Let’s Rock Elmo


Hasbro’s Let’s Rock Elmo rocked the Toy Fair in New York earlier this year.

I’ll leave it to the video presentation made at the Fair, and leave it to you to decide who is potentially more irritating, Elmo or the presenter:

Hasbro very kindly gave Kai a basic set (without the extra instruments) last week which we put to use immediately. Kai’s verdict? He loves Elmo. He danced and sang and ran around the room while Elmo rocked. Naomi and I are usually averse to toys which are full of sound and lights, but Let’s Rock Elmo seemed to interact with Kai in a healthy way.

What we didn’t expect was the exchange between Elmo and Kai after they’d acquainted themselves with each other:

Elmo: Please give Elmo the drums.

Kai: No! No no no no, no! Kai play drums!

I suppose it wouldn’t really be rock ‘n’ roll without artistic disagreement.

Let’s Rock Elmo is designed for kids aged 18 months and up, and retails for S$129.90. Add-ons include Let’s Rock Cookie Monster Keyboard (S$36.90), Let’s Rock Elmo Guitar (S$36.90) and Let’s Rock Grover Microphone (S$26.90).

If you’re beginning to think of Christmas presents for the kids, this is definitely an option.

If you’re hoping for a chance to score a basic set of Let’s Rock Elmo, here’s the place for it: Hasbro has given me one set to give to a lucky winner. Here is how you stand a chance: Send in a pic or video of your kid (18 months to 3 years) playing a musical instrument or singing or both. You can either post the photo here or link to a separate page. Contest will close 20 October 2011.

Hurry, grab your kid and Let’s Rock! (And tell your friends!)

PC Show 2011

The crowds at the PC Show are such that the media are treated to “previews” an hour before the gates open and the hordes start pushing in.

Thank you people at Grayling who’ve invited us for the second year running. We got our stuff, “redeemed” our freebies, and fled unscathed.

By today, the people manning the booths would’ve also been seasoned enough to deal with the questions and purchases, so that should be a big plus if you’ve decided to head down for a bargain.

There’s one thing I really cannot tahan besides the crowds though – and that’s the massive use (and wastage) of paper from printed fliers. You could end up going home with a stack of paper two feet high if you took every flier on offer, or that was pushed into your face.

Do you have to ask your kids’ permission to use your iPad?

Like many other parents, we sometimes have difficulty prying our son’s grubby hands off the iPad. Ever since the first version was released, Kai has taken to it like a true iOS native.

He now thinks that every screen is a multi-touch screen, and has been seen trying to swipe shopping malls’ electronic directories to change pages.

I was thinking of how to summarise what we use our iPad(s) for, now that the iPad2 comes with a camera (and I was treated to some of the many amazing things it could do) – but really, it all comes down to what Kai does with it:

1. Angry Birds
2. Talking Gina
3. Talking Tom
4. iDP FREE
5. Cat Piano Jr
6. iBooks
7. YouTube
8. Videos
9. KidsSongs

When we got our car last year, we thought about decking it out with the latest in Audio-Visual entertainment, you know, like an in-headrest DVD player with tv tuner – the works, basically. And we were astonished at the price.

So last year, when iPad1 was released, we said to ourselves, “buying two 3G iPads and holsters for the headrest is cheaper than buying an in-car DVD player!”, and went out and did just that.

Kai has never looked back since (cos as long as we put the iPad in the headrest holder, he’s looking forward), and enjoys long car rides watching his favourite Disney movies, Sesame Street YouTube playlists, his favourite music videos on an iTunes playlist, or simply practice his numbers one to twenty something and letters A-Z on one of many many apps that we’ve downloaded for him.

In the other passenger seat, we’ve also put up an iPad holder so that Naomi can do her own stuff looking up maps to give me directions to where we’re going, or to check Twitter to see if anyone’s warning about some mall flooding. Nothing beats a backseat driver with real-time information and forecasts.

Now with the iPad2, Kai’s in-car entertainment can be interrupted by FaceTime calls while we’re on the move.

I don’t know how he feels about that.

Apple Corner

Anyone who’s been to the ToTT Store in Bukit Timah will know what a kitchen wonderland it is, chock full of appliances we can’t afford, plus an IKEA-style cafeteria that is suspiciously not as crowded as IKEA’s cafeteria.

We had been looking for an apple corer over the weekend, because one of our new projects required coring many apples at a go, and doing it the conventional way would mean at least half a dozen apples going bad before we finished a batch.

We called ToTT, and some friendly chap called Thud (but who spelled his name as “Thad”) very helpfully went around the 36,000sf store and found three types of corers in stock, and said to come down and take a look.

We did, found a Jamie Oliver Twist N Slide Apple Corer, and asked one of Thud’s colleagues for the other two types. They looked it up on their computer and said, “Sorry, it’s the only one”.

We said, “No, your colleague Thad said there were three!”

They said, “Thad? Oh. Thud. Wait, we call him and ask.”, and picked up the phone and said, “Hello? Thud? Gut one customer say you tell dem gut three kind of apple corner, but we cannut pine. Dut’s what we entered: APPLE CORNER. Don’t hub. OK, I look again”.

We bought the Jamie Oliver Twist N Slide in the end.

Jamie Oliver cornering an apple