Product Type: Crayola Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... the brush is attached yet it still works fine. I wouldn't recommend this product and am quite surprised that Crayola have created a produc... more
The Wonder of Colour
Crayola Color Wonder Mess-Free Magic Light Brush
Member Name: emmad5689
Crayola Color Wonder Mess-Free Magic Light Brush
Advantages: Great idea, makes nice pictures
Disadvantages: Cords too short, can't see which colours which, colour takes a while to develop
My eldest daughter is very creative and she likes nothing more than to sit at the table making everyone pictures, my Grandma bought her this set for Christmas last year and I expected her to have loads of fun with the set however we have found that is not the case.
Crayola is a very well know make in the area of creativity for children and as such this set and many accessories in the range as widely available, Asda were selling this at £20 around Christmas however looking it up online now it seems to have gone down in price quite a bit with Amazon currently selling the set for £13.02 including delivery.
The set comes packaged in a bright yellow cardboard box, Crayola always seem to have the same bright yellow packaging for their products which makes them easy to spot on the shops shelves. The box is a funny shape being a rectangle at the bottom and a rectangle at the top but the top one isn't as wide so the front of the box slopes upwards, the box states that the toy is for 3 years and up and shows a picture of a happy girl playing with the set.
Inside The Box
Inside the box you find there is a pad of paper, the pad states it is for use with all colour wonder products the markers, paints and finger paints. The front of the pad shows the usual Crayola logo and states the magic of colour but without the mess. I must say the idea of painting without all the mess that goes with it really did appeal to me. The pad contains 30 pages and when these are used you can buy refill pads for £3.75 for 30 pages. Each page of paper inside the pad is white in colour and feels like very thick paper but has a leatherette feel to it, it has the Crayola Colour Wonder logo all over the back of it which I didn't feel there was any need for and points out to people how my daughter has made them a picture which I don't see as necessary.
There is a set of instructions although this only one sheets of paper which provides instructions ion 8 different languages. The instructions are very simple and easy to follow although the writing is pretty small to fit it all in so I think it would have been better done over two pages to make it easier to read.
The last piece in the box is a bright orange plastic box about 8 inches long x 4 inches wide, it contains 6 little paint pots and a paint brush which is on a wire, the box is very colourful and as soon as my daughter saw the set she wanted to paint immediately picking up the brush before I had a clue what to do with it. The lids of the paint pots are quite stiff to begin with and I though the gel paint inside was going to fly out when trying to open them but the gel is very thick and didn't move anywhere.
The set requires 3 x AA batteries and these are not included which I personally think is very poor and I don't see how putting a couple of batteries in toys adds to the price very much but it makes a great deal of difference to the child who wants to play, I always have a stash of batteries in the drawer for toys such as this.
The paint pots are wrapped in a plastic bag and this is easy to remove and then you need to place them into their place on the main box and with a gentle push they click into place so this was an easy enough process. On the front of the box there is a clip for holding your pad in place so you need to turn the front over and place the page under the clip, it is wise to use the clip as the paint brush isn't on a very long wire so this makes sure your child can reach the page with the brush without dragging the box around. The paint pots all have a little coloured spot on top of them to show which colour is in the pot as the paint inside is actually clear, you turn the unit on with a little sliding switch at the side of the box which is easy to move and my daughter can manage to do on her own. Each of the six paint pots has it's own little lid which needs flipping up before use, my daughter can't manage to do this herself as the lids are quite stiff to move. You have to hold the paint brush above each of the six paint pots in turn and you can see the bristles turn the colour of the paint in the pot, you are now ready to make pictures.
Using the Set
To use the set you simply place the bristles into the relevant pot and then the bristles will turn that colour and when you use the brush on the special paper the colour will appear or at least this is the theory. The tubs of paint are a bit of a pain as the colour spot to show your child what colour is inside is on the lid so once the lids are open your child doesn't know which one is which this would have been better if each pot had been the colour of the paint. When you put the brush on the paper it takes a little while for the colour to develop so for an impatient 4 year old I straight away got "mammy it doesn't work" we realised the problem after a few goes but we found that where she would constantly brush back and forth to make the colour appear it wore the top of the paper a little and ruined the effect of her picture.
Once my daughter got to grips with this she was alright playing with it, between using each colour you are supposed to brush the brush across some kitchen paper to remove the last colour however it doesn't remove it fully and we found that she ended up getting some mixes of colours where the paint remained. The paints when they work do provide some lovely pictures although the colours are quite pale looking and my daughter tends to prefer brighter colours when she paints pictures.
Clearing the set away is a bit of a muck about, you need to put the lids back on all the paints to stop them drying out which is obvious, you remove the pad from the clip so that it can go back in the box which again is fine. You need to wipe down the brush and handle with a damp cloth and then you have to unscrew the bristles and wash them properly under running water which must be cool before you have to dry to bristles by patting them on a soft towel to be able to put them back on the paint brush handle and put it away. I understand why you have to remove the bristles with the set using battery power but it is a bit of a pain to clean up and not matter how much running water you rinse the bristles under they still seem to be full of paint.
Sophie has got to grips with this set now although she doesn't ask to play with it very often so I think that speaks volumes really, she doesn't like it when she wants a certain colour and the brush gives a mix of colours instead and she is constantly asking me to check which colour is which for her as when she is holding her brush in one hand and the pad still with the other she doesn't have a third hand to flip the lid forward and have a look at the coloured sticker. Sophie is happy with the pictures she creates in the end although it isn't the calmest of playing sessions using the set, over half of the pad of paper is left and this is since Christmas so I don't think Sophie would recommend the set and she prefers to colour with poster paints or felt tips than this set.
I think the idea of the set is really good I just think some things should have been better thought out, I think the finger paints may have been a better choice for Sophie as she at least could clean her fingers with a baby wipe before using the next colour. I think the cord length wasn't really considered properly and think it should have been longer although this then would become a choking hazard so the age range of the toy would have to be put up. The set turns itself off after 3 minutes and then to reactivate it you have to flick it off and then back on again which is good as it preserves the battery life when your child gets side tracked with another activity. The box itself is pretty tough and it has been pulled around a bit and even held by the brush in mid air when Sophie has forgotten the brush is attached yet it still works fine. I wouldn't recommend this product and am quite surprised that Crayola have created a product like this, the ideas great but the cord should be longer, the paint pots should be coloured the relevant colour and the colour should develop faster as young children don't want to wait for it.
Summary: A great idea, a not so great set
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