Friday, March 25, 2011

tag. you suck.

I don't often post rants about products or companies, but my afternoon has fallen prey to a new entry on the Enemies List:

The Tag by Leapfrog

This magical pen/wand helps kids learn to read, or, in my house, enthralls them with stories and teaches them words like "ornithologist." But it's not as magical as it seems, because for each $14 Tag book you buy, you have to hook the Tag pen/wand up to the computer and upload the audio files.

Doesn't sound like much, does it? A few 2MB files?

I didn't think so. Until I tried to hook up the Biscuit's Tag pen to upload the cool new interactive map of the United States we bought for her this morning.

That was at about 1:30. It's now 3:32.

Seriously. First, the pen was out of batteries. So I put in fresh ones. Then it wouldn't connect, so I jiggled cables, switched USB slots, pressed buttons. Still, it wouldn't work. The little green "reading your tag" bar came to mean nothing, until we were a family of Tag nihilists.

Now, mind you, if you don't press a button on the tag, it shuts down every 5 minutes, and you have to start the entire download process again. So maybe you're putting one kid down to nap or writing an article and forget to push a button.


Back to the beginning.

So here I am, anxious, snapping at my four-year-old who is incapable of understanding why she can't play with her new toy. What am I supposed to tell her?

I don't know why it won't work, sweetie. They made a crummy product, which is why your first one broke when dropped once on the carpet. And now your second one isn't working. I doubt you'll get a third one, because I'm not giving them any more money in exchange for your tears and my time. Welcome to 2011, where toys aren't meant to last even one year.

I think for the next holiday we'll just get the children some interestingly-shaped rocks. At least they won't let us down.

Welcome to the Enemies List, Tag. Have fun hanging out with Best Buy in hell.


Christopher S. Ledbetter said...

Yeah. I had been looking at that product for my 4 year old daughter and had heard a lot of bad to worse reports about it. I ended up not getting it for those reasons. Sorry you had such a bead experience with it. It sounded like such a good product.

Eoywin said...

Eeeek! Thanks for sharing so I can know to avoid them!

Anonymous said...

Dude! Having not dealt with the downloading, but instead the factoids the Biscuit offers, I love TAG. That's why I bought her that big-ass map. Cause TAG makes her stay up late studying (for fun) and say things like "Daddy, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa! Did you know it's actually a volcano? It sure is!"

- Dr. Krog

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

Tag *is* awesome, Krog-- so long as you're not the person who has to hook it up and download it. Like, say, if you're enjoying a nap while watching your favorite TV show and got to reap the Kilmanjaro benefits later.

It's 2011. I shouldn't have to hook it up to a computer to make it work. They only do that to force you into their rewards/buying/product review system, which pisses me off.

K A B L O O E Y said...

We never had the map, but I always found the TAG more awesome in theory than my kid found it in practice. It never broke on us, though. But I've been mad ever since I was sent three warped books they never replaced as they said they would. It bothers me, of course, because I never followed up. And now the kid frigging reads, so we'll never get our due. (Oh yeah. Reading's good. I forgot.)