Reading pens seem to be all the rage for teaching young kids how to read these days. The first of its kind to catch my eye was the Croco Pen, available in “Choo Choo Train”, MPH Bookstore and Times Bookstore. Next up was the Leapfrog Tag Reader which I saw in Mothercare. Then I spied the I-Pen Robin Readers in Popular (currently the I-Pen is only available in the Sunway Popular branch). When I got online to find out more about these interesting products, I discovered an additional two brands – Poingo and Vtech Bugsby. I should have figured that Vtech would have one since Vtech and Leapfrog always seem to do things in pairs.
At present, I’ve only seen the Croco Pen, Leapfrog Tag and Robin I-Pen available in Malaysia, although all are available on Amazon. I’ve managed to find Youtube clips demonstrating how each one works (which appears to be pretty much the same).
- Starter Kit (comes with a book and the pen reader) – $24.99
- Deluxe Phonics Set (comes with 4 books and the pen reader) – $99.99
- Individual Books – $9.99
From the Baby Loft:
- Jumbo Pack (pen, super cartridge, 8 books, 200 talking stickers, 200 talking flash cards) – RM399.00
Unique features: can be used with headphones, talking stickers, talking flash cards
- Pen Reader – $19.95
- Reading System (comes with two books and the pen reader) – $31.99
- Individual Books – $6.98
- Reading System (comes with three books and the pen reader) – $80
- Individual Books – $12-15
Unique features: grows with your child (they have a junior system)
From Popular Singapore:
From Popular Malaysia:
- Pen Reader – RM39
- Set of five for about RM50
Unique features: price
When it comes to new technology in toys, I admit that I’m usually one of the first to get suckered into it. It was with great restraint that I held off buying the Croco Interactive Learning System when I first clapped eyes on it. I think the only thing that stopped me in my tracks was the price and the thought that Gavin might not appreciate it other than to use the pen reader as a stirrer for his pretend cooking pot and the books as pretend plates. Had it been the Poingo reader and the Thomas book, things might have gone differently.
That said, I almost did buy the Robin I-Pen from Popular until I discovered that they had no stock in the branch at The Curve.
Has anyone ever bought one of these products? What do you think of it? Is it worth getting or a waste of money?