Most times when budding rockstars pick up a guitar and start to play for the first time, it sounds like they’re stepping on a cat – well, to everyone else in the room, anyway. And when would-be drummers play that eight-minute Iron Butterfly drum solo from In a gadda da vida on Mum’s saucepans it’s not hard to tell why headache tablets are so popular. If you are the parent of one of these musicians you might want to introduce them to Paper Jamz, an affordable and innovative play instrument that provides an instant rock star experience and open-ended play, say its makers, WowWee Toys. The one-inch thick stringless guitars (slightly thicker drums) are touch-sensitive, which means you only have to the strum or tap the special circuit-embedded paper on the surface to get a professional sound. Rock on!

WowWee has six guitars and six drums to choose from, and a cardboard amplifier to let your offspring form their own rock band. Enabling them to play like pros is done with Active Graphics Technology, embedded in the paper. For instance, instead of having to play a chord by strumming the strings, guitarists just strum the drawn on chords (there are no strings on the guitars).

There are three modes by which to play the guitars and drums:

  • Perfect Play: Play perfect guitar to the three included hits embedded in the guitar
  • Rhythm mode: Control the guitar rhythm for each song
  • Freestyle: play real chords or drum beats — create your own songs – just like real instruments. And for the drums … well, you just bang away in time with the music, right?
  • There’s also a karaoke function that allows players to mute the vocals, drums or backing tracks to really hear themselves “go off”!

    The amp has a built-in speaker with volume control, line out for earphone or speaker accessories (not included).

    Each guitar and drum set includes three exclusive, licensed hit songs. The instruments and amp are all battery-powered.

    Flat toys seem to be all the rage now and at a price of US$24.99 for a guitar or drum set and US$14.99 for the amp, your young’uns could soon be on their way to stardom without breaking your bank.

    The Paper Jamz range will be available from early Fall and is suitable for 8-12 year olds.

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