After seeing the girl version of the toy I will now review, I was adamant that one of my kids had to own it, more for me than them though!
The toy I will now review is - "Doodle Doug".
For those that are of a certain age, this toy produces pictures very reminiscent of the spirograph sets that were popular in the ate 80's early 90's.
The set comprises of a giant ant (called Doug!), this has six back legs that hold under the shoes, stamps of footprints perfect for adding detail to the finished pictures.
The two front arms are joined together, with there being a flexible join in the centre, and five holes to hold different felt pens.
Before use you have remove the top half of the ant's back (you will need a small cross headed screwdriver for this, but investing in a set are essential if you have a lot of children's toys that take batteries, they all seem to have these ridiculously small screws in!), then place in 2 x AAA batteries for use, and these do last a reasonable amount of time, this of course depends on the toy being switched off after use!
To use you simply adjust the pattern dial, this is laymans terms is a dial that changes the direction the wheels will take the unit when switch on, with there being 10 different positions to have them.
After placing the unit in the centre of a piece of paper (we used A4 sized sheets), you then choose your pen/pens (all of which are included with the set), and place them into the holes in the arms.
To start the unit you simply press the top half of the back in and the unit starts. On the under side of the unit, there are the afore mentioned wheels that direct the unit round, but there is also a large wheel the holds the back end of the unit in the centre of the paper, meaning the unit is effectively either spinning in a circle, or oval shape.
When the unit starts spinning the arms also activate, pushing and pulling forwards and backwards, which is of course what makes the patterned picture.
Then once finished you simply press the back again to turn off the unit.
This is a lovely toy, that as you may have ascertained is aimed at the slightly younger child, being something that produces the picture for your child, without them having to have much skill and input into the process.
The only part of the set up that needs an adults help is the insertion of the batteries, and the rest is easy enough for a 3-4 year old to do them selves, though this is more due to the fact that this is a Crayola product, and I have complete faith in the majority of there products being ideal for the age scale set out on the box, in this case is 3+.
The toy is reasonably robust, but due to the hinged design of the forearms, a little care should be taken not to break these, as these are the pattern producers and breaking these would pretty much invalidate the entire toy.
The felt tips included in the set are thick ones the perfect size to fit within the holes on the arms, but are more than easy to replace once run out.
Price wise these are available for around £12.99 from www.amazon.co.uk, though are also available from places like toys r us too.
For more information visit - www.crayola.com
This has been a fun toy that my children, and ok, yes, me too, have enjoyed playing with, though they have grown out of it in theory, it does still get taken from the toy cupboard every now and then, and still works as good!
Thanks for reading x