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You can produce amazing effects with the Crayola Colour Explosion Glow Board. It looks like a simple drawing board but with a very clever twist: it lights up and makes the drawings glow in the dark. The board itself is made of plastic and has two surfaces, both of which are transparent. Located behind the front panel, there's a slide-out back panel as well. This makes it possible to create 3D effects. You have to use special glow-ink markers to draw with, six of which come with the glow board. Additional colours are available separately. When finished with your design, all you have to do is move the sliding switch at the bottom of the unit to a chosen setting to illuminate the board and watch your creations glow! For best results you should do this in a darkened room, for example with the curtains drawn, or better still, at night time. The sliding switch has four settings: 1) illuminate the front board 2) illuminate the back board 3) illuminate both boards at the same time, which brings out the 3D effect, and 4) alternate between the two boards, which makes the drawings flash. Undoubtedly, the fourth setting is the most exciting, as it brings your drawings to life. You can create moving cartoons this way, or you can write flashing messages. See all this in action here, but believe me, it's much more impressive in real life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJzoUBmxDIE
As always, I'd checked out some reviews about this product before buying and it seems some people love it and some people don't. I absolutely love it myself and noticed that most people who left negative reviews did it for two reasons. (1) They said it was difficult to clean, but I think it's actually quite easy to clean with a damp piece of paper towel, which removes most of the ink, followed by a dry piece of paper towel, which removes any residue left behind and dries the board at the same time so you can immediately start drawing again or put it away for later use. (2) The markers dry out quickly and you can't get any refills. I can imagine that the markers dry out quickly if you don't put the caps back on immediately, but so do most markers. It may also be true that it's hard to find replacement pens in the UK, but I managed to track down a website where they are available at £3.99 per six-pack with free p&p, which I think is a very reasonable price for them. Currently, two varieties are available from www.vividstore.co.uk.
The unit takes three AA batteries, which are not included with your original purchase. Please be aware that the batteries don't switch off automatically, so if you accidentally leave the unit on for a prolonged period of time, the batteries will go flat. This is definitely a design fault, but I'm so impressed with the novelty of the product itself that I will still give it 5 stars.
I bought ours on eBay for just £10.99 including p&p, which is a really good deal. (I know one when I see one!) I think it was a customer return unit, but as good as new. They usually retail between £14.99-£19.99. I haven't given it to my son yet as it will be one of his presents for his fifth birthday in September, but I just know that he will love it. When we first tried it, both me and my husband were ooooo-ing and aaaaa-ing at the effects. It works best in total darkness. This could be a nice bed-time toy and you can leave it on glowing for a while until your child drops off to sleep. It has a support leg at the back so you can prop it up like a picture frame. I'm so excited about this product I might just have to give it to my son before his birthday (so I can play with it)!
Create your very own fantastic glow in the dark designs! This board comes with six fluorescent marker colours; pink, yellow, green, blue, red and orange. Not only can you create incredible images, but with the slide out lower drawing surface you can add an extra layer, giving your drawings a feeling of real depth. The board allows you to light up each surface individually or alternate between the two, creating moving neon signs!