My eldest daughter Sophie loves making things and when I saw this for sale on the Boots website I expected it would be something she would really like, the set currently costs £12.18 n Amazon with free delivery although the RRP is £19.99 which I would say is far too expensive.
The set comes packaged in a pretty pink cardboard box, the ends of the box are sealed simply with a piece of sellotape and then there is a Hello Kitty shaped hole on the front for you to be able to see inside. The box shows a little girl on the front with a number of creations around her and then a couple of little pictures indicating how the system will work. The box states that the set is for ages 6 and up which I would say could be about right as Sophie has had a problem with the set and she is 5.
==What You Get=
Inside the box you get the magic beader system itself, 2 metres of stretchy string, 2 key chains, 21 large beads, 28 small beads, 7 end beads and some instructions.
The instructions are A5 in size and are printed on thick glossy paper, the instructions are really good as they are seperated into sectiosn of what you get, how to use the beader, how to make a bracelet, how to remove a stopper and how to make a keychain. each of the sections has a number of different pictures to show you exactly how to work the set as well as explaining it with words and makes them very easy to follow which I think is great as if your child is a poor reader they can see easily what they have to do.
The beader is a circle shape and made of pink plastic, there is a small handle for turning which you need to slot into the top of the beader, this is realler easy to do and you will use this to turn the circle later. You have to place the threader which will help you to thread the string through the beads into place on one side of the circle and this can only go in one way so this is also easy to do so far so good.
You get a number of different beads in the set with which you can make your bracelet or keychain, in the large beads you get,
2 x Red Hello Kitty
1 x Pink Hello Kitty
1 x Hello Kitty standing
1 x Hello Kitty sitting
2 x Pears
2 x Apples
2 x Strawberries
2 x Bows
4 x Lollies
4 x Buttons with hello Kitty written on them.
Personally I find the large beads pretty poor and even Sophie said why wasn't there more Hello Kitty characters, considering how much the RRP for the set is I think that only getting 5 beads of the actual character is a rip off. The small beads you get in the set are,
4 x round pink beads
4 x pink flowers
3 x orange hearts
3 x orange stars
4 x purple round beads
4 x purple flowers
3 x yellow hearts
3 x yellow stars
The beads overall are great quality, the Hello Kitty beads have plenty of detailing on them and they don't look at all cheap. You have to make a design in the sections of the circle beader, there are so many small gaps and then so many large gaos and your child can choose which beads to put in which place. Placing the beads can be a little fiddly as each bead has a very small amount of cylinder shaped plastic at the either side of it and thse bits have to balance perfectly on the beader otherwise you are unable to thread them.
Once your child has made there design which with Sophie can take quite some time as she isn't the most decisive of children you then use the handle which you attached earlier and turn the circle at which a plastic round rod will come round and slot through all of the beads in the design and finish up at the threader, there is a small hook like a crochet hook on the end and you have to try and catch the string from in the threader with the hook and this is really not easy. Once you have managed to get the hook to catch the thread you have to turn the handle the opposite way to pull the thread through all the beads in the sequence.
Once you have got the thread through all the beads you hold onto both ends of the string and lift the design off the beader and at this point your child has to decide if they want to make a keychain or a bracelet. To make a bracelet you get a top without a hook on it and a bottom piece, you have to lay the two ends of the string in opposite directions across the bottom piece and pull tight so that there is no string showing before puttin the top part on and pushing down hard to clip into place. once you have clipped the two parts of the stopper into place you simply have to snip off the ends and the bracelet amazingly stays together, Sophie was amazed by this and loves the fact that she can out the bracelet on and off wthout it breaking which we have had happen with cheaper jewellery making kits.
if you choose to make a keychain then the top part of the stopper has a little loop on it to which you attach the keychain to other than this it is finished off in exactly the same way as a bracelet.
Adult help is certainly needed with this set which is a shame really as it has meant we have had limited time in which to play with it as Sophie has a younger sister who tends to be a pain in the bum when we do things like this and tries to run away with pieces. The set makes decent items and Sophie is really happy with what she has made from it so far, the set includes plenty of string so I don't feel this has been scrimped on however the character beads most certainly have and this I feel is a con for what they want to charge for the set.
Sophie has enjoyed making bracelets with the set and she loves to give her creations to people although obviously the standard bracelet on this kit is child size but you can always line it up a second time and put more beads on it to make it bigger. The idea of the set is really good and Sophie really loves making the bracelets however for full sized bracelets you need 5 large beads and there are 7 bits to finish them off so if you do the maths to make the full amount you would need 35 large beads alone and considering you only get 21 I think it's a con and I bet somewhere they will be selling refill kits to make you spend more money.