We waited for the price to come down, and finally KB Kids marked the Actimates TV Pack down to about $35.00. This is a remarkable technology that has been around for a while, but is just now making it's way into our living room, and the life of our two year old son. The TV Pack adds functionality to your Actimates dolls, Barney, Arthur, D.W., and the Teletubbies. It brings them to life in a new way.
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The Actimates TV Pack is a small transmitter that can sit on top of your TV or VCR. It is easily installed in much the same way that the VCR is. A VCR by the way is a requirement for this system to work. The pack includes a receiver card that snaps into the Teletubbies dolls. Other Actimates dolls come ready to go, but this is a simple thing to install much like putting in a battery. Included also is an introductory tape that gives instructions, and also demonstrations with videos from each of the shows represented.
After set up, the Actimates doll will receive a signal from the transmitter at various points during a show. The doll will then respond in a way that is appropriate to what is going on in the show. All of the PBS programs have been retrofitted with these signals, so that the dolls will interact with the broadcasts as well as the tapes.
Possible downsides are easily remedied. The transmitter may interfere with other transmitters in your home such as a baby monitor, or cordless phone. The transmitter only has an effective range of about fifteen feet, so most other transmitters can be moved far enough away so as to avoid interference. The doll however will not work outside of that range, and that can be frustrating at times for your toddler. Another problem for Teletubby owners is that the Actimates TV Pack includes only one receiver, so if you are using more than one doll, you will have to order more receivers from the manufacturer.
We have had a lot of fun with the Actimates Tinky Winky and the TV Pack has taught Tinky Winky a few new tricks. It is a lot of fun to watch the show with my son, and now it is even more magical.
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