The Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector ($69.99).
It was pretty easy to get the Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector out of the box and install batteries. Unfortunately, you have to unscrew the battery case first; I know this is a thing now for safety purposes, but I prefer the hap-hazard, old-skool, flick-it-open-and-stick-them-in kind of battery door.
The Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector is so simply to operate that both my two and five year olds were snapping photos before I could even teach them how! It’s obviously very intuitively designed with buttons that make sense to little kids. The size is perfect for my five year old, and the grips on either side of the camera case make it even easier for him to handle, but it’s a bit large and bulky for my two-year-old’s little hands. She can take pictures, but most end up being lower than her intended target. Oops.
I like that I can feel confident giving my kids the Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector to use. After all, the Playskool brand has long been known for its ability to stand up to kids’ rough play. Overall, the quality feels quite good, though I would prefer to see some shock-absorbing rubber or silicone around the corners in case it’s dropped (or thrown!).
My kids love this camera. They don’t have an understanding of what should or shouldn’t come with a $70 product (but I do…see below). All that matters to them is:
- Is it easy to use?
- Is it fun?
- Can I be a kid with it?
This camera ticks every box. And No. 3 is what’s most important to the mom in me; it’s Playskool tough, which provides them with opportunities to operate a camera without Mommy gasping in fear over their shoulders. (Which I have a tendency to do…working on that.) I can let my kids play with it freely, not worrying that they’re (a) going to break it or (b) delete important pictures from my digital camera or smartphone.
With an age recommendation of three to seven years old, I think the target age is spot on. As I mentioned, my two year old isn’t quite strong enough to keep the camera pointed at her target long enough to snap the picture she wants (though she doesn’t actually care). My five year old is in the bull’s-eye age range and he’s having a mad love affair with the product! I think it’s accurate to assume that any budding photographer by age eight would be ready for a proper digital camera.
The highlight for them is the “Silly Button,” which has both cartoon-style faces (think animals and other fun characters) and built-in animation features — they thought it was absolutely hilarious to take a photo of Daddy as a fairy princess who danced in delight when projected onto the wall! The fun factor on this toy is pretty high.
Even taking the gaffes below into consideration, this product does deserve the PTPA Seal of Approval.
There are no batteries included. For 70 bucks, I shouldn’t have to do a battery run.
For this price tag, I would also prefer a better-quality rear screen (as it is, it’s quite hard to clearly make out the photo you’ve just taken).
I was pretty surprised that a cheap-o USB cable wasn’t included either. Since we have very new smartphones in our home, we don’t actually have a USB cable that fits the female plug in this Playskool camera. These kinds of cables can retail for as little as $5, which means they cost perhaps a dollar or two wholesale. This means I’m unable to show you any of the photos my kids took because I can’t download them onto my laptop.
Keep in mind, the Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector is a toy and not a substitute for a camera that will take important or high-quality photos.
My kids think the “silly button” is hilarious and they really enjoy switching to the projector mode, but it would be great if the “silly” effects were downloadable. After all, the kids wanted to add an elephant trunk, pirate hat or tiara to their subject…they should be able to see that on the computer and/or in print as well.
3.5/5 (if batteries and a USB were included, or the price was lower to reflect these missing items, this would definitely garner a higher rating)