TOY BOX: VideoNow not likely to be a big player

VideoNow, by Hasbro, is a personal video player that plays minidiscs of popular kids' shows. Available discs include episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron, Rugrats, American Idol, and Day in the Life of Hilary Duff. Programs can be heard through the player's speaker, or with headphones (not included).

VideoNow, by Hasbro, is a personal video player that plays minidiscs of popular kids' shows. Available discs include episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron, Rugrats, American Idol, and Day in the Life of Hilary Duff. Programs can be heard through the player's speaker, or with headphones (not included).

The player is portable, but given its size (4.5" x 6.5" x 1"), the screen is disproportionately small (1.7" x 1.3"). Kids will have to hold the player reasonably close in order to see the screen. The picture itself, which is black and white and contains 80 x 80 pixels, is mediocre at best. It's optimal when the contrast is turned all the way up, but I still found myself tilting the player to try and get a clearer view, which I realized just isn't available. Considering the level of graphics kids are accustomed to with video games and computers, VideoNow will seem archaic. The verdict: Wait until Hasbro develops a version with a bigger screen and better graphics, or slashes the price on this one. Any questions? Write us at toybox@prweek.com
  • Sara Calabro writes Toy Box. She is a New York-based staff reporter for PRWeek ----- Price $49.99, plus $7.99 per disc Available at Amazon.com, Toys "R" Us, FAO Schwartz, and KB Toys Specs Recommended for ages six and up. Weighs approximately 1lb, runs on two AA batteries (not included), and is available in two colors: titanium and cobalt

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