The Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet--What to do when you can't find one.
Holy Cabbage Patch 1983 redux, parents! When we named the Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet to our 10 hot holiday gifts of 2011 list
, we knew it would be hot, but we had no idea how many parents would be emailing us in a panic, trying to track one down for their kids this year. I get it, I get it! The product is wonderful, and oh that video camera...
If you're in a bind, I've put together some options for you:
1. Check the Leapfrog Site
. Again. And again.
manufacturer's own site is often the best source of info. And often, the
best prices. Here you'll find a collection of
Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer bundles
that cost more than the basic
system but include a lot of extras. The most basic, the Leapfrog
is $159 and includes the tablet, two games, and a $20
credit to the app download center.
Right now,every package is
showing dreaded red disclaimer about unavailability. Fortunately, it's
followed by the line Check back often as shipments are arriving
. I'd do just that. 2. Check all Leappad
Explorer authorized web sellers
Right now, these include Target
and that other huge box store. Some of these sites even give you the
chance to check on stock in local stores. Target is currently showing
limited stock in several stores, as is KMart. You may have the option to
order online, hold it, and pick it up locally in-store.3.
Check your local retailer
s. By phone.
Before rushing out
to Target or Kmart, I would call them to see if they have them in
stock--and if not, ask when they're getting them in stock. Depending who
you get on the phone, the information may even be accurate! It's been
known to happen.
If they do have the tablet in stock, you may be
able to put down a credit card number and have it held for you. Our
local Barnes and Noble is good with that kind of thing.
4. Try Google Product Search for any other sellers
Right now, Google
is yielding lots of sellers--hey, there's one for
$225 at Buy.com
On the up up side? I also found some at Sears
At the normal price. (Yay Sears!) You can even pick it up in store and
save shipping costs.
5. Pay a scalper...er, an Amazon Third-Party Seller
LeapPad Tablet on Amazon
is, at the time of publishing, available
from 89 different sellers--however none of them are Leapfrog itself. And
none of them are charging the $99.99 retail price.
want a Leappad Tablet? Prices range from $195 to $227.94 (eep)
which...well, I'll withhold the judgment calls. It's supply and demand.
you realllly want one and are willing to pay the premium, this is one
case where you might not just go for the seller with the lowest price.
What's $10 more or less at this point, if you're dealing with a shady
seller--please look at the ratings! Also consider a seller like Loft
which fulfills orders through Amazon--saving you money via
Super Saver Shipping and guaranteeing delivery times. Even so, it will
cost you $219 right now.
6. Wait until after the holidays.
Buy an accessory case,
put a Leappad gift card inside, and and wrap it up all purdy for
Christmas or Hanukkah. Hopefully your kid will be excited enough that
one will be coming his way, even if it's not the exact day he was hoping
for it. Delayed gratification isn't the worst thing in the world,
especially if it saves you 125 bucks and a lot of agita.7.
Consider an alternative
The Leapster Explorer
is a fine little gadget, even if it's more like a DS than a tablet. It's just $69.99 with free shipping from Leapfrog, and is a great introduction to the Leapfrog world for younger kids.
If you have your heart set on a kids tablet, the VTech
Innotab Learning Tablet
(previously reviewed here) is one heck of
an awesome kids tablet, and might even be more appropriate if your child
is on the higher end of the recommended age range. It's more of a "my
first real tablet" than a learning/gaming system, with features that kids in the 6 and up range will really appreciate.
Good luck out there! -Liz
Find More: Games + Gaming, Helpful Services, Toys and Other Playthings