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Toy Review:    Alphabet Classroom

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Toy Review: Alphabet Classroom

Electronic Toy

By Vtech

Our Recommended Age: 3-5

Our Rating: A-






Buy Alphabet Classroom


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The unit features 27 "poppable" children--press a letter in front of a child and the classmate pops up to either introduce him/herself, play show and tell, or sing a phonics song. Why 27? One of the classmates controls the volume of the toy, while the other 26 represent each letter of the alphabet: G is for Greg, X is for Xavier, and M is for Marco.

There are 7 modes of play, providing quite a bit of variety and different challenge levels. The first mode is "Meet the Class": kids press any letter button and the associated child tells them their name. The second mode is "Roll Call" in which kids need to hunt for different classmates. For example, "Let's find Tim", and when found, Tim says, "Tim starts with T". "Sound it Out" offers children a lesson in the individual sounds of each letter. Other modes include ABC Songs, and finding the beginning letter for simple words like "goat" and "zoo". 

The seventh mode of play is a fun "guess who" game in which children are offered clues such as "wears red clothes" and "has black hair" and they must find a mystery child. In "show and tell" mode, each classmate brings an object or thing that starts with a letter. For example, Oliver brings an ox. 

The unit features an LCD screen with animations, letters, and words. Kids can turn the toy on and off with a press of the apple-shaped button. Note however that quickly exiting the game is not easy--the toy sings "A, B, C you later" when turned off. An additional learning activity is offered with a clock face. Kids turn the dial to any number on the clock to hear related activities for that time of day. For example, if the dial is turned to the number 6, the toy responds that at 6:00 it is supper time.

The feedback is quite encouraging, but can easily grate on parents' nerves. Fortunately users can control the volume. Another complaint is a common one with this genre of toy: although automatic shut-off is a battery-saving feature, the toy doesn't always allow enough reaction time for children who take their time, and will sometimes shut down while a child is still looking for an answer. This "impatience" is a complaint we have with many electronic toys.


  • Unique opportunities for learning about letters and letter sounds.
  • Many modes of play ensure variety and help extend the life of the toy.
  • Educational and entertaining at the same time.

  • The audio is sometimes unclear and oftentimes annoying to parents.
  • The toy features only uppercase letters on the buttons.


Our Rating:


For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Alphabet Classroom
Reviewed November 2003
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