Looney Tunes 8GB USB 2.0 MP3 Player $3
- There are three kinds of people in this world: those who choose Sylvester MP3 players, those who choose Tweety MP3 players, or those who buy both to reenact their favorite episodes
- Easy to load, simple controls, no screen to shatter
- Includes earbuds and built-in speaker, both of which are adequate to the audio needs of your average 8-year-old
- They're three bucks! Where are you going to find a better three-dollar stocking stuffer?
- Also works as a USB stick, if you're the office wacky guy whose office supplies must likewise be wacky
- Model: EKMP38GM700, EKMP38GM800
It's a gift, not a lesson.
There's a tendency - maybe more pronounced among adults without kids, but certainly not exclusive to them - to give kids gifts wrapped in some kind of lesson. The picture books about the Great Depression. The Beatles mix CDs stacked with "Yellow Submarine" and "Octopus's Garden". The kids' knitting and cheesemaking and entomology kits. And that's fine. Thoughtful. Admirable.
But kids cannot live by "admirable" alone.
So here's a brightly colored piece of junk that makes noise. These cheapo Sylvester and Tweety MP3 players won't win any audio awards, or technology awards, or educational awards, or really just any kind of awards. They hold 8GB of music. There's no screen to see what you're listening to. They're not very loud, although the built-in speaker is a nice touch. Oh, and they look like cartoon characters.
A child of a certain age will be thrilled with it, and they won't learn a damn thing. Just give it because it's fun for them, not because it makes you feel like the cool grownup in their lives.
But if you insist on a mission of educational uplift, here's one. While Looney Tunes characters like Tweety and Sylvester are still reasonably well-known to kids, the original cartoons that made them icons are pretty sparse on TV these days. So you could use these as a gateway into the genius of Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng and Mel Blanc and Carl Stalling. And from there, kids will learn about Wagner and surrealism and the Three Musketeers and certain show tunes from the 1890s-1910s. That's the best kind of lesson: the kind that's indistinguishable from fun.
Or keep a set for yourself and teach kids it's OK for grownups to love cartoons.