Friday, January 13, 2006

Oregon Scientific ATC-1000 "Action" Camera

Here at Yussie's toy reviews we get all kinds of toys, gadgets and doodads to play with. But it is the rare few of them that truly get the athlete in me excited to review them. Oregon Scientific's ATC-1000 ($99.95 from the company's web site) was designed as an inexpensive video camera for those who live by the seat of their pants and want to share their experience with the world. As you can see from the picture on the left, the ATC-1000 is a long cylinder. At one end is the camera lens and microphone at the other end is the screw cap that covers the batteries and memory card slot. On the top is a simple LCD screen that communicates status and 4 buttons - two small buttons that help you program the device and adjust settings and two large ones - one is the shutter button on the still camera and the other is the start/stop button for video recording. The camera comes with 32MB of on-board memory, which, unfortunately is only capable of storing about 3 minutes of video at the highest setting - for all practical purposes, you will need to by an SD card if you plan on using this to tape short excursions (a 512MB sd card will get you about 45-50 minutes of video at this setting).

The camera also comes with all kinds of clips and straps to enable you to mount on a helmet (like the picture) or on your handlebars, arm, leg, or head. It also comes with both a USB cable and RCA A/V cables for connecting to your computer or TV.

I put the camera through two 'Action' tests: 1) Outdoors, I used it strapped to my helmet to tape NYC during the recent transit strike and 2) Indoors, I strapped it to my hip while executing a Judo throw (Videos to come soon). In both cases I learned that to truly get good footage you need to play with the positioning of the camera a couple of times to get the appropriate angle. Even when you do, you need to mount the camera somewhere that will remain relatively level and focused on the action you want to tape. For example, in the rollerblading test, every time I dip my head, you see a lovely video of the street and not the people and sidewalk fare.

Overall I think that it is a decent value for the money, and reccomend it to those of you who want to make audition tapes for X-Games.

Monday, January 02, 2006

holiday reviews 2

OREGON SCIENTIFIC
by Jason Crystal

MyPix Personal Digital Photo Viewer. Everybody you love…in the palm of your hand! MyPix is a digital fashion accessory designed so that you can carry your friends and favorite photos with you everywhere you go! For ages 8 to adult. It comes with a large 1.4” color LCD screen for vibrant photo images and changeable deco inserts for customized look. You can add fun titles, wild borders, and animated images to your pictures and it can Store over 50 of your favorite images. It comes with PhotoReady 1.0 software to load images and customize photos and requires 1 x AAA battery (Not included). We loved this product for its unique value of being able to fit in your pocket and still hold up to 50 pictures so you can remember those who count whereever you are and whenever you want. We gace this product three and a half stars for its fun and unique values. It retails for $59.99 and is for teen to adult.


Finally we have the ATC-1000 Action Camera. Play Hard, Record Everything Extreme sports enthusiasts can’t wait to get their hands on this one – and attach it to their helmet, arm, leg or bike! Both shock- and splash-resistant, the ATC-1000 is ready to capture challenging feats down mountain bike trails, up the skateboard ramp or across the sky on a hang glider. Its wireless, compact design makes its great for any occasion. TV cable for instant replay on the big screen and USB for easy uploads, PC compatible Action Lab software – edit still images or video. There are three resolutions at 15 fps: 640 x 480 (default), 320 x 240 or 160 x 120. You also use a SD card for expansion – standard memory is 32MB and it operates with 4 AAA batteries, which are not included. Strap to a helmet, handle-bar, arm or leg Note: for optimal performance in colder conditions (at or below 0 degrees celsius/32 degrees Farenheit) Lithium batteries are recommended. Recently, during the transit strike my brother use this camera on his helmet while he rollerblade from grand central station to his work and sent me via email a couple of minutes of his trip. We watched it a few times and its one of the coolest things i have seen in a while. Now you do not have to miss the amazing stunts, tricks, or other cool moments with this new camera and you can send them to others who could not make it either. We gave this product four stars for its uniqueness. This product retails for $119.95 but i think its worth every penny, since you will do things you have never done before or show off things that they never seen before. So if you need any more information on these products or others from Oregon Scientific check out their webstie at www.oregonscientific.com


UNIVERSAL REMOTES
by Jason Crystal

KAMELEON 6 Hybrid Universal Remote. Features a Revolutionary Electro-Luminescent display that reveals active screens for the device in use while inactive devices remain hidden. UNIVERSAL Learning remote with key animation for ease of use and set-up. UPGRADEABLE, TV, DVD, VCR, PVR/DVR, Cable, Satellite, CD, Audio. Unique easy to set up customizeable operations featuring Master Power Key, 4 user defined Macros and preferential Home Theator Settings. Also has advanced controls for Audio and DVD. We loved this product due to its unique style of hiding all other devices except the one you request. I used to get so confused why there were so many buttons and which one was for what and which device was I on. So when i tested this baby out and saw how easy and i said we have to give this device three and a half stars for its unique, fun and imaginative values. We would recommend this to anyone and its on our shopping list of must haves for this Holiday. Retails for about $79.99 but you can get it online for about $33.99 whiles the deals last at buy.com.

TURBO CHARGE
  Another product we tested before the 2006 CES is the Turbo Charge. This is a mini charger about the size of a bullet and it holds one AA battery. It plugs into your phone via the right adapter and it gives you two hours of phone time for every AA battery.the Turbo Charge can give you up to two hours of talk time depending upon the type of portable cell phone or PDA.  Also, please note that the Turbo Charge can be used anywhere in the world and because it requires only 1 AA battery, it is reusable.  So its always good to have in case you are in middle of an important call and you are not near you charger. Also if you are walking the floors at CES this year its good gadget to have to you know you will have a working phone the whole day. We gave this product four stars for its really unique and creative values.The MSRP on the Turbo Charge is $19.99.The URL is www.turbocellcharge.com.  The product is for sale on the website and also in major department stores, office supply chains, wireless stores and sporting goods outlets across the US.

DYNATECH

        First we have Atomic Blox, the next generation of construction building sets has arrived. Atomic Blox features MECS (Modular Electro Conductive Snap) technology to create an electronic connection between blocks and provide a high output LED (Light Emitting Diode) light to build eye-catching models that will illuminate the room. These blocks are fun to build during the day, but the excitement really begins when the lights are turned off, adding a whole new level of play. Playing in the dark has never been this much fun.  We gave this to a family with all boy and they loved it. They said that its true at night or in the dark the toys come more to life. Of course what you make adds to it too. making an animal that lights up on the eyes would be really cool. This product was given three and a half stars for its fun and creative values. Atomic Blox are recommended for ages 6 and up and come in open-ended assortment sets of 20 ($14.99), 30 ($19.99), 50 ($29.99), 75 ($39.99) and 100 ($49.99).  A Fusion Series is also available that includes specially designed body armor to create a space ship (Sigma - $24.99), dinosaur (Gamma Rex - $34.99) and robot (Zetatron - $39.99).


Finally we have the Play2O, which Play2O is the brand new interactive game combining the fun of water play with characters from the world of video games. Features include innovative enhancements from water games of the past like flashing lights and actual sounds from video games or TV shows. Play2O will bring characters like Super Mario, Donkey Kong of Nintendo fame and Pokémon favourites to life. It also includes directional water jets for gamers to have complete control of their character through the many different traps and mazes each game has to offer. We had Pokemon and the kid who got this was ecstatic since he is a big pokemon fan. We were told he still loves playing it every night before he goes to bed. We gave this product four stars for its unique way of gameply for the next generation. Play2O is recommended for ages 4 and up at a suggested retail price of $14.99

B_BEL
First we have the Trading Spaces Two Story Two Room House from the B-Bel company. This house is an over 90 piece set and comes complete with stylish furniture, electrical walls, and trendy decorating accessories. The two rooms included in the house are the Living Room and the Teen Bedroom. Accessories include stamps, paints, stickers, weaving, stencils, paint-roller and sponge. Paints wipe clean from the walls, stickers are removable and floors are reversible. You can collect other Trading Spaces rooms to finish your house. Lights and electrical accessories sold seperately. All Rooms are interchangable in the houses. Colors and styles may vary. Kids love this products since its a great way to show their creative side and then changing it if one does not like it. We gave this to a few girls who loved it and used it for hours. We gave this product three stars for its creativeness and fun values.

Next we have the B-Bel Wild Ones Adventure Crew Hang Glider. The Adventure Crew - Hang Glider takes on the sky with a wind sport adventure! Figure comes equipped with helmet, rope, poles, body bag and glider. Glider has wingspan of 46 inches, and can really fly with figure on board. We tried this product and its seems cute but did not catch the kids eye for a long time so we had to give this product two stars for its fun value and potential it has to become a better toy soon in the future from B-Bel. We look foward to seeing more fun and exciting games/planes from B-Bel

PLAYMATES TOYS

From Playmates Toys comes this cute new toys called Cold Nose Kisses Amazing Puppies. These 12" feature plush puppies that are truly amazing! Pat their heads and rub their bellies and these puppies respond to your love and care by getting more and more excited. Their tails start to move faster, they start to bark louder and louder and ultimately, when they are truly happy dogs. When you place their nose on your face, they give you a cold, wet puppy kiss! These puppies are the newest sensation of this year. Its like what the pound puppies used to be but these are also electronic. Kids love these products due to the fact that they cute and cuddly and they interact with them. So we gave these products three and a half stars for its cute, unique and fun values.

Next we have from them the Kinder Garden Babies - Blueberry. Each of these adorable soft body baby dolls comes with a carrier that transrofms into a bed and feeding chair. These cute adorable babies will be on everyones wish list but its still has competition that is stronger. These babies transform from a blueberry to a baby. It even has a blueberry shaped hat and he even smells like blueberries too. We gave this cute little doll three stars for its fun and unique values.

Finally we have the Lion Yo Stick. The only Trick Stick on the market where you control the twists and turns with the flick of your wrist! Shaped like a stick, Yo Stick includes a mechanism that automatically retracts the string. Includes X-treme themed safety caps on each end.Safety information Caution: Avoid contact with eyes and face. Let people around you know you are playing with Yo Stick and provide adequate space. Do not throw, strike at, or swing at people, animals or objects. This is obviously not made for kids under three but i would suggest that kids should not use this until they are eight years old. We gave this products three and a half stars for its fun and creative values and its challenge for even adults. You guys will have hours of fun with this maybe even days!!!!

MORNING STAR GAMES

Here we got Pet Detectives - Pet Finding Game by Morning Star Games. This game features real pictures of animals, Pet Detectives takes the game of memory, adds math skills and also teaches kids about different animals. There are even custom cards so you can include pictures of your own pets in the game. Race against other detectives to find the most lost pets. Ask other detectives if they´ve seen pets such as Tootsie the Tortoise, Mr. Wigglesworth the Boston Terrier or Churchill the Cat. When you match the lost and found cards for a pet, you win reward money. Be the detective to find the most lost pets by the end of the game and you win. Contains: 80 pet cards, 4 custom pet cards, 26 Action Cards, 50 Pet Dollars, Instructions.Once they started playing with this they never stopped or did not want to stop. We love this game and gave it four stars for kids ages three -seven. Its fun, educational and helps kids to use thier mind. Pet Detectives Named "100 Best Children's Product of 2005" by Dr. Toy

Next we have the game You're Pulling My Leg! from Morning Star Games. Here
you'll laugh out loud as you and your friends try to fool each other with outrageous stories about your lives. When a card is drawn and a question is asked, the secret roll of the die tells you if your answer should be true or made up. Then you hear a story, bet tokens on whether you think your friend is telling the truth or pulling your leg. You'll win tokens if you're right but lose them if you're wrong. Think you know your friends? How well do they know you? Bluff other players but don't let them fool you. Score enough tokens and you win! Contents include 220 cards with 614 questions about your life, 100 tokens & velvet bag, True or False die, Tin shaker, and Timer. We loved the old version of this game and of course we love this version. We play this game over and over again but we think they should make extra decks of cards to add on to this game for more playing time. We gave this game three and a half stars for its fun, imaginative and creative values. The game is for 2 or more players and ages 12 and up and its suggested retail valkue is $24.99.

Finally we have You're Pulling My Leg! Jr Version Game from Morning Star Games. Now the award-winning You're Pulling My Leg! has been adapted for kids and families! You'll laugh out loud as you and your friends and family try to fool each other with wacky answers to outrageous questions. You play this game the same way as the original just its for kids 9-13 and the suggested retail value is $24.99. This game "You're Pulling My Leg! Junior" was named one of the greatest products of the year by iParenting Media. We gave this product three stars for its fun and unique values.

DIGITAL BLUE

This unique product the USB Microscope - QX5Zoom in on stuff - up to 200X and is from Digital Blue.This computer microscope allows you to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary for hours of fun and learning. View specimens collected around the house, backyard, your desk, or the fridge. Look at the micro-printing on a dollar bill or examine the traces on your motherboard. This microscope provides you an easy way to zoom in on a wide variety of objects to satisfy your curiosity of the world around you. Ever wondered what lint looks like or the mold growing on your week-old bagels? Now you can find out.

Simple plug and play operation with included software that allows you to magnify objects and view them on your PC up to 200X and take snapshots and time-lapse movies. You can also manipulate images with drawing and painting tools. The QX5 microscope is detachable from the stand to allow you to get closer to large objects.

We love this product because a kid or even an adult can take their imagination even further now with this new microscope. Games like cops and robbers can be more fun with using the microscope and claiming we found evidence dug underneath the carpet or in the corner of the room. We can learn more now too about different types of speciments out there with this microscope and software that allows you to zoom in 200 times. We give this product four stars for its fun, creative and unique values. Its suggested retail price is around $79.99 and for ages eight to adult. For more information on this or other product from Digital Blue checking out their website at www.playdigitalblue.com.



EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS

First we have Heximania from Educational Insights. Which is a wild and wacky word search game for the whole family! Players take turns placing letter tiles and earning points for each word built. Words may be read in any direction-up, down, backwards, forward or in a sweeping swirl! When the board is full, the player with the highest score win. We gave this game to some kids who love scrabble and they say this is much easier and much for fun for them. They loved playing this game and they also loved the fact that you can even spell it in a swirl and backwards. Two things you usually can not do in any other type of spelling game. We gave this product three stars for its fun and creative values. Its for 2-4 players, ages 6+ and suggested retail price is around $24.99..

Next we have the product called Teddy. Young children learn colors, shapes, visual discrimination, alike and different, go-togethers, counting, and much more with Teddy, the teaching bear. The charming bear “tutor” comes with 24 two-sided game cards (48 games) that fit on the sturdy Activity Pad. Just place a card on the Activity Pad and turn the color-coded dial to match the card. Look at the question, then place Teddy on an answer square. If you are correct, Teddy lifts his flag high in the air! Kids love this product because if they are right Teddy celebrates with them with his raising of the flag. It motivates them to want to learn and get the answers right. We give this product three and a half stars for its unique value and since it makes your kid/s to actually think before they answer. Nearly 200 questions, no reading required. Cards store neatly inside Teddy’s Activity Pad. Retail value is about $24.99 and is for ages six and up. For more information on this or other products from Educational insights please log on to their website at www.educationalinsights.com