Friday, July 2, 2010

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Giveaway & Review: New VTech Kids V.Reader (Exclusively at Target) [CLOSED]

My 6 year old son is a proficient reader and I hope that his 3 year old siblings will follow in his footsteps. They do not seem to have the thirst for reading as their big brother did when he was their age. That is why I want to take advantage of whatever tools are available to me . . . whether it is classic nursery rhymes or the latest in kid technology.

The new Vtech V.Reader, which is an animated e-Reading System for children ages 3 to 7, would fall into the latter category. It was released on June 21st, 2010 exclusively in Target stores and on Target.com for $59.99. They will not be available at other retailers until August. My oldest was delighted to find out we would be receiving one to test and to report about back to our readers.

The V.Reader Reading System allows your child to listen to a story, while the pictures come to life, or to play reading games. The V.Reader comes with one cartridge to get you started. Additional cartridges retail for $19.99. You will also have the ability to download additional stories to your child's V.Reader. This feature will be coming soon and, from what I understand, some of the stories will be free to download.


What comes in the box?
  • The V.Reader (which comes in blue or pink)
  • One story game cartridge
  • USB cable
  • A cleaning cloth for the touch screen
This system requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included in the box. Although I cannot find the information about the V.Reader's storage capacity, I do know that you can expand its memory with an SD card.


The V.Reader is about the size of a standard children's book. The screen is about 3-3/4"x2-1/8" not including the touch pad. This is plenty of room to show the full-color animation as well as an easy-to-read font for each story.

The unit is fairly lightweight, which I am pleased about. It only measures just slightly over an inch thick with the cover shut, so your child can hold it to read without his or her arms getting tired so easily.


The design of the V.Reader is very well thought out. When the cover is closed, only the speaker and the page turning arrows are exposed. This helps to protect the touch screen when it is not in use. I love that the volume button is right on the front right of the unit. It is out of the way for when a child is holding the unit with his or her hands, but is easily accessible. I also love that there is a "bookmark" button to keep your child's place in a story, should he or she need to take a break. Like with many other computer or electronic learning games, you can track your child's progress online and print reward certificates to give them a pat on the back.


Although the stylus is self-storing, I was a little concerned that it was not attached. It is unlikely that my 6 year old would lose it, but the odds are pretty high that it would go missing in the hands of our 3 year old twins.

One thing that would make the V.Reader a better value is if it could hold more than one child's information at a time. Currently, it will remember one child's name and avatar.


Although our son just graduated from kindergarten, he actually reads on a 1st grade level or higher. As a result, he is on the edge of being too advanced for this toy. In the story and game cartridge "Shrek's Vacation" for ages 5 to 7, one of the activities is to learn about adverbs. Now I know my son is not an expert on the parts of speech, but I have introduced them to him in the past. He told me flat out that the games were too easy for him. This particular game did not have different difficulty levels, but the "What's That Noise" cartridge, which came in the box, did have three levels to choose from. I am hoping that most of the future titles will have this feature.

Our 3 year old twins are actually just below the starting level for this toy. They are just trying to master learning the alphabet and have only touched upon any phonics. They enjoy the story portion of the V.Reader, but are not yet able to play the games.

Currently, you can purchase the VTech V.Reader at your local Target store or on Target.com . This item actually qualifies for their free shipping promotion at the moment. In August, you will be able to find the V.Reader at most major retailers of VTech toys. You can also look forward to 11 different titles for game cartridges and over 100 ebooks to download coming soon.


Thank you to VTech for sending us a sample V.Reader free of charge to base this review upon.




What you can win:
One lucky reader will receive a VTech V.Reader (a $59.99 value).


Limitations:
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:
Leave a comment telling me where your child would most likely use this portable animated V.Reader system this summer. 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.


2)

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.


3)
For 10 extra entries, blog about this contest linking back to this post AND VteckKids.com/V.Reader/ . Then come back here and leave TEN separate comments with the link to your blog post.

4)

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 each
, follow VTechToys on Twitter and/or "Like" VTech Toys on Facebook. Then leave a separate comment for each with the link to your Twitter or Facebook profile.


6)

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


7)

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.


8)

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.



9)

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.


10)

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 26th, 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!