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My son was bought this recently. He is 5 and really into his colouring. It comes with its own set of colour wonder pens that don't write on anything other than the colour wonder paper. He was amazed at some of the page staying white and other areas changing into the colour of the pen he was using. It would be perfect for small children who can't stay in the lines! All the pages have a different illustration to colour. The pens also don't mark clothes or hands, which is useful with lots of small children. It does take some of the fun out of colouring, you can only colour where you are allowed really, and he soon lost interest and went back to the bog standard colouring books. You can see the paper has a special coating in some areas, although he still thinks it's magic that does it. I have no idea on price because it was a gift. I would buy it for someone else's child just because of the wonder at how does it work but it's not a gift to be enjoyed long-term I don't think.
I was in a discount store and I came across Crayola colour wonder for just a £1. It looked like fun so I got my daughter two the Toy Story one and also a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse version. I thought these would be good for when we visit relatives as my daughter loves colouring but I was worried about giving her crayons in case she made a mess. The book comes in a foil packet which has a picture of the character on the front. In this case it was Buzz and Woody. Once the packet is opened it can't be resealed which wasn't very good in my opinion as I would assume most parents would buy this for travelling. Inside the pack is a small book approximately a5 size which is spiral bound and contains 15 colouring pages. Also in the packet you get three colour wonder pens. The pens are identical to other Crayola felt pens and are thicker than usual pens to make them easier for a child to hold. The pens are white with different colour lids the top of the pen also has an indicator to show which colour it is. This is useful as when you open the pens the tips are clear. The lids are child safe and have air holes in them. The colours included are red, yellow and blue. The pens are described as mess free and can only be used on the special colour magic paper. The book is full of pictures of various Toy Story characters. The pictures have a bold black outline to help your child colour inside the lines. The paper is slightly thicker than normal paper and has a strange consistency, it reminds me of sugar paper. Inside the front of the book there are step by step pictures it shows the clear ink which only appears on the magic paper meaning tbag it won't colour on your walls, your child's skin or clothes. There is a warning that says if your child colours on a household service the ink should be invisible but they can't guarantee this so it is recommended you wipe the pen off household surfaces immediately and to avoid getting the pen on wallpaper, painted walls, wood, vinyl and leather. You are also advised to wash your childs hands after use. The pad itself is great as it is spiral bound so can be opened and placed flat on a table or desk. My daughter is still quite young so we colour together. I had a go first and I expected the colour to appear straight away as I remember having something similar as a child. However I marked several spots on the page and I couldn't see where I had been. I had to wait at least a minute for any colour to appear on the page. My daughter meanwhile just coloured in various places on the page then got excited as the colour developed. While colouring I also noticed that you can colour over other colours. I was glad this only cost a £1as my daughter filled the book in less than half an hour. I have seen this in Asda in a bigger version which cost around £4 I certainly wouldn't pay that amount for it. Now that we have used all of the pages the pens are obsolete. There is still plenty of ink left as the nibs are wet. They will probably end up getting thrown out now as I ahve no use for them. This did give my daughter some enjoyment perhaps an older child would enjoy it more. I would rate this 2 out of 5 as it isn't very exciting.
Last year I was looking around for some things that would occupy my 3 year old daughter during our train journey to Paris when I came across Crayola Colour Wonder in The Entertainer. ** Different Colour Wonders ** There are 2 sizes of Colour Wonder - a larger set and a smaller set. I figured the smaller 'mini' set would be the most suitable for travelling with. There are also a number of different Colour Wonder's to choose from, including Princess and The Frog and Disney Princess, but on this occassion I chose Toy Story (which is the most unisex one I've seen). ** Contents/Packaging ** Crayola Mini Colour Wonder comes packaged inside a foil packet - when I gave it to my daugher she said "Ooh present" so that was nice! It's also useful for keeping the pens together whilst travelling. Inside the packet comes 3 chunky Colour Wonder pens (purple, green and blue) and a mini colouring pad. ** Colouring Pad ** The colouring pad is 7 x 5 inches and has 15 pages. It features most of the Toy Story favourites (but no new characters from Toy Story 3) including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Bullseye, Rex, Slinky Dog, Zurg and the aliens. The colouring pad has a ringbinder at the top which makes turning the pages and tearing the pages out relatively easy. ** How to use ** The Colour Wonder is really easy to use and needs no instructions - just colour the pictures and change pens as you wish. As you draw the paper magically turns from white into the colour of your pen! ** Overall ** The pens only work on the Colour Wonder paper and run clear when used on anything else. This is excellent as it means it's not possible to make a mess with the pens - perfect for out and about. No more colouring on tables, chairs or hands - yipee! This was the first time my daughter had used Colour Wonder before and she really enjoyed it. It's quite unique (we certainly haven't used anything like it before) and my daughter was gobsmacked when her transparent pens began making colourful pictures on her white pages! She was impressed with all of the pictures (especially as her favourite Jessie features 3 times throughout the colouring book) and was quick to show off her artistic colouring in skills. There is a time delay of about a second or two inbetween the pen hitting the paper and the colour appearing - this had it's upsides and downsides. The upside was that it made it feel all the more magical, the downside was that it was a little confusing for my daughter to know which bit she had just drawn over and which bit to draw over next. This may frustrate some children, although my daughter wasn't massively fussed about it. One thing which we both particularly liked about Colour Wonder is that in each picture are hidden things. You cannot see these things on the paper before colouring but when you begin colouring the pictures magically appear. I thought this was very clever and my daughter enjoyed the surprise element to it. Hidden things included a cowboy hat, clouds, a fence, stars, planets, cactus, a rocket and some of the characters names. As there are only 3 colours to choose from my daughter was quite limited. Initially she was a bit frustrated that she couldn't colour in Jessie and Woody's hats in brown, but once I explained she could just use a different colour and when she got into the swing of things, she didn't seem to mind very much. The size of the colouring book was compact enough to easily store in my daughters bag and for her to whip out on the train. She also used it when we reached our destination in various restaurants etc. This product is recommended for children 3+ but I think 2 year olds would also benefit from it. I think it would be best enjoyed by children upto around 6 years. The Colour Wonder pens and paper don't appear to be sold seperately, which is a pain as after you've finished the colouring book (bearing in mind there are only 15 pages) you are stuck with useless pens. The same if the pens get lost/ruined/dry out - the colouring book is pointless without the pens (unless you just use normal pens/pencils/crayons to colour the pictures in, which is besides the point). I'm soon going to buy my daughter another Colour Wonder product (probably the larger Disney Princess one) as she enjoyed this one, but also so she can use her pens again! The product description on Amazon claims that the 'colour only appears inside the line' and has 'perfect end results' which is untrue as the pens will draw anywhere on the page that you want them to. This wasn't really a big deal for us as it probably would have looked neater but might have made it a bit boring - restrictive and not as creative. It's worth taking note of though. I paid £4.00 in The Entertainer for our Crayola Toy Story Mini Colour Wonder, which I think is reasonable. It's also currently selling on Amazon (February 2011) for £3.40 and Play.com for £3.79 - Great value for money.