It is not often that I get a chance to do a product review on a toy, but given that my audience here on MusicEdMagic is obviously slanted toward the musically minded I jumped at the chance to take a look at some new musical toys from Fisher Price. The first of these is the I Can Play Guitar, a self contained electric guitar that your budding musician can hook up to the family television to begin his rock star training. So what was the verdict? Read on to find out!
From the second we tore the wrapping paper off of the box my expert
testers were obsessed with the I Can Play Guitar from Fischer Price.
The shiny new battery operated toy was quickly removed from its
packaging and immediately the music began to flow. Being a music
educator I must admit I was hoping for something a bit more realistic,
but in the end the only thing that counts is the opinion of the
testers, and my clan of three early elementary school kids initially
give it a big thumbs up. The question was, would this new toy have any
In The Box:
- I Can Play Guitar
- Rock Favorites Game Cartridge
- 3 Guitar Picks
- Guitar Strap
- Sticker Sheet (for decorating the guitar)
- RCA Connector Cable
Out of the box the I Can Play Guitar comes ready to rock. You simply attach the guitar strap and plug the connector cable from the guitar into your television. Sixty seconds later your child is learning how to play guitar (sort of) using an on-screen tutorial that is very reminiscent of the popular Dance Dance Revolution video game. Unlike that title however, I Can Play Guitar requires no additional equipment to use. The included cartridge features a small number of songs, all of which your child can play along with by strumming the plastic strings and pushing down the color coded buttons on the guitar frets. My six year old quickly got the hang of it, eventually beating his old man and making it to the highest levels of rock stardom. I personally cannot seem to make it past level two.
Good Points of the I Can Play Guitar:
The I Can Play Guitar is very interactive, and children will work for hours to better their eye-hand coordination to make it to the highest levels. The guitar is also fairly realistic, in that each fret has six buttons, similar in style to a traditional six string guitar. The I Can Play Guitar also functions without being connected to a television, allowing your child to create her own music by strumming the strings and selecting different color coded buttons. The unit seems fairly durable, and stands up to repeated use. Another big plus is that it comes complete with brand name alkaline batteries already installed and has an automatic shut-off feature after five minutes of inactivity.
While the name of the toy is I Can Play Guitar your child will not be truly learning to play a real guitar. Although the concepts are the same and the on screen guide shows proper hand position and strumming, remember that the I Can Play Guitar is still just a toy. Still, it is a toy that your kids will probably love playing with again and again. If you as a parent get sick of hearing the same song over and over again just pop in a different cartridge for a whole new set of songs.
The I Can Play Guitar from Fischer Price is available everywhere including online at Amazon.com. The basic guitar unit sells for around $90 while additional cartridges sell for around $13. Popular titles such as those from American Idol and Spongebob are also sold separately.