this, please correct this! LeapFrog might think this is a good business model but this kind of marketing to kids just makes me want to walk away from any future LeapFrog products.

As for the games themselves, my daughter so far seems to like the Mr. Pencil game. As for the leaplet games, I agree with another poster that you wouldn't pay more than $1.99 for an iPhone app of similar quality vs the $7.50 that each one costs. In my opinion, the leaplet game Wheel Works isn't even worth a penny. What a waste of money.

All of that being said, the screen clarity is amazing, the interface is easily navigated by my four year old, and LeapFrog has the potential for an amazing product here. That's why I'm giving it a 2 instead of a 1. They just need to respect the fact that we've already spent $70 on the toy and $75 on three more cartridges and $22 on three leaplet games and don't want our children to be marketed to directly to buy more on the darn toy that we've already put $150+ into.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 66 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 4, 2010 1:09:02 PM PDT
K. Crowley says:
Thanks for the heads up about the advertising. This too would annoy me. I'm now reconsidering purchasing the Explorer.

Posted on Aug 19, 2010 9:16:07 PM PDT
this is a very helpful review. i thought this looked like a cool toy, but absolutely do not want my child directly marketed to in this fashion. I might pass on the explorer.

Posted on Aug 20, 2010 4:01:25 PM PDT
thank you. i can think of no other company that i have such a strong "love this / hate that" opinion of. i will be passing on this one as well.

Posted on Sep 22, 2010 8:00:38 PM PDT
A. Austin says:
Great post! Many thanks for such detailed information. I guess I'll be passing this game as well.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 8:04:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 3, 2010 8:24:53 AM PDT
Al says:
Thanks for the review. I was thinking of using the Leap Explorer as a companion to my kid's Leap Tag system. I will definitely take a pass. To Leapster:- as a parent, direct marketing to my kids in this manner is a definite no-no.

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 5:40:22 AM PDT
Murley says:
I think you've just completely sold me on the MobiGo. I was reading people's reviews because I'm debating on the two products but that advertising thing would just annoy me to no end. Even playing in the store with the demo model, my son would hit some button and it would play a whole "introduction" that you could NOT bypass. That annoyed me in the store so I can't imagine if that happened all the time. Thanks for the honest review.

Posted on Oct 9, 2010 8:33:55 PM PDT
R. Mazhar says:
Thank you for the very honest review! The marketing thing would annoy me no end! I don't think I'm in the market for the Explorer anymore!

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 9:12:19 PM PDT
Not buying the explorer now. Can't stand the advertising!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2010 2:13:01 PM PDT
Thank you for the fair warning about this product. I almost made the mistake and purchased this for my son to give him on his birthday when he turns 4. I will have to look elsewhere. To bad demo looked nice.

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 8:07:44 AM PDT
J Myers says:
I hope Leapfrog reads these reviews, because advertising of this kind is completely making me reconsider buying this for my 4 year-old. I'm torn because I think he would like it, but I am very opposed to being forced to watch ads on a product that I buy. It's as bad as ads before the feature movie on a DVD - how dare companies make me pay THEM to watch their ads!!! Also, my son is a huge Wall-e fan, and the Explorer doesn't have this game (only Leapster2 does). The graphics are significantly better on Explorer, though, so now I just feel like neither system is worth getting. Too bad. :(
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