TAG Or Leapster??

Updated on December 15, 2010
K.S. asks from Los Altos, CA
12 answers

Hi Ladies,
I am thinking of buying the kids the Tag reading system or the Leapster for christmas. For those of you who have them, which one do you prefer and why? Are they worth it? Do your kids really like/use them? As you can see I haven't really done my own research yet, but you ladies are a wealth of knowledge I thought I'd ask you lot.
I very much appreciate your help,

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answers from Little Rock on

I bought my son both for Christmas last year. He likes to lay in bed at night and play his Leapster or take it along for long trips. He has not shown a lot of interest in his Tag reading system though. He is in K-4 this year and is learning to recognize the alphabet letters and learning their phonics sounds. They will be reading "some" by the end of the year. They are already reading words like cat and bat, etc. I am hoping that with his increased interest in learning to read that he will show more interest in the Tag. I also just bought my daughter a Leapster2 for her 3rd birthday even though the age recommendation was for 4 and up because she showed a lot of interest in her brothers. In fact, they have had knock down drag outs over it. She is not really capable to play the games without help, but she does enjoy it.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.-
I bought a Leapster2 for my son when he turned 4 this year. He loves playing with it and learns as he plays. Now, I jsut bought him a TAG reader for christmas and have heard really great things about it but I wont find out until I give it to him to know if it's going to help him start learning how to read. I read books to him almost everyday and even if it's the same one, I don't mind that, kids learn by repetition, whatever makes him happy. Good Luck!


answers from Bakersfield on

We got the Tag last year from my daughters godfather and she loves it, but I think the leapster might be your best bet because it's more like a game to them. The tag is just reading a story and a little bit of play here and there. They both connect to your computer so you can check their progression. Besides the leapster has tons of games they can choose from and learn different things with.
Good luck with you decision!


answers from Dallas on

Ok, tons of experience with this, so here's the bottom line- my daughters LOVED LOVED the Leapster system. BUT, the touch-screen broke after three months. Her best friend had a leapster as well, same thing, the touch-screen broke after five months. If you call Leap Frog to try to remedy the solution, they offer NO HELP. They do not stand by their products, AT ALL. If you google "Leapster Reviews", you can see that this isn't just me... this is a regularity for Leap Frog products. They don't last, and they offer no help for fixing. Their customer service is awful.

Having said all of that- one option is to go ahead and purchase the Leapster (which again, my daughter absolutely LOVED) but be sure you purchase the warranty that the retailer offers. They will sell you one and two-year warrantys, so that if the Leapster breaks (which it will), they will replace it, no questions asked.

Another option- I am getting my youngest daughter the VTech MobiGo for Christmas this year. Unlike Leapster, the MobiGo is getting great reviews, and Vtech offers much better customer service. My older daughter had a VSmile game console (which is also made by Vtech) and when we had some minor issues with it, we called Vtech, and they were glad to help.

Another option- Nintendo DS. A little more expensive (I think the DS lite consoles are $79 now), but tons more game cartridge options, and my six year old LOVES hers. Even better, when the touch screen got a scratch on it, (because my Dog stepped on it), causing it to not work properly, Nintendo completely replaced it, no questions asked, no receipt for purchase necessary. Their customer service is AWESOME.



answers from San Francisco on

HI K.-

My daughter has had the Leapster since last Christmas and Tag since the prior Christmas.I say the Leapster gets considerable more use than the Tag. Also - you'll want to take into consideration your child's age -- the Tag books go to a certain age (I think 6 or 7) and the Leapster has games that go a bit older (maybe 8).

Long story short -- I recommend the Leapster.

Happy Holidays!



answers from Seattle on

Well we got Tag Juniors for our boys and are now wondering if we should have gotten the regular Tags. Our boys are 3 1/2. They are extremely good with letters, basic numbers, colors, shapes-all of that is down pat and has been for well over a year. They can definitely recognize words. They seem to like the Tag Juniors so far, but there isn't much they are getting out of them they don't already know. Our 20 month old daughter may benefit more. But the Tag Juniors are easier to hold, so better for kids who are younger or who have weak fine motor skills. I know you actually asked about the Leapster, sorry, I don't know much about this product, but I like most of the Leap Frog stuff.



answers from Dallas on

We have both. My son loves them both. And my 2 year old also loves them. I love that the Tag system allows my son some independence with reading. I like that it's an actual book, to help foster a love of books. It's not just the stories, there are also games. But if I had to choose just one, I'd go with the Leapster. First it's easier to handle while in the car (no dropping of pens, fumbling with books, etc.). And secondly it covers a lot of learning areas...math, reading, pre reading, and to a certain extent fine motor skills. We only have three games right now, and that seems to be plenty for him. I bought a few more from Target for $15, but I also printed a $5 off coupon from Leapster and was able to get two games for $20. So there are deals out there. The Leapster explorer is the new model and it has a reading section that is similar to the tag...a bit of a combo of both systems.



answers from San Francisco on

We love the leapster! It was a great toy when my boys were younger. They are now 11 and 7. They played with it a lot! Recently Target had the cartridges for fifteen dollars so if you are concerned about the price of those; they do go on sale.

I love the Leapster because we abused it and it always worked no matter what my kids did with it. I am sure I could go into my son's room, find it and it would still work.

When my baby is old enough I intend to have her use it too.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Leapster!!! TAG collected dust after a couple hours of play-never to be touched again. Leapster is so educational...tons of great learning games.



answers from Chicago on

I think this is a very difficult question to answer since they are such different systems.

Leapster I believe is a video game, that teaches by letting the kids play educational games.

Tag is a pen that reads to them and helps them sound out words. We own a Tag and the kids love it. You can turn it on to read a whole story, which one child does when she's cleaning her room.

Personally, I don't think little kids need video games at young ages. That said, we ended up buying our kids the Tag first, and as they got older we bought a DS. They are only allowed to play the DS on road trips/vacations or after all homework is done and even then on very rare occasions.

The DS made more sense for us than a kids' video gaming system since it has games up through adults. So Santa brought it to me, but bought the kids each a game to play on it. They have to ask permission to borrow/use it since it's mine.

We use free educational games and fun sites on the computer for our kids. The school has also given access to websites linked to school work that the kids can access using a password. Again, we've used the hand-me-down computer to also do school research and projects.



answers from Milwaukee on

Just bought the Leapster Explorer. Haven't used it yet since it's for a gift. I like that we can buy games for it that aren't about fighting and shooting and killing and my son can still have fun. There's suddenly so many different systems out there for small children.

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