Thursday, June 14, 2012

vTech Toys Video Review - Disappointing!

This review of the vTech Crazy Legs Learning Bugs Ladybug and the vTech 3-in-1 Zebra Scooter is my own opinion - you can watch the video and judge for yourself. These toys were not sponsored for review. They were purchased for my daughter.

This is my first ever video review so go easy :) If it is vertical on your screen, be patient - it's being processed and will be horizontal soon, says YouTube. 

We got two vTech toys last Christmas for my daughter. It is now early June, so these toys are about 5 1/2 months old. And both are broken.

Let me preface by saying that my daughter is easy on her toys. She doesn't drop or throw them. She's a careful little girl and gentle with her stuff, not a rough player at all.

The vTech Crazy Legs Learning Bugs Ladybug was fun for a while. It played music and you can match the shapes by plugging in the 'feet' to the appropriate shape and then tap the bug on top to release them. It's pretty cute and the sound is not terribly loud. My daughter loves music and would play it just to dance to the music.

About two months ago, the music began to slow down and speed up randomly. Not a battery issue, it just seemed to start changing the tempo. Not the end of the world, though it did make it harder for me to sing the words to the songs for her.

Then last week, it began to play only little snatches of the voice or music in loops, OVER AND OVER. I am sure you can imagine how annoying that is.

Our other vTech toy, the 3-in-1 Zebra Scooter, was recommended by a friend who had a baby just a bit older than ours. Their daughter loved it so my husband picked it up as a special gift for Mia for Christmas. Special because we found it pretty expensive for a toy at $60.

It's a neat toy because it has three positions: a walker push-toy for littles just learning to walk, a ride-on toy for toddlers, and a scooter for when they're a bit older. Besides that, it has fun lights and buttons to push, music, and animal sounds and tidbits of information.

Mia used it as a walker for a couple months, and now happily rides it around. She loves the music and pressing the buttons. The other thing she's quite interested in is the way the seat can be adjusted up and down for the other functions, so we sometimes raise it up or lower it. And that's where the trouble is.

As you can see in the video, the plastic screw that holds the seat up in the scooter position has snapped right off in the middle. It can never be used as a scooter now. We hadn't tightened it too tight. It was simply the stress of torque on the plastic causing it to shear. Checking out the reviews on, I can see that the same has happened for other people as well.

I contacted vTech Canada with the contact form on their website. I asked if there was a way to purchase a replacement screw for the zebra, and a way to repair the bug. Soon after, I received a form email telling me my email had been received and that I'd be hearing from them within 2-3 business days. Two weeks passed and I hadn't heard anything, so I called their toll-free number.

The recording on the other end asked if the toys were under or over 3 months old. Since we got them at Christmas, I chose "over". It took me directly to a recording stating that our toys were no longer under warranty. Five months old and broken, and they assume no responsibility.

The kicker for me is that the very next thing the recording says is that I have the "opportunity" to purchase more vTech toys on their website. Um, really? Somehow I don't think we're going to follow the $60 we spent on the zebra and the $25 on the ladybug with giving more of our hard-earned money to vTech.

So my verdict on these two toys? Don't waste your money. You may get a few months' use of them but if they break (and based on my experience, it seems likely that they will), you're out your money and your child has broken toys. That is definitely not fun.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Little Tikes Ladybug Pillow Racer Review

It's fun to ride!
Mia is pleased to review the Little Tikes Ladybug Pillow Racer by MGA Entertainment.

One of her very first words is "bug" (well, "buh", which means: bug, bird, banana, bath, button, bunny, bum, and bear), and she looooves spotting ladybugs in the grass when we play outside. So what a treat to try the Ladybug Pillow Racer!

The Racer is easy for a parent to assemble. The wheels on the bottom are a lot like office chair wheels - they swivel in all directions, so no more riding a toy into a wall and not being able to turn around. This toy can spin! Not pictured in the above image (but you'll see it in the ones with Mia) is the anti-tip stabilizing piece at the front of the bug, so it can't topple forward.

The handle is the perfect size for little hands. Mia likes to hold on to it with one hand and take her dog along for a ride with the other! Another fun option is playing with the cute antennae!

One thing to note is that it is recommended to wear shoes while riding the Pillow Racer. Mia was barefoot the day I took pictures, but really she should have had shoes on. A wheel accidentally rolling over a foot would hurt.

The soft pillow top is comfy to ride on and good for cuddles, too. It is removable and can be washed - my one complaint is that it's hand wash. Of course the first thing Mia did was share her banana with the bug... But it came clean with a little spot wash.

The height is just right, easy for her to get on and off. I have noticed at play places some of the riding toys are too high or too awkward for her to get her leg over to ride or get down from a toy. She's about 31" tall and has no trouble with this one.

It's fun to push as well!
The Ladybug is very light. Mia can pick it up herself.

What a fun toy! Great for indoor play. I'm sure this will last her quite a while. At 16 months she is about 25 lbs or so, and it will handle up to 50 lbs! And I like that it has no batteries - no songs or noises that are annoying long after they are cute.