In more innocent times kids made their own fun using whatever lay close to hand - be it conkers, catapults or cardboard boxes. Today's ankle-biters are an altogether more sophisticated bunch and keeping them entertained is a constant battle.
If you're looking for something to steer the little ones clear of Asbos, alcopops and obesity, this cool toy could be the answer. And you might discover the next Spielberg - Let's get the gripes out of the way first. There's no paper manual, which makes setting up and using the Movie Creator tricky. Fortunately the software is pretty intuitive - it'll probably take a tech-savvy youngster mere seconds to get to grips with things - but would it have been that difficult to knock up some guidance?
And don't for a second confuse this with a genuine low-end DV camcorder. When not tethered to a PC you can record only four minutes of footage, there's only 16MB of memory and even at highest quality the output is poor - you wouldn't use this to film a wedding, even if you hated the people getting hitched. Oh, and it requires four AAA batteries.
But this misses the point. The chunky but lightweight blue plastic camera feels childproof, although you won't want to be seen with it in public. And the editing software is incredibly simple to use. Throwing together a coherent, storyboarded movie is a cinch, even for grown-ups.
Edited or unedited film can be exported as AVI and WMV files, and still images as Jpegs or BMP, so you'll be able to impress your colleagues with your offspring's work. But it might be worth limiting the hard-drive space the kids can access, as it'll soon disappear once they start remaking The Lord of the Rings shot by shot.