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For my son's third birthday we decided to get him the Vtech MobiGo. That was six months ago, so I think I can make an honest and experienced review on this item.
Tuesday May 24 2011
For my son’s third birthday we decided to get him the Vtech MobiGo. That was six months ago, so I think I can make an honest and experienced review on this item. If you don’t know what the MobiGo is it’s a portable/handheld video game device that is made for younger kids. It’s kind of like the little sibling to a PSP, Nintendo DSi, or whatever new thing is out now.
I have a son, so my pictures are of the blue MobiGo, it also comes in a pink version for girls. I like this device because it’s great for car rides, in a waiting room, or even while your child sits in their stroller. It keeps them busy and happy. Plus, it’s educational. I don’t think there is a single Vtech MobiGo game that isn’t educational. Each game revolves around counting, shapes, adding, spelling, colors, matching, etc. Your child likes it because it’s Dora, super heroes, Scooby Doo, Olivia, (or whatever character they like) and you like it because it helps them learn important skills. There are devices similar to the MobiGo made by other companies, but in my research (I research online before buying things) it seemed like the others had more entertainment value and less education.
The MobiGo has a touchscreen and you can pop the screen up to reveal a keyword that is used for some games. The MobiGo sells for about $60. Each game cartridge is $20. I thought the price of games should be cheaper, but honestly I’ve only had to buy three in six months, my son isn’t sick of them yet. Also, the MobiGo comes with one game cartridge. It has a few basic games on it, which are good for starting out with. All games for the MobiGo do allow the child to select Easy or Difficult, so if your child masters one game in easy, they won’t be bored because there is a difficult level too.
We bought our son the Toy Story 3 and Super Hero Squad games. He loves these, but he actually lost the Toy Story one. Which brings me to one con. The cartridges are fairly small and the MobiGo doesn’t come with any good way to store them. They have little holes so maybe you are supposed to put them all on some kind of string or cord, I’m not quite sure. There is a case available, however for some reason my local Target, Toys ‘R Us, and everywhere else I go are always sold out of it. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this case too. However, I wish I could find it somewhere and maybe wouldn’t have wasted $20 for a game to get lost. It’s not Vtech’s fault that my son lost his game, and the case is for sale online, so moving on.
The one thing I think you pretty much HAVE to purchase if getting a MobiGo for your child is the Game Storage cartridge. This is also $20. It comes with a few basic games on it and it allows you to download games from your computer on the Vtech Learning Lodge. You can download these games for free for a year. You can download them without the game storage, however they are then lost every time the MobiGo is turned off. Yes, this is pretty much a way they designed it in order to make more money. Let’s face it though, most companies do similar things. When I purchased the MobiGo the game storage wasn’t even available yet. I had to pre-order it and wait a few weeks. You should now be able to purchase it right away. So, why is the Game Storage a must have? Well, I put 40 games on my son’s and there is still more space on it for more games. Buying the Game Storage will probably save you money, because it’s less of the other games you have to buy. You can even search download-able games by your child’s age, this is helpful because my son is too young to play games that involve multiplication and division.
The Learning Lodge can be used for more than just downloading games. You can even track your child’s progress. You can see what things they are getting better at as time goes by and you can see exactly how much of a game they’ve actually explored. I usually don’t do this, my son knows his ABCs, numbers, shapes, colors, he even says things in different languages that I don’t know, so I’m not worried about his progress. However, I know some parents would be into checking their kid’s progress on a regular basis.
The MobiGo is very durable. My son has thrown his across our living room, and dropped it on hardwood floors, and it just keeps on going. After six months of abuse there are no cracks, scrapes, or anything wrong with it. It’s probably so durable because of it’s size. It’s not huge, but it’s pretty big for little hands. The screen and keyboard are also a little small for the overall size of the device, however my son never seems to have any problems with it. It took him a little while to understand the numbers on the keyboard are letters.The top row of keys have little numbers printed above them. So, if he needs to press 1, he actually has to press the Q key. W is 2, E is 3, and so on. Once I showed him the little numbers and explained it to him, he did understand it.
So, is it worth getting? I think so. We haven’t had any major problems with it yet. My son has played his sitting on the couch, while in the car on the way to his Gymboree class, and while he sat in his stroller and I shopped for things that didn’t interest him. He has fallen asleep at home playing it. We went through batteries for it like crazy when he first got it so I also bought a charger. The charger helps to get more life out of the batteries (and is more money for Vtech.) My son does love his MobiGo and I definitely don’t regret buying it.
For more information on the MobiGo and where to buy it click here.