2 Toys: Love one, hate the other

A toy review
Love it:
When people ask me what toys they can buy for Marco, lately my answer has been the same... books!  Granted, books are not technically "toys", but if he will play with them, and they will entertain him, that counts as a toy to me!  Toys seem to lose their novelty very quickly, and just become another thing to toss into and out of the toy chest.  However, I have noticed that Marco will actually sit with his books, turn the pages, walk around with them and asks us to read them to him.
My mom came last week and wanted to get him yet another toy... but instead opted to get him some books.  She found these books at Target for only $10.99.  

It's a box set of Sesame Street board books, with a total of 12!  That's less that $1 per book!  The box has a handle on it for easy carrying... we tell Marco he's "going to school" when he carries it.  The box also has a magnetic door that shuts firmly, so once the books are in, they're in... until your toddler pulls them all out again, (so maybe 2 seconds).  The books are small (only about 2 inches tall), but the stories are cute and colorful.

So far, Marco has pulled the books out and put them back into the box about a million times.  He loves flipping through the books, and gets excited to see all his favorite SS characters!  This was a GREAT buy! (Thanks Mom!)
To buy:  http://www.ecrater.com/p/8837156/sesame-street-set-of-12-books-in-a-carry
(I searched the Target site and couldn't find it... but that's where I got it, and it was cheaper than this site)

Hate it: 
Being a musician, I try to give Marco all the musical outlets possible.  He has TONS of musical toys... a piano, several guitars, bongos, egg shakers, claves, etc... My friend Jennifer added to his collection of instruments with the Fisher Price Alligator Xylophone.

When we first gave it to Marco, his face lit up and he loved that he could hit the bars with a mallet or press keys like a piano.  I loved it too... until I began to better examine the instrument and realized that there are many musical mistakes that are unnecessary and make me think that the manufacturers are lazy to not have done a little research before mass producing this product.  Now, these are things that wont bother most people... but I'm a music NERD... so it bothers me... a lot.
First, there are 6 bars/keys... that means it goes from Do to La.  This is awkward.  How hard would it have been to add two more keys to the body of this alligator so that it would complete an entire scale?  Ok, so if they couldn't complete the whole scale, then why go to La?  It would make more sense for it to complete at Sol... Do to Sol makes sense... Do to La, not so much.
Second, when you are looking at the alligators face, assuming that is the front, the first key on the left is the highest pitch.  This is incorrect!  On a piano, or a REAL xylophone, the low pitches are on the left, moving higher as you move to the right.  I don't think it would have cost them any more money or time to flip the order of the keys.
Third, there is only one mallet, and the cord connecting the mallet to the instrument is very short.  The fact that there is one mallet is a problem, because it teaches children to use only their dominant hand, when a musician needs to have both hands equally developed.  The cord being too short makes it difficult to reach all of the keys and you have to hold it just right in order to do so.  I'm sure it's made short as a result of some code of safety, so I'm not too upset about that one.
Overall, I think it has the potential of being a cute, entertaining and musically "sound" toy... but it falls flat.  Speaking of flat, as a personal complaint, my Do key is flat (of course).  But the truth is, Marco doesn't care about my complaints... he likes it anyway.
To buy: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300457243631&rvr_id=129293971546&crlp=1_263602_263622&UA=M*S%3F&GUID=7c3ce16e1290a02652d0fe10ffb4568b&itemid=300457243631&ff4=263602_263622#ht_500wt_1145
(I could only find it online at Ebay, although I bought mine at Target as well.)