Pros: A must have for lovers of the television show and characters.
Cons: A little skimpy for the $5.99 - $6.99 suggested retail price.
It seems like the Simpsons cartoon has been around forever. The lovable and precocious characters of Springfield have become a household name over the past ten plus years. When Burger King offered the various characters in their Kids Meals I was there almost everyday trying to collect the series but pound for pound you dont really see the merchandise flooding the market these days. Im not a hard-core, obsessed fan of the show but if Im flipping through the channels and see it on Im there until the credits start rolling. When I came across this particular Shrinky Dinks activity set at Wal-Mart it was stacked up with a ton of other boxed sets in the clearance section. I grabbed a few of the various sets and headed towards the price scanner. As usual, some products were marked differently than others and since this was amongst the cheapest in the cart it went. In all honesty I didnt have a use or need for these but I simply cant pass up a bargain no matter what it is.
Sadly, not all the characters from the television show are represented in this activity pack so if you are looking for the more interesting and offbeat characters youll have to create your own. Here are some of the designs that you get in this pack: Bart on his skateboard, Lisa playing her trusty saxophone, baby Maggie giving a big hug, Mister Burns looking as creepy as ever, a nice one of Marge, Super Bart and my personal favorite of all three of the Simpsons kids around a heart. Poor Homer is only shown in one of the images so the bulk of the pictures revolve around the kids. If you want to make your own Simpson Shrink Dinks designs you can visit any number of internet websites that have black and white drawing of the characters. Simply print out the pictures, trace them onto blank Shrinky Dinks sheets, color and bake according to the instructions.
Most of the images are roughly three inches high but there are a few smaller and a few larger. Since these are designed to fit inside the officially licensed Spin Master Toys The Incredible Shrinky Dinks Maker they are all precut designs most of which are rectangular in size. Working with these in the precut form makes them a little hard to color especially for younger kids. I found that taping the edges down to the table gives them a little bit more control over coloring the pictures but you will want to make sure that all of the adhesive is removed before you bake them or you will notice a slight burning smell. Trust me on this its a smell you really want to avoid [like burnt microwave popcorn, only worse].
You might want to cut around the outer portion of the Shrink Dinks if you plan on using these for greeting cards or as magnets. No magnetic tape comes with this activity set but it can be purchased at most craft and office supply stores. Remember to punch the holes in the plastic before you bake it or trim the edges because once it is baked there really isnt much you can do with it. These shrink down nicely and - providing you take your time and color the sections in firmly and completely the end results are really adorable. You might want to hold the unbaked image up to a strong light to see if there are any gaps in the colors or areas that need to be touched up before you bake them.
You are supplied with six small generic colored pencils, three key chain attachments and six plastic bases into which the shrunken images can be placed. Maybe its just my luck, or the fact that these were on clearance, but I didnt get the three key chain pieces. Since I didnt plan on making these into key chains it wasnt a big deal, but if it says it on the box then it should be in there. If you want to make these into key chains, luggage tags or zipper attachments you will need to poke a hole in the plastic before it is baked. A hole punch works nicely but if you dont have one on hand you can poke a hole in the corner of the plastic [leave a little room towards the edge] and cut out a hole that way. The sky is the limit when making Shrinky Dinks so dont feel limited to only using the basic supplies. Get creative, get funky, get dinky!
Things To Know
Since these images are printed on small sheets of the Shrinky Dink plastic they are great for use with the Spin Master Toys The Incredible Shrinky Dinks Maker. One major complaint that people had about the Shrinky Dink Maker is that it will only accommodate smaller pieces of artwork so maybe these types of precut sets were all part of the marketing plan. If you want to use the oven instead you can fit about half the images on one cookie sheet but make sure there is enough space between them in case the small pieces decided to curl up or roll over.
You can use colored pencils, certain types of paints and markers to color in the different characters included with this set so dont feel limited to only using the six small colored pencils that are included with this set. I prefer the Crayola colored pencils since these give you the brightest colors when the image is shrunk but you can use whatever brand you have on hand. I did a little bit of experimenting with a few of the images and added embossing powder around the edges and it gave it a nice sparkly look when it was completed. Glitter wont work since there is no way to make it stay affixed to the image after baking so if you want to embellish you designs, stick with embossing powder.
The Bottom Line
If these werent on clearance at Wal-Mart would I have still purchased them? Probably not. I am a huge fan of the Shrinky Dinks principal of creating art but not when it costs an arm and a leg in the process. I understand that there are licensing fees to pay as well as the cost of manufacturing the kit itself but for what you get in the kit it just doesnt seem worth it to me. Since I hit the clearance aisles at Wal-Mart on a regular basis I get the opportunity to pick up items that are reduced to make room for new stock or just didnt sell when they were hot items. When I ran the box under the price scanner and saw that these were marked down to $3.00 [$2.99 to be exact] I couldnt resist picking them up. Prices may vary but the suggested retail price for this set was $5.99 mainstream toy stores sell these for about a dollar more so shop around for the best price and remember to check those clearance and sale aisles first!
As always, thanks for the visit
^V^ Freak ^V^
? 2003 Freak369
Spin Master Toys "Monsters Inc" Shrinky Dinks Activity Kit
Spin Master Scooby-Doo Shrinky Dinks Activity Kit
Spin Master Toys Shrinky Dinks Hair Fashion Activity Kit
Spin Master Toys "The Simpsons" Shrinky Dinks Activity Kit
Spin Master Toys Incredible Shrinky Dinks Oven & Accessories
Spin Master Toys Shrinky Dinks Funky Jewelry Activity Kit
Spin Master Toys Shrinky Dinks Room Decor Kit