* Prices may differ from that shown
My eldest daughter was 6 recently and she was completely spoilt on her birthday, one of the presents she got was the Minnie Mouse Cool Cardz studio which I knew would be perfect for her as she is bordering on obsessive with her card making. The set can be bought from Amazon for £17.99 with free delivery, you can also buy refills for about £7-£8 which is your child is anything like my daughter you will need pretty quickly.
The set comes in a very pink cardboard box, it has the Disney logo on it along with the name of the product and a picture of a young girl happy with her designs. The set states it is for ages 6 plus and also that it is to design and laminate your own cool cardz. My eldest actually isn't in to Minnie mouse as she says it is babyish but as soon as she opened this present she was wanting to play with it so it certainly drew her attention.
Inside the box you get the laminator, 15 Minnie Mouse cards, 15 laminating sheets, a Minnie Mouse card wallet, 2 Minnie Mouse stampers, an ink pad, 4 Minnie Mouse Sticker sheets, 2 Minnie Mouse card holders, 2 pens and a piece of pink ribbon.
The laminating machine is red and pink in colour, it is shaped like a handbag with a carry handle which also doubles up as a tool when push that opens the drawer on the underneath of the laminator. The laminator is made of hard plastic and has 2 slots in it for the stamps to fit into and a slot in it for the ink to sit in and then there is a rectangle shape in the centre with a roller which rolls from side to the other. The set is really durable and when battered around it doesn't damage easily which is great as we also have a 2 year old in our house, the only issue with the laminator is if you hold it up with the handle then the drawer sometimes opens of it's own accord.
The Minnie Mouse cards are small about 2.5 inches x 1.5 inches, on the front it is pink with a dotted pattern and then a red and white frilly border top and bottom, in the middle to the right is a picture of Minnie Mouse. On the back of the card it is again a pink dotted pattern and there is a series of little hearts in the corner, the cards are very pretty even when they haven't been decorated.
The wallet for putting the cards in comes as a flat piece of cardboard and you have to fold it to make it into the wallet shape, I folded it up for my daughter as she was unable to do it herself but it is pretty useless as the flap that folds over the top to seal the wallet has a tiny bit to fasten it and with it only being cardboard it tore really quickly.
The pens are one each of a writing pen and a colouring pen and the stamps in Sophie's set are a stamp of Minnie Mouse's bow and one of her handbag both of which are a couple of cms square. The 2 card holders are like little picture frames for your child's designs, one is bright red with white spots and Minnie Mouse's face and the other has Minnie Mouse's repeated face all over it. When your child has completed their designs they simply slide into the holder from the top and then there is a hole at the top of the holders so that they can be hung up.
The stickers come in 4 sheets, the majority of them are just Minnie Mouse in different poses but you also get a couple each of Daisy Duck and Mickey Mouse. There are 3 sheets which are mainly characters and the extras such as flowers and capital M's and then there is one sheets which holds things like bows and handbags on it.
== In Play==
The set is simple to use and Sophie worked out how to do it herself, the instructions which come with the set have direction in words and also in 9 pictured steps which makes it really easy for even a child to follow. Your child needs to use one of the Minnie Mouse cards and decorate it in anyway they wish, the set obviously provides stickers and stamps for decorating with but your child can also write and draw and even use other bits to stick on if they wish.
Once your child is finished with their design they pick up one of the laminating sheet and place the purple card from in the middle above the roller on the laminator, they place the finished card onto the laminator and then pull the roller into the middle while you hold one side of the card and then swap sides to hold the other side of the card and pull the roller the rest of the way. Once you have completed the rollering the card will be laminated and the purple card will be removed from the laminator and just goes in the bin.
The whole process creates no mess and doesn't need any heat or batteries, Sophie was amazed when she created her first card and she came running to show me what she had done she was so proud.
The set is a great idea in my opinion and Sophie thought it was fantastic however 15 cards in the set is simply not enough and Sophie had completed all 15 of them in an hour or so. The refill packs that you can buy only contain a further 10 cards, 10 laminating sheets, 2 more stampers and another ink pad but of course this is only going to provide less than an hour of play. I think due to the time of play your child gets from the set it is overpriced, they should either bring the price down or add more of the cards and laminating sheets as my daughter still has plenty of stickers left and the ink is still wet so she could easily do more cards.
Sophie really loves this set and she won't get rid of it even though I have no intentions of buying her the refills, the set overall scores 4 stars from us as the overall quality of it could be better and there really should be more cards in the set in my opinion.