The Crazy Kitchen: Toyologist Toy Review - LEAPFROG LEAPPAD EXPLORER

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Monday, 12 September 2011


We were thrilled to get the chance to try out the Leappad Explorer before it hit the shops.


Jack is still a bit young for most of the games but enjoys pressing the buttons on the Disney Cars game even though I'm sure he doesn't know what he's doing. He likes using the Art Studio where he can create drawings using a variety of drawing tools including paintbrush, pencil and paintbucket and add stamps and patterns to his creation. He usually needs a bit of help navigating through the screens but just enjoys the act of putting his stylus or finger on the screen and making a mark. He did get a bit frustrated that it kept going back to the Homescreen though as his thumb rested on the Homescreen button at the bottom of the console. 


Disney Cars Game
It's great for keeping a toddler entertained on long journeys.

Art Studio on the train

Artist in the making!
At almost 9 years of age Hanna is at the top end of the age range but really enjoys creating her All About Me pages in Story Studio, where she can add photos and sound recordings to a selection of page templates to make a book – pages include My Family, My Favourite Toys, My Friends and loads more. She has tried some of the games but for someone being used to games on the pc and iPad they haven't kept her attention for that long.

Key features of the Leappad Explorer

  • 4 Apps included – 1 of which is already on the console, to get the other 3 you need to install the Leapfrog Connect application. You get the Story Studio and Art Studio and can then choose another app from those available to download.

  • Inbuilt Camera & Video Recorder as well as microphone - you can record up to 120 minutes of video and take up to 30,000 pictures!

  • 5” Colour screen

  • A stylus that attaches to the console to avoid losing (also comes with spare just in case)

  • Keep track of childs progress online as well as uploading photos,artwork and Stories

  • Touch screen can be operated by stylus or finger

  • Motion sensor – screen adjusts from Portrait to Landscape when moved in certain games & apps

  • Can play downloadable apps or game cartridges

  • Can use all Leapster Explorer or Leappad Explorer game cartridges - priced around £19.99

  • Over 100 games, videos and interactive books - available for purchase online from £3.50 up to £7.50

  • Available in Pink or Green

  • Customisable home screen with up to 4 different users

  • Requires 4 x AA batteries (not included)

  • Headphone and 9V DC adapter sockets

  • A screwdriver is NOT required to open the battery compartments, you can use a coin or the stylus to open them up.


  • The packaging may come across as a bit misleading as it states on the front and back of the box that there are 100+ apps, and only in extremely small print does it refer you to the 'what's included' list on the side of the box where it points out (again in very small writing) that additional games and apps are sold separately and may not be available in all countries.

  • Although the Leappad seems very robust I would be concerned how it would stand up to being dropped, which may easily happen whilst little hands were maneuvering it. When I first looked at it I expected that the coloured corners were made of rubber (which would make sense) however they are made of the same hard plastic as the rest of the casing.

  • It eats batteries, especially when syncing between the pc and the Leappad, I would recommend investing in a power supply.

Having said this I still think that the Leappad Explorer is extremely good value for money considering that it has the inbuilt camera and video recorder, especially if you want to regain control of your iPad from your pre-schooler.

The Leappad Explorer is available from Toys R Us and retails at £79.99.

Age suitability: 4-9yrs

Why not check out some of the other Toyologists Reviews and competitions on the new Toys R Us Toy Box Facebook application and find out more about all the Toyologists.



  1. Fab review, makes me even more determined to get one for The Boy now. Definitely think it's the more innovative.

  2. I would definitely choose this over the Innotab, purely because of the camera, I think it will grow with The Boy and he will get years of play out of it.



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