Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Toyologist Review: Leapfrog Learning Table

£34.99 from Toys R Us.

For the purpose of this review (for reasons that will become clear shortly) I attempted to think up the most famous Frenchperson I could.

Obviously, this was Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise.

Now I know he doesn't sound very French, but this is probably because he's spent a lot of time warping about the galaxy, having his body upgraded and asked about room illumination.

I'm almost certain that for when he was a young Picard, his parents, Maurice and Yvette, almost certainly bought him something along the lines of the Leapfrog Learning Table. Why? Well, every Starfleet captain needs to begin his learning somewhere and it will certainly help to know both your native French language and also - since Starfleet Academy is in San Francisco - English.

The Table has two modes: music and talky, which are alternated by turning the page of the 'book' in the centre of the table. A baby who is able to operate the other gadgets on the Table will easily be able to flick between the two by himself (or herself, depending on whether you're Jean-Luc or my little bundle of joy).

Music mode plays a variety of sounds as you bash away at the various buttons and levers. Though not an instrument featured on the Table, I assume it gave Picard a good grounding in music for his later enjoyment of the Ressikan flute.

Talky mode has - as I inferred earlier - a further two subdivisions: French and English, changed via a little switch. Now instead of playing music, when you press the red square, for example, the Table will say 'red' or 'square' in your chosen language.

Sadly, Klingon is not a language option.

I'm not sure, given the age the Table is aimed at, whether young Picard would actually learn much from the voiceover woman. If he is anything like my baby, then he'd have simply bashed at the various sound-making devices, not letting her finish one sentence before cutting her off and making her say something else.

It has resulted my 2 & 4 yos being able to sing their alphabet however. When someone is bashing buttons all day long, you can't help but start humming along with the tunes too - even if you are small.

The Table has easily attach/detachable legs which allows it to sit on the floor when that's as high as baby Picard can reach, or a bit higher when he can stand. The ability to remove them also makes it easier to take with you when you visit Grandma Picard's house.

As always with Leapfrog toys, the Table is solidly built and will take a good bashing. At £35 it's not too badly priced either.

Just don't expect your little one to be able to command starships after playing with it.

Other Toyology reviews can by found in the Toys R Us Toy Box on Facebook.

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