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179 of 185 found the following review helpful:
Writing really is a plus for this Leap Pad Sep 16, 2003
By Lynne in CO
We gave this product to my daughter for her 5th birthday. Overall it's an excellent "toy" that she really enjoys using over and over again. She's at the stage where she's learning letters and letter sounds, so this is perfect for her. The writing book that comes with this LeapPad is printed mostly on very sturdy paper which seems to withstand numerous cycles of writing and erasing. Pages which are not written on are plastic coated as usual. The book contains basic writing, reading, and math activities. It also has a Bingo game and two simple mazes. The 2nd book which comes with the LeapPad is almost exactly the same as the book which came with her original LeapPad.
The stylus now contains a primitive mechanical pencil which takes 0.7mm lead. The pencil resides within the stylus and can be inserted or removed by screwing or unscrewing it. The pencil lead does not seem to self-feed as promised, but you can get the lead to come out by pushing the tip in manually. Just don't push the lead back in at the same time. The LeapPad also occasionally does not recognize that the stylus is touching the page unless it is held in precisely the right position.
The first LeapPad Plus Writing we purchased did not recognize any cartridge we tried with it, so it was returned and replaced with a working product. So far, it's holding up well, but I have my concerns over the durability of the mechanical pencil. Fortunately, the pencil is removable and new one can presumably be ordered to replace it, though I haven't looked into this.
Overall, an excellent product that is perfect for your child who is eager to start reading and writing!
255 of 269 found the following review helpful:
A Little Disappointed Sep 27, 2003
I am an all around Leap Frog Freak. My kids have just about every toy Leap Frog makes. When the Leap Pads came out, we were definately one of the first to buy. So naturally, we jumped at the chance to get this Leap Pad. I can definately say that there is no comparison on the variety of fun filled activites in each books. I was happy to see that they give you the first book and cartridge and the sample book, unlike the other leap pads. I have to say, though, I was alittle disappointed with the style of this book. When they mentioned 'MAGIC' pencil....I thought,'Oh cool, a disappering ink type book....WOW'. But to my surprise it wasn't. It is a mechanical pencil that actually writes on the pages of the book and an eraser for mistakes. Not only that, but you have to manually switch from writing to non writing mode, not press a button, but turn the lead in and out.(To me that's too much for a four year old). Although, I'm sure with Leap Frog's reputation, the pages will probably last awhile, but to me it's like destroying a good product. I am too careful of how my kids play with their toys to just let them actually write on it. OVERALL...this is a fantastic book that works with the entire family of Leap Pad books (not My First Leap Pad). The kids enjoy it, learn fast, and want to play it over and over again. Just don't be fooled by the words 'Magic pencil' like I was.
141 of 147 found the following review helpful:
ALMOST perfect Nov 10, 2003
My son's 4th birthday was in September and I was at a loss for something to get him. But then *BING* the LeapPad came to mind. He had the My 1st, but he was beginning to outgrow it and get kinda bored. I considered buying him more books for it, but there just aren't a whole lot. Nothing compared to what's available for the LeapPad. So I started looking around and discovered that a new version was coming out with, what was stated as "erasable ink". I know I'm not crazy. That is what the description said. Imagine my disappointment when I realized we'd paid an extra $10 for a mechanical pencil. What's worse, it's not even equipped with an eraser. You get a seperate white eraser, but that's just not very convenient. On top of all this, my son managed to get the pen open and lost the little cap that holds the pencil lead in. What a pain. Sometimes the cartridges are VERY sensitive (we experienced this with the My 1st, as well) and the slightest bump will result in a rather disturbing buzzing noise and then the entire system shutting off. Something that has frustrated my son quite extensively. Excellent customer service, though. They suggested I clean the cartridge and connecter with rubbing alcohol. This remedies the situation for a little while. But I don't really mind cleaning them because of their educational value. For the few flaws it has, it's still an EXCELLENT learning aid. And it's fun, too. There were nights when I used to have to wrestle it out of my son's hands so he would go to sleep. And it's helped him immensly with shapes and colors. Not to mention the wide assortment of books you have access to. Bob the Builder, Spongebob, Scooby Doo, Bear in the Big Blue House, Winnie the Pooh, just to name a few. I can bear the little flaws in this system and I would buy another in a heartbeat if not for any other reason than the fact that Leap Frog has excellent customer service. They've replaced LeapPad's even after the warranty was up. A company with great products AND integrity? I guess it's not impossible. One other problem we've experienced is that the pen has to be placed flat on the picture for it to register. You can't just use the side of the pen, which is kind of frustrating as well, as my son was used to just using the side of the pen on his My 1st. Don't let me put you off, though. This is a review and I felt it my duty to explain all the problems we've had. But like I said, for those few, I'm still very impressed with this toy.
64 of 66 found the following review helpful:
What does "plus writing" mean exactly? Dec 05, 2003
If you are like me, you're probably confused about the LeapPad products. I'll write a very brief review and then answer my own questions about this product. LeapPads are excellent learning toys that use interchangeable books and cartridges to teach a child skills needed in preschool on up. The base product is a plastic base that folds in half. Paper books fit into this plastic base. This set comes with two activity books. One book is a 'writing' book and the other a non-writing book. Additional books cost [dollar amount] each and teach specific subjects - math, reading, vocabulary, etc. Kids love repetition and a LeapPad will keep repeating as long as your kid can. It's fun learning, sometimes loud, sometimes with grating music, but always educational.
Okay, so what's the 'plus writing?' There are apparently two full-size LeapPad products. The non-writing version uses a magnetic, non-writing stylus that your child uses to point at objects on the page. Example: "Can you find the red ball?" In response, the stylus should be tapped against the red ball. It costs about [dollar amount]. The "plus writing" version has the same magnetic stylus. But the stylus also converts to a graphite pencil. It costs about [dollar amount].
I'm not convinced the "plus writing" is a hit. I was hoping for some clever reusable writing tool. Not a chance. Let's just say a big eraser plops out of the box when you open it. The "plus writing" books are fiber based paper, not durable platic coated sheets. I don't know how many times a page will hold up to constant erasing, but I doubt the writing books will be as durable as the non-writing books.
Is it worth it? The "plus writing" base adds [dollar amount] over the non-writing base. For your ten bucks, you get a more ergonomic stylus. The rubber grip is larger and it looks more like a pencil. The entire base is a deeper shade blue - it looks nicer. But all in all, I think writing skills would be better practiced on those cheap, traditional practice books - you know, the ones with 120 pages. (I'm still glad I got the "plus" version just because of the ergonomics - but I will not be buying the "plus writing" books) This model will use any full-sized LeapPad book.
34 of 34 found the following review helpful:
Get the original LeapPad instead Jan 14, 2006
By T. J. Frey
Our family has the original LeapPad, and recently purchased a LeapPad Plus Writing. I must say that there is no comparison between the two products, and the original LeapPad system is by far superior. My kid love playing LeapPad, however the addition of a graphite pencil is a mess! Once the pages are written on, you can never get them completely clean, and also younger kids have a hard time erasing it all together. If we were to do it all over again, we would have purchased a second LeapPad system, and not bothered with the "Plus Writing".
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