Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Worst Leap Pad

The boys were given My First Leap Pad books for Christmas, but Nama didn't realize that the My First Leap Pad and Leap Pad were two different things. My First Leap Pad didn't seem to be in stores anywhere, but I was able to order it through the Leap Frog online store, so Nama took the regular LeapPad back. The kids were very anxious to play with the Wiggles and the Thomas the Tank Engine books. When it finally came, the kids loved it! Roger especially loved the Wiggle book. However, after only about a week and half, the pen stopped working. We had some issues actually getting in contact with customer service, and their computers were down for a couple days, but we finally got the new (free) pen ordered. Without the pen, the Leappad won't work, so it ended up back on the shelf.

Last Thursday or so we got the new pen. Roger was excited that it was a different color (red, instead of yellow), and I was happy that they could play with the LeapPad again and stop fighting over Pauly's Leapster. Roger told me that when this pen stopped working, we should get a blue one. I didn't think we'd need to worry about that. I was a bit worried because sometimes it seemed to not read the pen touch the first time, but I figured I was just paranoid. A couple of hours ago, it stopped working completely. Again. I went through the routine -- plug and unplug the pen, change out the batteries, etc. Nope, same problem as before. The unit will turn on, but won't read the pen.

I called back, and luckily for my sanity, was able to talk to someone right away (I've figured out the "secret code" for actually speaking to a real person). After talking to a customer service rep, who was very nice, we've ordered another new pen, on the off chance that it was just a fluke that both pens were damaged. When, oops I mean "if," the new pen doesn't work or stops working, we'll exchangethe whole Leap Pad. The rep and I talked about going ahead and exchanging it now, but that would have required us to pay postage to send it back. The rep said we have up to a year after purchase to exchange the pad for a new one if there is a technical problem. Maybe the new pen will fix it, but I won't count on it. So now we're back to fighting over the Leapster. : (

I told Roger that he would have to wait to play with it until they sent us the pen, and he said, "Oh Good! I'll get a blue pen!!" I didn't request a specific color pen, so I hope he isn't too disappointed if it is not blue. ; )

By the way Nama, the kids love it and it is perfect for their skill levels, if only the thing would keep working!


  1. We had the same problem with our My First Leap Pad. The pen wore out in no time. Got it replaced and haven't had much trouble with it since. Sadly, though, the unit doesn't always want to read the cartridges. You have to blow into the cartridge slot, put the cartridge in and then wiggle it from side to side. Then it works. Until one of the kids bumps it.

  2. You might get better results by spraying some canned air into the cartridge slot, as opposed to blowing into it. Blowing into it can create condensation on the contacts, which can cause further problems.

    As for the pen issue, I'm not sure what to say. Since I don't have kids, I'm not familiar with this particular device, so I couldn't make an educated guess about what's wrong.

  3. We're going to go ahead and exchange the whole unit. When Bob got home, he couldn't believe that the new pen would also have worn out so quickly. He cleaned the connection (which I had also done) and the unit seemed to work again. Then it stopped again. I got it to work once more by shaking the whole unit. I think it must be a loose connection internally. So I got an RMA number and am sending the whole thing back today.

  4. Soooo.... How 'bout updating more often? I don't get much news up here in the Frozen North. :( Josie


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