Sunday, December 4, 2016

K'NEX K-FORCE Flash Fire Motorized Blaster Building Set

This says 8+, I would pay attention to the plus sign.   Although the instructions are very good, I would say it would take a pretty talented eight year old to assemble this.   It is a perfect father son project though.  It is not mentioned on the box or in the book but Nerf brand darts will work and these darts do work in Nerf brand toys.  Don't believe me, there is a surprising amount of research referenced on line about compatibility.  Who knew that much passion could be engendered about a type of toy. For kids who enjoy the blaster type fun, this should be a hit.  Lots and lots of parts though, 288 pieces which doesn't sound like a lot but...I guess I'm not eight years old.   I predict this will be a well received gift.

Later: I neglected to mention  this is a very cool looking toy and has the ability to be customized appearance wise as it is compatible with all the other K'NEX products.

  • 1 NEW Motorized Rapid Fire Blaster Chamber
  • 10-Dart Clip
  • 10 Foam Darts; 1 Quick Fit Grip
  • Requires 2 "AA" batteries, not included

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Playskool Sesame Street Love2Learn Elmo

This is a very cool toy.   The ability of Elmo to talk to the child by name is going to be a huge hit.  There are games and chores that can be referred to by Elmo.  Out of the box, Elmo is cute and does things by clapping his hands, putting his hands on his belly or squeezing his nose.   My suggestion would be to free Elmo from his box prior to giving it to a child.  It took brute strength, scissors  and wire cutters to get Elmo out.   Plus you have to get him out to get batteries in him.   That is not obvious and the instructions don't say insert batteries in his derriere but that is where you put them.  Once Elmo is powered up you can then download the application from Google Playstore.  The app is Love2learn Elmo.  Again the instructions tell you to go to Hasbro's website but even there you have to do some searching to get to the point where you are told to go to the playstore to download the app.  Once the application is on your phone you can customize the Elmo.
The good news is with prior programming and freeing Elmo from the confines of his annoyingly complicated packaging this toy should be a huge hit.  I particularly like Elmo telling the child by name, nice job on brushing your teeth.   You will need a smart phone or a tablet for the application and I strongly advise you to do all of the above prior to handing the child a box with Elmo in it.  Proper preparation will save the parent and the child loads of frustration.   Hasbro should design less frustrating packaging,  provide better documentation and clearer instruction as to how to get the application.  In spite of that, I really liked this toy.  

·                        Elmo will refer to a child by name when parents select it in the Love2Learn Elmo app
·                        Customize toy play with the app! 350+ responses
·                        Sings 10 songs, laughs, and plays games and music
·                        Elmo interacts with the app's games to play with children
·                        Includes Elmo toy and instructions
·                        Powered by 4x 1.5 AA Alkaline Batteries. Not included.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fisher-Price Thomas the Train Steam Rattle & Roll Thomas

This is too darn cute.  The singing voice is clear and the tunes are catchy.   The sounds and lights are going to be captivating for the little ones.  The slightly older kids are going to love the remote control.   This will be a great gift for any little Thomas fan and a great introduction for any child that is not already a Thomas fan. 

  • Includes battery-powered motorized Thomas toy train and remote control
  • Guitar-shaped remote control features 4 buttons: activate music, activate sound effects, move forward, reverse & spin
  • Includes 6 original upbeat songs inspired by different musical genres
  • Thomas delivers cool sounds and unique phrases related to a musical performance
  • Steam clouds on the side of Thomas light up brightly in a rainbow of colors that flash in time to the music

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set

3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set 

Great Gift Idea!

Ok, I admit I am a sucker for tech gadgets.  This is a take off of the 3D printer which I have raved about in past reviews.  This allows you to draw, mold and experiment in a non-toxic plastic.  It certainly doesn't have the precision of a 3D printer but at $99.00 it doesn't have the price tag either.   This set comes with a full complement of different color Eco-Plastic rods that are made entirely from food grade materials, so it’s completely biodegradable, non-toxic and BPA-free.  This is going to be a major hit with kids and grandkids.

From the creators:

How did you come up with the idea for this product?
Our 3D printer had almost completed a 14-hour print when it missed a line, leaving an unplanned gap in the print. A small error had ruined hours of work, and we were going to have to start again. Then inspiration hit: “what if we just took the head of the printer off and filled in the gap?” A day later the 3Doodler was born. The first 3Doodler was a clumsy-looking, hand-assembled, device, with the words “3Doodler” etched onto its side in green and red in felt tip pen. The 3Doodler Start was a natural progression for us, creating a kid-safe and friendly device specifically for young creators!
What makes your product special?
The 3Doodler Start was specifically designed for young creators who love to express themselves through the things they make. The 3Doodler Start is also the first 3D printing pen on the market to be truly kid-safe and friendly. There are no hot parts, and the plastics used are non-toxic and biodegradable! Designed to be as simple to use as possible, kids can can pick up the 3Doodler Start and get creating within minutes. The 3Doodler Start works wirelessly for up to an hour, and can also be used with a range of 3Doodler accessories, including our themed DoodleBlocksTM - simple templates for super Doodles!
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
The best part has been building a vibrant and creative community! Starting with our first Kickstarter campaign, we have always put community front and center. Hundreds of thousands of units later, it's thrilling to see what our community has been doing with the 3Doodler, and how they have shared with and inspired each other (and us!). Their creations are all over social media sites and on our website, and extend from craft and design, through to innovative hacks and fixes, and into a never ending array of educational uses. With 3Doodler Start, that creativity and community will now embrace a whole new generation!

My creation!  I'm not intending
on quitting my day job.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, November 18, 2016

K'NEX Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Building Set

This is a nice set. It doesn't say it is part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) series but it certainly could be.  Good concepts and very clear instructions.  Of course once it is built and played with the whole set will be folded in with the rest of the K'NEX for even more play.  This is a Pennsylvania company that is very innovative and produces a quality product.  Much like the ubiquitous more well known brand of building toy, you can never have too many K'NEX.  As an aside, the set comes with three rubber bands that seem like they were an afterthought as they were just loose in the box and frankly they look like they were used.  Kind of surprised to see that in this normally high quality set.

From the vendor:
Go back in time with the Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Building Set, from K'NEX. The slingshot launcher sends the coaster car up the hill and spiraling through the track! This set comes with 353 parts, primarily rods & connectors, to build a K'NEX thrill ride! And if you collect the Clock Work Roller Coaster Building Set and Revolution Ferris Wheel Building Set (sold separately), you can have a working amusement park right in your home! Recommended for builders ages 7+.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

glialplay. com and Melekpdf .online are Stealing.

Piracy isn't just grabbing hostages off the coast of Africa or the plot for a Disney movie.  Piracy is also literary theft.

This morning I got another Google alert that informed me that once again another site is ripping off my books.   They are offering free downloads of  my books and many, many others without getting author permission.   Several of my books are on the site and I have not given them permission to give them away.   Somehow related is Melekpdf . online which is also coming up as giving away my books.   It is one thing for me to offer my books to my readers for free and it is an entirely different thing to find some website charging a fee for unlimited book, game and movie downloads and "giving" away my books.  This is theft, plain and simple.   Every dime I earn goes into producing more books.   My hope is my books help someone in some way.   These thieves are depriving me of income that could produce another book.   

Please DO NOT patronize these or any other pirate sites. 
 Money Saving Tech Tips