The Goon Squad Gets a Laptop

I have the luckiest kids in the entire world. They have two parents who love them and are engaged in their every day activities. They are healthy, well fed and have yet to need something that they don’t get. They have four grandparents who adore them.

And now they have their own computer.

Say what you will about how much children suffer from their parents exploiting them on their mommyblogs, my children have now scored an XBOX, Wii games, dolls, DVDs, video games and most recently a laptop loaded with kids games and movies because I tell stories about them on the internet.

I think it is a fair trade-off.

I mean check this out!


FIRST SPARK™ kids PC line exclusively at Best Buy®. Featuring the Toshiba L635.

This thing is cool.

The FIRST SPARK features

  • Hardware suite featuring 13” screen, full-size, wipe-able keyboard, and DVD drive
  • Powerful enough for games and with rounded corners for durability
  • A preloaded software suite that delivers parents safety and control; plus entertainment for the kids
  • Parental Control: 1 year of Net Nanny (parental control and internet filtering service) and 1 year of KidZui (kids internet browser) pre-loaded
  • Entertainment – 2 Disney movies (“Princess and the Frog” and “Toy Story 2”) and Lego Batman game pre-loaded on hard drive

Yeah, guess which part is Ian’s favorite?

When I asked him what his favorite thing about his computer was (after I convinced him that “Claudia and me have a computer and none of the other kids do!” wasn’t a valid answer) he decided that Lego Batman was about the coolest thing ever invented.

Lego Batman Laptop

His sister liked the game where she could make her own pony.

Who can blame her?

I liked the part where it came with a wipeable keyboard.

Wipeable Keyboard

Sure, I told them that they couldn’t have food or drinks anywhere near the new computer, but we all know that life happens and eventually somebody is going to spill something. I love the fact that this keyboard is protected.

KidZui is pretty cool too.


With KidZui, even the YouTube is safe. You’ve got to love safe YouTube.

*wipes sweat from brow*

Plus my daughter tells me there in an entire menu that is all games for girls.

Fine, she was telling her brother in a super snotty voice and I overheard her, but I would think that was awesome if I was a six year old.

The FIRST SPARK (I think the name is actually all caps like KISS, I’m not yelling at you.) sells for $499 which isn’t bad at all, especially when you consider the fact that they aren’t using my computer anymore.

* * *

Disclaimer: Clearly, this computer was given to me in exchange for this post, but these are my words and my opinions.

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  1. How much is this thing? Because I know a certain 5 year old who would love it.

  2. ok, just saw the price on the post. Um, yeah, reading.

  3. rad.

    Where can my kids get one for free?

  4. Dude. So cool. That wipeable keyboard is something I could use on my own laptop. We love KidZui around here too. Jack is obsessed with it. It’s a great thing.

    I’ve been thinking about getting my kids a computer to share so they can use it without freaking me out that they’re going to delete my work stuff. But it seems so indulgent. Getting one for free is the best!

  5. smart aleck says:

    I’m not a mom or an employee of Best Buy or Toshiba (etc), but I think I have justifications for all the moms who think about buying one for their kids.

    If it’s in your budget, think about the following reasons:
    1) The hours of work that have gone into what is saved on yours
    2) The wide open access yours has to the whole internet
    3) The way your heart races if anyone but you touches your computer
    4) The “man I wish I could get on my computer right this minute” feeling you get when someone else is using it
    5) The “hmmm….did Dad erase his history the last time he used it?” question that pops in your head
    6) The fact that you would get to borrow it when they are in school to watch Princess and the Frog…just to make sure the system is working smoothly, of course

    And wait–Legos and ponies? I want that for me, goshdarnit!!!

    And a wipeable keyboard would be a great feature for when a certain blogger makes me spew coffee through my nose.

  6. DUDE, that is freaking cool. Seriously. Hmmm, wondering about talking to Santa (i.e. Grandma).

  7. That’s awesome, but please don’t tell my kids. I’m already the meanest parent on Earth. Especially now that they can’t personally have my half working Toshiba that I just replaced after only three years. I hope that one lasts longer.

  8. Can someone give me one? I’ll write nice things about it, if it just gets my 3 year old daughter OFF MY COMPUTER!

    She sneaks up to it – all secret squirrel like, and then BAM – Nothing works.)

  9. I think this is the only product review that I have ever read that actually made me interested in the product. Way to be an awesome mommy-blogger. 😉

  10. Excellent review — one question — is it too little kid or would it be good for a 10 year old to share with her 7 year old brother?

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