Kids' cell phones come with games, lights

Consuming Interests


Although Barbies and Legos may be mainstays of the preschool crowd, you can put that notion on hold. Cell phones for kids have arrived, complete with parent-controlled features (and not a prepaid minute too soon!).

We asked parents who attended the recent Chicagoland Kids Expo in Arlington Heights, Ill., to tell us what they thought about the kid-friendly Migo, Firefly and TicTalk cell phones.

Here's what they had to say:

Debbie and Jeff Knighton's 9-year-old daughter loved the Migo, but Dad's looking for someone else to foot the bill: "Her husband can buy her one." Mom's timetable was slightly different. She favors the TicTalk -- with its tracking device and educational games -- for a 13- to 14-year-old.

Michelle and Mike Milazzo of Elmhurst, Ill., who leaned toward the Migo, are definitely on a shorter schedule. Although their son is only 3 1 / 2 , they would consider buying a phone when he's 5. Mom said: "Because we both work, we want to get him in the habit of calling us."

Susan Hall of Glenview, Ill., said her 6-year-old daughter, Jennifer, "knows how to use my cell phone better than me." The whiz kid already plays games and sets the alarm clock on her mom's cell. At the Expo, Jennifer favored the Firefly with a pink shell, which matched her outfit. Hall said she would consider buying Jennifer one, "when she's a little older, like 11 or 12."

Mahalia Brown, 9, of Aurora, Ill., says she likes the bug-like Migo.

Individual features

MIGO from Verizon Wireless

Geared toward ages 5 to 12.

Price: $79.99 with a two-year contract or $129.99 with a 1-year contract.

Our favorite feature: The bright green antennae atop the phone, which looks like a bug.

For more information about purchasing or contracts, stop by a Verizon store, call 800-922-0204 or go online at

TICTALK by Enfora / LeapFrog

Geared toward ages 6 to 12.

Price: $99. (There are no contracts; there is a pay-as-you-go plan.)

Our favorite feature: GPS and educational games.

For more information about purchasing or plans, visit


Geared toward ages 8 to 12.

Price: $99.99 (In addition, you can choose either a contract or a pay-as-you-go plan).

Our favorite feature: Firefly Fireworks' flashing lights.

For more information about purchasing or plans, visit Target, Toys "R" Us and Limited Too also sell the Firefly.

Survey results

Respondents who chose one of our reasons for considering a cell phone noted that their child would be "one of the crowd" or, in almost equal proportion, "a trendsetter." Who says there's no two ways about it?

But only one respondent chose the hipper-than-thou response, checking: "Cell phones? That's so last year. Ask me about my video iPod."

Our unofficial survey also found most parents preferred the Firefly, followed by the Migo and then TicTalk, although about one-third of the parents found it hard to distinguish among the three choices.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.