Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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Giveaway & Review: Leapster Explorer plus Toy Story 3 Game (ARV $95) [CLOSED]

Up until last month, I thought that the Leapster2 from LeapFrog was one of the best inventions of all time. Now, having experienced the capabilities of the new Leapster Explorer, I have to say that there is a new favorite in our household. The Leapster Explorer has a larger higher resolution screen than the Leapster2. It also has over four times the amount of memory and processing power. In the words of my 6yr old son, "This new Leapster is totally cool!!"

Our six year old is going to be accompanying me and my husband to the BlogHer 2010 convention this year. This handheld game is a must to take with us on this trip. My son will be able to play games, read books, draw, use flash cards, and much more without my having to fill half a suitcase with all those things.

The Leapster Explorer plays both cartridge games and apps called Leaplets that you download. There will be a total of 40 cartridge games and Leaplets available by the end of 2010. Speaking of the end of the year, coming this fall will be an attachment that plugs right into the bottom of the unit that will turn your Leapster Explorer into a digital camera and camcorder.

Some other things I love about the Leapster Explorer is that it is rechargeable. I can see what is on the screen while sitting next to my son, rather than having to look at the screen straight-on. The touch screen is very durable. Sometimes my son is playing a game and I see him tap-tap-tapping his little heart out and I worry that he is going to damage the touch screen, but it does not even put a mark on it.

One major issue I have with my son is that, when there is a choice of levels, he always wants to choose the easiest. The Leapster Explorer solves this problem for me. It starts off easy to build his confidence, but it self-adjusts by reacting to how well my son is doing. For example, one day I overheard him playing a game about different types of triangles. He was learning about isosceles and scalene triangles. I thought this was so great! Nobody else would think to teach a kindergartner these things. The Leapster Explorer was doing this all on its own. Although I can connect the unit online to record his progress, I did not need to do this in order for the game to increase in difficulty.

I must mention that this handheld comes with a a preloaded app called the Pet Pad. This is one of my son's favorite activities to do on the Leapster Explorer. It was ingenious of LeapFrog to have a virtual pet included with the unit. My son loves that the pet makes appearances within some of the other games. The Explorer also comes with a code for a free download of one Leaplet.

Leapster Explorer Specs:
  • Uses a Linux-based operating system
  • 3.2" screen
  • 320x240 resolution
  • 512MB memory
  • 400MHz processor
  • 250 to 300 MB download capacity
  • Retails for $69.99
  • Comes in green or pink
  • Recommended for ages 4 to 9
The only improvement I can recommend is that the unit could be slightly lighter in weight. Even though it may not seem heavy at first, after playing for a period of time, your hands and wrists do become quite tired.

If you need any recommendations for games and Leaplets, my son especially loves The Penguins of Madagascar: Operation Plushy Rescue and he found the Leaplet Jewel Train to be very addictive.

The floor date for the Leapster Explorer is July 15th, 2010. You can pre-order your Explorer online now through several major toy and electronics retailers. If you pre-order by July 1st, you can receive Free Shipping and a Free Leaplet Card Pack at select retailers. You can place your order at Toys R Us and Toys R Us Canada, Target, Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy, Sears, Amazon.com, and of course LeapFrog.com .

Thank you to LeapFrog for providing us with a sample unit, games, and apps free of charge to base this review upon and for providing another unit plus one game as our contest prize.

What you can win:
One lucky reader will receive a Leapster Explorer plus the Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 game cartridge (ARV $95)

This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing.

How to Gain Entries:
Browse the selection of Leapster Explorer Games and Leaplets. Then leave a comment telling me which product you think would be the most fun for a child you know. You MUST do this to be eligible to win this contest.

Extra Entries:

1) For 5 extra entries, leave a relevant comment on one of my non-giveaway posts. Then leave FIVE separate comments with the name of the post on which you commented. You will earn 5 extra entries for each different non-contest post you comment on.


For 5 extra entries, enter one of my other contests. Leave FIVE separate comments here telling me which contest you entered. You will earn 5 extra entries for each contest you enter.

For 10 extra entries, blog about this contest linking back to this post AND LeapFrog.com . Then come back here and leave TEN separate comments with the link to your blog post.


For 1 extra entry each, if you are a Friend of mine on Facebook and/or if you have "liked" the 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires Facebook page, then leave a separate comment here telling me so with the link to your Facebook profile.

5) For 1 extra entry
, follow LeapFrog on Twitter. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your Twitter profile.


Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your Twitter profile.


Tweet about this giveaway linking back to this post. Then come back here and leave the link to your tweet in a separate comment. You may do this once per day until the end of the contest.


Subscribe to this blog's feed. Or you can follow me through Blogger or subscribe via email (widget is on sidebar). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.


Subscribe to A Blog of Goodies' feed (the sister site to 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.


Add my button or blog link to your blog's sidebar. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.

(All entries will be verified prior to awarding this prize.)

Random Drawing:

This contest will be closed on Monday, July 5th, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. A random number drawing will be held shortly after. The winner will be announced here and will be contact via email or through their blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new number will be drawn.

Good luck in the drawing!