Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Leag Frog LeapPad Explorer Review

   (Let me preface that this review is my own personal opinion.  I did not recieve any product or reimbursement from the companies listed in exchage for my review.)

 I am excited at anything that I think will make my gadgets look less exciting to my five year old.   The Leap Pad Explorer caught my eye with the downloadable apps and the more sophisticated look than the Leapster toys.

   The LeapPad Explorer is available at most stores for $99.00 new.  This is a lot of money for me to spend on a toy, and not something that I would spend without being able to try it out and see if it would hold my son's interest for more than a day.    Luckily I discovered ToyConomy , a toy rental company, through my fave shopping deal site Jasmere.   I was able to try a new service and a new product for a very discounted price.  Through Jasmere I purchased 2 $50 Toyconomy vouchers for $20 each.  So With a total of $100 credit to try our Toyconomy I signed up for their membership program which gets me
half off all rental fees, free shipping both ways, and a free Scout tote to use as long as I am a member. 
  With the membership I only pay $17.50 a month to rent the LeapPad Explorer.  I also rented a Leapster 2 so that I can compare the two and see if there is a huge advandtage for the price of the LeapPad Explorer. 

   Toyconomy ships fast, and as soon as I got the toys I hooked them up to my computer and I was able to download the free games that come just like purchasing the LeapPad Explorer new.   For the price of the toy new it is disappointing the limit of the free apps it comes with, you get Pet Pad (a virtual pet for your child.  The child earns rewards through games and can purchases treats and supplies for their pet), Art Studio, Story Studio, and one app out of a very small selection of your choice.  You do not get to choose from all of the available apps.  Additional apps range from $7.50 for a story or video , $10 for games , $20.00 for character ultra ebooks.

     The Leapster 2 came with one free game to download and I also rented an additional game from Toyconomy.   Leapster 2 works with the orginal leapster games which you can usually find for under $20 at most stores.

       Once my son got ahold of the Leapster Explorer he wouldn't put it down, he liked the games but quickly became bored with the limited games available and I was not yet convinced enough to invest more money into downloading additional games if I was not going to purchase a unit.   However he loves the camera and the video camera feature and that enough kept him busy for several hours in the car.   
     However I do not see him getting as much use out of the more educational features which I can keep track of though the LeapFrog Connect portal

Leap Frog Connect Learning Path
       I like that I can see how much time he is spending on each game and how much educational value he is getting out of  the toy.
   As I said I tried the Leap Pad Explorer out for my 5 year old, however my other children 7-11 also enjoyed playing with it.   I love the feature that you can connect the toy to the computer and directly share pictures to Facebook as well as easily save the photos and videos to the computer. 
(my son's self pic from the LeapPad Explorer, excuse messy face we were on car ride)
  For the price I would like to see it have wireless hotspot capability so we can download apps or share pics on the go.   I would also like to see a lower price point on popular character games, and see more games available through the app center. 
   For the rental price I paid it is a great value to try it out for a month.  However I think we will be returning it and giving some other toys a try.  Other than the camera and video camera feature I did not see a huge advanatage for the Leap Pad Explorer to justify spending  $100 on it, however for a family vacation or an extended car trip it is definetly worth the rental price from Toyconomy!

For more information on the Leap Pad Explorer check out Leap Frog's Website

Learn more about ToyConomy and their toy rental program at

and save money and try new web retailers at Jasmere

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