Pros: it has the 2008 toy of the year award
easy to assemble
easy to connect
Cons: long cord
does not teach as well as I'd hoped
I bought this Smart Cycle for one of my little people last year for Christmas. She loved it. I bought it from the Walmart near my house. It was about 75.00 to 80.00 dollars. She thought it was the greatest toy in the world... for about two weeks. She was five at the time and we were trying to prep her for kindergarten. I thought the bike would give her a head start.
When we got the bike out of the box the only thing on it that needed assembling were the peddles. it was simple to hook up to the television set. the cords yellow, red and white connectors connect up to the front of our TV to the same color coated ports.
(note: other options for connections are through the rear of the TV, or on the front or rear of a DVD or VCR accessories through the same colored ports)
The cord is long enough from the television to the bike so my child is not too close to the TV. It is about 8 to 9 feet long with an extra 3 foot extension that you can attach if it is needed. I like that it is long because I don't want her with her nose to the screen. But I have to admit that it does get in the way sometimes and I occasionally trip on it. just as a warning.
It is about 2 1/2 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet long with a 1 1/2 foot width of the base. The seat is about a foot and a half up from the ground probably not made for anyone smaller then a four to six-year-old. It was not made for anyone younger because the child will have to be able to reach the handles and pedals to keep balance on the bike.
It looks like a mini stationary bike that is gray with a purple base, seat, and the handles are also purple. The steering column is lime green. The Pedals on the other hand are red. There are purple and green pin striping and stickers that adorn the sides and steering. It is not very cute but it would catch a child's eye as "cool".
It's functions are by steering, three buttons, a joystick, and an on off switch. all located beneath the steering. Very conveniently placed and easy to reach for parents and children. I know I hate it when I have to look for the on off switch of a toy. :)
Now to the games. There are three programs or settings for each set of games. You can either drive, learn or race. All games and programs teach about Math, shapes, numbers, and letters.
Driving: consists of pedaling, steering, and learning
Learning: consists of using the joystick for games and learning activities.
Race: also consists of pedaling and stearing to race time or another player.
This game system did not keep the attention of my five-year-old for very long. So I do not think it taught her too much in that two week period of interest. Nor do I think it had a great impact on her physical activity. I think you could get more physical activity out or an hour of outside play in the yard.
What Fisher-Price says about their product:
"When the Toy Industry Association announced winners of 2008's Toys Of The Year, Smart Cycle won two awards that we - and you - can feel great about!
1. Educational Toy of the Year
The best toy that through play helps children develop special skills and/or knowledge.
2. Most Innovative Toy of the Year
The best toy that combines the most unique blend of innovative technology and play value for children today"
I don't agree personally. I do not think it teaches as much as it claims to (at least with my child). I think my older kids play with the toy more then the younger. I once caught my 18 year old on the bike playing the games and boy, was that something to see. haha
Along with the use of the bike it started wear and tear rather quickly. The pedals now squeak to the point where it is annoying to have anyone play with the device and the seat wiggles and giggles when she is on it. Some of the damage is from the older children but most of the problems started in that first month.