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Freeplay crank powered lights/Radios

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For Christmas last year my family gave me a Freeplay EyeMax ( and Indigo ( I've not impressed with them and here are my comments:


 This is power by either solar, crank, or a included power supply. It holds power pretty good, but has some problems. The light in the front is not very well designed. After a few weeks of my son playing with it the light would not always turn off without pushing on it hard. Currently the light does not come on at all since he dropped it about 2'. The radio is OK, but I find that the station it is set to 'drifts' and you need to tweak it every 5-10 minutes.


 Much better for light, I use this as my main light when I camp. But it has problems. It has 2 light modes, the first is a single LED for directional light (reading, etc) and the 2nd is a cluster of LEDs for lantern type illumination. I find that the cluster of LEDs shuts it self off after using only a little of the charge of the battery. After the cluster shuts off, the single LED will shine for at least 30 minutes more. I think the cluster wants full power to work properly. I've not tried testing this using the included adapter, I should try that and see if the cluster works better. To be fair, the web site has instructions to 're-condition' the battery, I'll need to try that.

Another Freeplay Hand Crank/Solar Radio and Flashlight Review:
I bought in on one of the first generation of the wind up's in the early 1990's, a rather large yellow flashlight (looks like a 4 pound Camel Cricket) and a AM/FM radio.  The first few uses were fine and just as advertised, BUT... about a year later when Winter Storm '93 hit the South and we were without power for 2+ weeks, I drug them out of their hidey holes and was quite disappointed.  In both items, the bearings/re-wind springs had rusted and had this terrible death squeal when they were "un-winding".  It was mostly just annoying (and definitely not stealthy), but it rendered the radio almost useless unless you used an earphone.  The storage capacity of the batteries was toast too.  I think I paid nearly $100.00 each for them, so I was more than a little peeved.  Below are pictures of the model of the Freeplay Radio, but after searching high and low (even eBay didn't have one offered) for a picture of the flashlight, I got nadda.  It was yellow (yeller if you are South of the Mason Dixon Line <grin>), and had a four position switch "Off-Charge-Low-High"  A/C adapter was included, but no solar, and it was huge as most flashlights go, regular old style flashlight bulb (Pre-LED)

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA

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I am quite disappointed with the quality of the lights, especially since they cost a good bit

I had one of the freeplay wind up radios back in 2000 or 2001.  It didn't have the light but it did have a solar panel so you could use it without cranking it in the sun.  It was about the size of a small boom box & worked about 30 minutes or so if you gave it a full crank.  It didn't last very long however, I think it quit working within the first year.  Not sure why, I think the crank broke on it.  One day it just wouldn't wind up anymore.

Looks like my experiences are shared with others. Freeplays are crap.


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