“The Vtech Storio is a lovely idea, it really is, but I’m not sure it’s a lot of fun.”
Buy online at ToysRUs
£54.95 plus £16 per story
Initial Thoughts: We received two Storio consoles in the same week, thanks to VTech and the ToysRUs Toyologist programme. This gave me the opportunity to test them with two different five-year-olds. Flea and her cousin Harry are both five. They were both incredibly excited to see the Storio and get started, with Harry declaring, “I have wanted one of these ALL MY LIFE.”
We liked: The Storio is simple for kids to handle. It’s a bit like a Kindle for kids with a touchscreen that displays an illustrated story, and allows kids to interact with the content. Our console came complete with Toy Story 3, which was very exciting to both testers.
We weren’t keen: I think the Storio has a lot of potential but Flea put this down after less than half an hour. Over the past couple of months, she’s picked it up once or twice, but doesn’t tend to play for long. I think it’s because the console just doesn’t offer much in the way of play potential and interactivity – the story is basically a recording that runs over a series of still illustrations and runs for five minutes.
The games are then vocabulary games: “Which word means tired?” or you can click on a word to hear its meaning. I can see it’s educational but clicking on a word to hear its meaning is about as much fun as it sounds. After half an hour, Flea had done every single game and level, and announced ‘Finished’. Not what you want to hear when you’ve spent £70 on a toy! Also, this takes batteries – 4 AAs, and it eats them at a terrifying rate, meaning the cost of running the Storio is pretty high.
Overall: It’s a shame perhaps that we tested this after testing the Leapfrog Tag, which in my view is superior to the Storio in almost every way. The Tag takes fewer batteries, is far cheaper, and most importantly of all is more fun – the Storio is pretty much ignored in our house, while the Tag (which Flea’s owned for over a year) is still played with most weeks. Perhaps at five, Flea and Harry were just too old for the Storio – it’s suitable for age three so if you have a toddler who isn’t yet reading, perhaps it’s more suitable – but I’d still worry about spending so much on something kids will likely grow out of within a couple of years.
[Sally, Who’s the Mummy?]