User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Gets kids moving around, neat idea for a hand-held
Cons:Loses memory when batteries fail, can only capture 53 monsters
The Bottom Line: It's fun to see what kind of monsters are inside the UPC codes!
Do you have a child that likes to collect things and battle? Games like Yu-gi-oh and Pokemon? Perhaps they would be interested in collecting something in a hand-held game! My son was thrilled when he received a Skannerz Commander as a gift this year. He has a whole collection of hand-held games but this one is a little different than the rest!
Recommend this product?
The storyline is that monsters live in bar codes from common household objects. The user must first get monsters out by physically scanning the bar codes. This means going through mom's kitchen and scanning the cookie box and the cereal box, and the Kool-aid for sure! Then comes scanning the shampoo bottles, soap boxes, books, and every new bag and box that comes through the door that normally gets scanned by the cash register at the store. Scanning is as easy as putting the scanner port directly onto the product and slide it across. The scanner will beep and a heart will appear on the screen if a monster is there. A flat line will appear if there is no life in the scan code. Most monsters will go into your scanner effortlessly however some that you encounter do not. If they do not want to go willingly an alarm will sound and you will have to battle them before you get credit for the monster. You have the option to fight the monster or run away. Sometimes battling is challenging and you risk summonsing two other monsters from nearby UPC codes which makes the battle harder.
We have not had any problem scanning with our scanner. Some surfaces are a little more challenging to scan than others but flat surfaces with large bar codes are a sure thing. The scanner should be touching the bar code and slide across. Short bar codes or bar codes with an extension of bars does not work. Also if it is on a shiny material it does not seem to work. For instance we did not have any luck scanning coke cans or 2-liter bottles. I tried scanning and I must admit it was kind of addictive to see if I could find any good characters in the products I chose. I noticed that sometimes I had to wait a couple seconds for the scanner to register the item. When my son first got the toy he had to try several times on each bar code but once he got the hang of it the rest went smoothly.
Whoa, sorry buddy. When the batteries go on this so does your data! You have only 30 seconds to change batteries without losing all the monsters that you have collected. This was learned the hard way the first day he got this. Batteries must be changed in the sleep mode to avoid losing the monsters you have already collected. It requires 3 AAA batteries and in the month that we've had it have already changed the batteries a couple times but then he does use it daily.
The system can hold up to 53 monsters and around 26 items. This seems like a lot to me but my son constantly says that is not enough. He is now begging me to get more Skannerz which incidentally are not compatible with this one.
The scanner has a little bit of sound to it and has an option to turn the sound off. The words and monsters on the screen are very antiquated in appearance. The screen is pretty small and the images and words are in black and white. There will be some light reading involved.
This is a one player game however it can be used to battle a friend if the friend also has a Skannerz of their own. My son has been eager to try this feature out but has been unable to find someone that also has a scanner.
My son plays with this on a regular basis. He has a great need to collect things so that might be why this is one of his favorites. We have found some websites on the internet that other Skannerz fans have entered what monsters they have found and even a UPC generator. If you want to see what this looks like in action the website www.skannerz.com has a Quicktime demonstration under scanning tips. This will show you how to scan the item and what the typing on the screen looks like. If you are looking for something more feminine there is a similar one called Barbie Scanimals which collects pets rather than monsters.
If your child requires state-of-the-art technology then this may not be the best choice. This should not be confused with typical video game, this does not have any video game characteristics.
This can be purchased at stores like Toys R Us or Best Buy for $20. 3 AAA batteries are required and not included with the package.
One of the beauties of this product is that it is small enough to fit in your pocket. Can you imagine the euphoria a kid would have with this at a library or a grocery store!?
Radica USA, Ltd.
13628-A Beta Road
Dallas, TX 75244
A special thanks to Sblaydes for going the extra mile to add this to the database.
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Amount Paid (US$): 20.00
Type of Toy: Game
Age Range of Child: 9 Years or Older