Guitar Hero v Kidz Beats

Earlier we mentioned that we bought Eli a toy guitar to carry for Halloween as part of his Guitar Hero costume. In the picture below you can see a Guitar Hero guitar/controller for the PS2 game on the left and Eli’s Kidz Beats guitar on the right.

Two toy guitars

They resemble each other, yes? But a closer look turns up some notable discrepancies.

Guitar Hero Controller Kidz Beats Guitar
5 fret buttons 8 fret buttons
No built-in songs Many built-in songs
Chords must be manually played Auto-chording mode
Annoying cord Cordless
Black-and-white body Rockin’ colors
$30 $10

I had no idea Harmonix and Red Octane were ripping me off like this.

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42 Comments

  1. Joyous
    on November 3, 2006 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    So when do we get to see pictures of the Halloween costume??

  2. on November 3, 2006 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    There were no actual photos taken because I didn’t think they were going until the last minute. When Stephen and Eli returned from the 3 house spree, we had people over for the usual Tuesday night activities.

    P.S. It was a t-shirt and jeans. No biggie actually.

  3. Sean
    on November 3, 2006 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I am sure that Stephen already knows there is a wireless guitar controller available and that the song list for guitar hero 2 are out right?

  4. on November 3, 2006 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I do indeed!

  5. Dan Shiovitz
    on November 3, 2006 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, but just last week they announced Kidz Beats 2 will have laser controls, a built-in fog machine, and outfits to set your younger siblings up as roadies.

  6. Mark J Musante
    on November 3, 2006 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Dan: You heard about the expansion pack too? The one that includes a documentary crew and your choice of controversial political stance?

  7. on September 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    another guitar hero hater
    this is such a sad attempt at trying to make fun of guitar hero

  8. Ked
    on September 30, 2007 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to disapprove everything you wrote on that Guitar Hero Blog. Allow me to begin:

    1. In terms of the limited number of fret buttons, have you actually seen the new Double Range Freedom V controller? It has 10 fret buttons!

    2. What do you mean there are no inbuilt songs? In the Entire Guitar Hero franchise, there are over 200 songs that are built into the game, and they aren’t nursery rhymes either.

    3. Upset about having to play chords manually? Real guitarists have to, so get over it.

    4. The latest controllers (including the one i mentioned earlier) are wireless as standard.

    5. What where you thinking when you said that that kiddy guitar had “Rockin’ colours” ? I must have missed all the concerts where lead guitarists played guitars that looked like they had been designed by Fischer Price. No-one, and i mean no-one above they pre-school age would consider that the look of a Guitar Hero conroller is worse than the one you like. Its an insult to all the great guitarists to even think such a thing!
    For shame!

    6. Lastly, you can get guitar hero controllers cheaper that $30 on eBay

    Thanks for your time, although i doubt you will let this one get through. Lets face it mate, its the truth and you know it.

    See ya!

  9. on October 1, 2007 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    10 buttons is 2 more buttons than you need for a diatonic octave. I guess you could use the 10 buttons as two 5-button blues octaves, but blues is not rock.
    And sure, Guitar Hero has all of these songs, but they’re not in the controller. I have to buy a PS2 and a TV! With the Kidz Beats guitar, I can play Old Macdonald straight out of the box with no extra equipment. In fact, thanks to it being packaged with some of the buttons accessible and with a TRY ME sign next to those buttons, I can play it in the box as well.

  10. ked
    on October 1, 2007 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    sure, if you want to play nursery rhymes instead of grown-up songs like You Really Got Me, Sweet Child O’ Mine and Free Bird. Mate, seriously, its a bit embarrassing that you have that little to do with your time.

  11. Lance
    on October 1, 2007 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    hey don’t worry about that last post, you all right

  12. bob
    on October 2, 2007 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    eff u man , guitar hero rawks and purple and red are not rock colours

  13. ked
    on October 5, 2007 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    see this bloke has the right idea! GUITAR HEROES BEAT NON-GUITAR HERO ZEROES! But red, along with black and white are the most prominent colours in rock. Pink AND purple on a guitar is a little too girly for me.

  14. Jeff
    on October 25, 2007 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Dude your an idiot, why not just spend 5 bucks on a fake guitar for the stupid costume.

  15. on October 30, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Because fake guitars don’t pay Old Macdonald when I press a button!

  16. pat
    on November 12, 2007 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    so, what your saying is this kidz beats crap is better than guitar hero? yeah purple and red are really rockin right?

  17. katie barry
    on November 23, 2007 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I am searching for the kidz beats guitar for my son. Where did you buy it? Can’t find it anywhere……..

  18. on November 25, 2007 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    We found it at Target last year, but we haven’t really seen it since. Sorry we can’t help!

  19. Charles Riley
    on November 27, 2007 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Ked hit the nail on the head.

    A) Rockin’ Colors? Even a 1st Grader might consider that gay.

    B) 5 notes on the neck can scale every nessesary note on a guitar

    C) I totally want to play nursery rhymes instead of any of the guitar hero’s 350 available songs.

    D) If you want a rip-off, look at the characters from GH III then look at the earlier ones. But don’t bitch about the guitar, it was made perfectly.

  20. on November 27, 2007 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    While it’s true that five buttons will allow you to create Schoenberg-like five-tone row compositions, that also is not rock. However, you do have a point: those rockin’ colors are extremely happy.

  21. kiz
    on November 30, 2007 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    did you get that fisher-price toy from the same place you got your shampoo?

  22. ked
    on December 14, 2007 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    dude this message board is getting old, Stephen, give up! Guitar hero is now and will always be BETTER than your girly kid beat baby toy

  23. Mark J Musante
    on December 15, 2007 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    ked: Some day guitar hero will be old and decrepit but kidz beats will be, and this is the point, STILL A KID. I think there’s a clear winner here.

  24. ked
    on December 22, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    whatever, baby! u know im right and that hunk of junk will be forgotten long before guitar hero will be. what was its name agian?

  25. Robert
    on April 13, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    dude youre comparing a video game to a kids toy video games are played on TVs, kids toys are just toys, this is just stupid, you cant compare the 2, plus who wants to play old macdonald, with the press of one button. what are you 4?

  26. Robert
    on April 13, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    and stephen, have you even played any guitar hero in your life or have ever even seen a video of guitar hero? it actually takes SKILL to play unlike your one button old macdonald kiddie guitar

  27. Robert
    on April 13, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    AND lastly did i mention that guitar hero already had 3 successful games already with 2 new ones coming up this year (guitar hero aerosmith, and guitar hero 4)
    while kidz beats

  28. Robert
    on April 13, 2008 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    has only one game* i accidentally clicked submit comment

  29. Jota
    on April 13, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Robert! I was about to run out and buy a Kidz Beats guitar before I saw your comments. Now I’m going to get my nephew a Guitar Hero controller instead! I am hoping that maybe next year his parents will get him a Playstation as well.

  30. Robert
    on April 13, 2008 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Jota, i didnt mention this before, but an old ps2 goes for maybe 70? im not sure, it was 50 for christmas but the newer models are like 100 i guess,any of the games will run like 30-50 depending if its new or used, and for the ps2 4 GH games are out for it , Guitar hero, Guitar hero 2, guitar hero rocks the 80s, and guitar hero 3. Guitar hero aerosmith will be coming out for ps2 on june 29th ’08 and guitar hero 4 im sure will be out for ps2 , in the fall, i hope i helped

  31. on April 14, 2008 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Clearly there is only one way to settle this: a Yngwie Malmsteen-style shred-off. We will each play until we make a mistake or our fingers fall off. Thanks to the one-button Old Macdonald feature, I can play flawlessly all day and all night, at least until everyone goes insane from hearing Old Macdonald over and over.

  32. on April 14, 2008 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    :cackle: I love commenters who have busted Sarcasm-Meters™.

  33. Jota
    on April 14, 2008 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Robert: I don’t think they can afford to get him both the Playstation and the game. Which one do you think it would be better for him to have to go with his Guitar Hero controller?

  34. on April 14, 2008 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    This comment thread is a thing of beauty.

  35. Robert
    on April 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    all i can say is just get a used ps2 like i said theyre cheap, and pick up a 20 dollar copy of guitar hero 2..

    and to stephen, if u wanted the thing for a stupid costume then i mean in the long run the little oldmacdonald guitar can be used by future children, but the guitar hero guitar looks way more like a real guitar, i like the les paul the best but seriously you cant compare the 2

  36. Jota
    on April 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I shopped around a little bit, and I did find a store that was selling a used Playstation 2 and a copy of Guitar Hero 2 as a bundle. That one just had the disc by itself (no controller). It was a bit more than I wanted to spend, but I went ahead and picked it up anyway on your advice.

    I didn’t have enough money left over to buy the actual Guitar Hero guitar to go with it, though. Do you think the Kidz Beats one will work alright with the game if we plug it into the PS2?

  37. Robert
    on April 15, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    no, the kidz beats one is just a toy, no wires involved, it wouldnt work

  38. Jota
    on April 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh. But I spent all my money on the Playstation and the game. Can he play Guitar Hero without the guitar controller? I can’t afford to buy that too.

    I hope I haven’t ruined little Timmy’s birthday. It’s his very first one.

  39. tami
    on August 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I hope Stephen will still read this considering how long this thread has been inactive, but I just read through it and laughed my a$$ off. I had no idea Guitar Hero players were so venomous… I’m a Rock Band diva myself (GH SUX!!)

    Ironically, I found this thread because I am desperately looking for the ULTIMATELY SUPERIOR kidz beats guitar for my two year old who has already truly mastered RB. He might not get the songs 100% right, but he can do a dead on impression of Pete Townshend smashing a guitar, and after all isn’t that what learning to be a rock god is all about? I feel he might be ready to upgrade to 8 fret buttons.

    Now that I know about the one-button Old MacDonald feature, heck, I might have to hang up my microphone. If only I could find it for under $30!!

  40. on August 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I’m still here. I watch the internets from the sky.

    So the Kidz Beats guitar has gone away? That makes me sad, as Eli would say.

  41. on September 19, 2008 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Yo, Kidz Beats guitars have not gone away. I’m here in Montreal googling it cuz we saw it (and played it in the box due to those accessible keys and “try me now!” feature) in a gift store on Mont Royal St. tonight, and I’m thinking of getting it for the kid’s Christmas present. They are still out there, waiting to be bought! It was $26.99 Cdn. Really, I had to rip the thing out of his hands in the store. Very cool that the bar is a “strumming” bar, so if you hold down the fret button with the left hand you can “pick” the note with the right hand, like a real guitar. Thanks for standing up for the Kidz Beats, Stephen!

  42. on September 22, 2008 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I’m glad to hear they’re still available!

One Trackback

  1. By Kidz Beats Guitar Wins Again » Live Granades on August 8, 2008 at 8:16 am

    […] of you may have seen my sporadic and ongoing duel with people who see my comparison of the Guitar Hero controllers with the Kidz Beats guitar and take it very seriously. Since I’m nice that way, I string them along, occasionally […]