Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Videos: Santa's Portable North Pole vs. Magic Santa

You may have heard a lot of the hype over the Santa Claus messages you can have sent to your kids to aid them in keeping the magic of Christmas alive. I did the Portable North Pole video one last year for E, and that is when he fell in love with all things 'Ho-Ho'. It was pretty cool.

This year, I had heard a lot about Magic Santa, so I decided to try it out first, but truth be told, I wasn't as impressed with it, as I am with Santa's PNP version. There are a couple of things that differ between the two, and each one has its definite advantages, but for me, the PNP video was the clear winner because of one basic feature: Santa says my child's name.

E, who's full name is Emery, was not recognized by the Santa Magic system, Santa in fact says 'Oh hello there DEAR FRIEND'. If your child's name is Bob or Suzie you probably won't have a problem, but if their name is not considered main-stream, you'll get 'Dear Friend'!

The PNP system recognizes a wide variety of names, and lets you confirm the pronunciation of your child's name too. When the video starts and he says 'Well hello there EMERY' - E's face was pretty priceless!

The other big win for the PNP video is that is loads rather quickly in comparison to Santa Magic, which took (and a day) to get up and running. We had to watch this mail envelope slowly go from the computer to the North Pole before the video was ready to roll and I'm pretty sure that taking a trip to the North Pole was actually quicker!

Neither system allows you to specify an exact gift. Last year the PNP system let you upload a photo of what the gift was that your child was most likely to receive from Santa Claus, but this year it is kept to categories. E is asking for a Firetruck, and each video just says 'truck' to keep it simple.

The PNP video, does let you reference two special events from the past year and allows you upload extra pictures, where as Magic Santa, lets you reference a special event, but Santa only says it, doesn't show it.
I did like the Magic Santa video for explaining what Santa was doing during the video (trying to figure out if the child has been good or bad), and for actually putting 'the order' for the specified toy in with an elf. But I appreciated the elves' role in the PNP video a bit more because of their anticipation of whether the child made the good boy(girl) list, and their added excitement when the machine determines GOOD!

In the Magic Santa video, it does close off nicely but putting a Christmas bulb with the child's picture on it, on Santa's tree, but overall I thought the PNP video was more believable - right down to the Santa Claus costume and beard that is used.

Here is a clip of E watching his Santa PNP video for the first time! If you have a few minutes of your time and have not done this yet for your children, it is truly worth your time - I don't think you will regret it! 

Did you do one of these videos for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or godchildren? How did they like it?

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