The Elmo set goes online
The line between toys and the Internet has blurred further with the
Easy Link Internet Launch Pad from Fisher-Price, a device that gives
preschoolers limited access to select Internet games like Elmo's Potty
Time, with the rest of the Internet sealed off behind a password.
After you plug the plastic console into a USB port on your Windows
computer and install the software, you move your keyboard to the side,
start the special browser and turn your child loose. A preschooler can
jump from one site to the next at any time by snapping one of the three
included plastic figurines into the light-up cradle. Each figure acts
as a key to pre-selected activities chosen by Fisher-Price. Once on a
site, all links to the wider Web and paths to other parts of your
computer are deactivated.
The Launch Pad is available for $30 from major retailers, and
additional figure kits, sold in packs of two for $7, include Thomas
& Friends, Bob the Builder, Barney and the Wiggles.
A set of management options lets you set a play timer, to turn off
the game after an hour, or deactivate printing options, just in case
your child decides she wants 7,000 copies of her coloring page.