I bought these as a stocking filler for my daughter at Christmas. I had come across a craft sale online so only paid £1.49 for them. I think the average price is about £3 and they come in a packet of 6.
My daughter is only 3, but already I am fed up of buying felt tips and throwing them away because they have dried up, either because she hasn't put the lid on or because the lid has rolled off the table and vanished into thin air (probably with a little helping paw from our cat!). Sometime last year I bought some felt tips that supposedly could survive lid-less for 3 months without drying out, I think the claim is probably true as many of them are still going now, but it doesn't help with the problem of lids getting lost.
For these fabulous little markers to lose their lids is pretty much impossible, because they are attached! The lid flips off, but has two 'prongs' which keep the lid attached to the marker. There is a groove down either side of the marker so you can slide the lid down and pop it on the other end, keeping it well out of the way of the budding artist. My daughter could easily do this when we gave her the pens (aged 3 and a half), I imagine it might be too fiddly for young children to do but this would be easily solved by flipping all the lids off when your child wants to draw, then flipping them back on again when they've finished! Much easier than crawling around on the floor searching for lids. I find that my daughter always flips the lids back on herself when she's finished with them, kids love something a bit different and for her the novelty has not worn off.
So not only do these nifty little markers solve an age old problem, but the colours are lovely and vibrant, they are really nice to use and the nibs are pretty strong. My daughter has been using these most days for nearly four months now and the nibs are all in tact, they are not crushed/splitting and not a single one has 'tortoise headed' itself back into the casing, never to be seen again! The marker itself is quite chunky and the nib is quite thick so they may not be suitable for older children whose drawings are becoming more detailed and intricate, but for younger children I really can't fault them and will definitly be buying them again when these ones run out.
For £7.50 we bought some Crayola flip top markers for our little lad. We tend to buy a lot of Crayola stuff as we always find it's good quality and lasts for ages as it's really durable as a brand. These pens come in six different colours which are, black, purple, green, blue, yellow and red. All the colours are bright and vibrant and the sort of colours that appeal to kids as they are vivid.
What we like about these pens is that the lid remains attached to the actual pen itself. This is very handy of your little on manages to lose pen lids on a regular basis, as our little lad does. The lid doesn't get in the way of the nib though when the child is using it, so no worries there.
The other thing we like about these pens is that the nibs cannot be crushed. Our little lad tends to press down very hard when he's drawing, writing or colouring in, he's always done this. For this reason we've found that some nibs on the pens he uses can become crushed very easily but this is not the case with these particular pens as they are crush resistant. The pens are chucky and thick too, allowing the child to maintain a firm grasp when using them. Our little lad also tends to get pen on his fingers and hands when he's been colouring gin but these pens are completely washable and all you need is a little soap and water and they do clean off easily. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about fabric and although it will wash out eventually, it's not without a lot of elbow grease.
All the pens seem to have lasted well so far and he does use them quite a lot. No doubt they will run out before they get worn out though but so far they appear to be sturdy and durable and good value for money.
I'm pleased with them and I can recommend them.
As my daughter sees herself as a bit of an artist I bought her a crayola set for Christmas, in this set there were this pack of flip top markers. The full set cost £7.50 so I cant really say how much these would have cost individually.
The packaging is pretty basic just a standard cardboard box back, and plastic on the front, which displays the pens. The packaging is easy to open, you just pull the plastic from the top and the pens pop out. Although you can not reuse this packaging and as soon as the pens are out, then you should dispose of the packet. You may want to buy a pencil case to store the pens away, so they don't get misplaced.
The pens come in a pack of 6 different colours, these consist of, Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Green and black. So a mixture of the most popular colours. I do find that the Yellow one though is pretty hard to see when using but all the other colours are great.
The pens are not just your normal pens, they come with the lid attached to the pen, I find this very useful as my kids always manage to lose the lids. On opening the pen, the lid has two plastic catches at either side, that slide the lid to the top of your pen to place the lid on the top, so it does not get in your way way when trying to use.
The pens also have crush resistant nibs, which if your child is like mine and they seem to think you need to push down the pen onto the paper as hard as possible, then this will have no affect at all on the pen, whereas most nibs would push down, or crush it, this will not happen on these pens, well it does not seem to have done so far anyway.
Ease of use
Well maybe a pointless part of the review but the pens are pretty easy to use, the lid is allowed to be moved out of the way, so it's not in the way while colouring. The pens are also pretty thick, so maybe harder to use for the smaller child, but my children are 9 so they have no problems using these.
What if it makes a mess?
They do state that these pens are washable, not on clothes or furniture I can not say that this will work as so far I have not had to try. But they do seem to wash off the skin with ease, so you should have no problems with hands or face. If they do come off hands so easily i would assume that it will work the same with clothes.
I bought these at Christmas and they are still in good working order, so far the ink has not run out, and my children do use these quite a fair bit. Obviously they will run out eventually but I think a month of a lot of usage is very good. And with the lids attached to the pen has probably made them last longer as the ink has not dried out due to the loss of lids.
My overall opinion
There is nothing bad I can really say about these pens, I think every child who likes to do art should have a set of these. My children will just sit for ages and use there pens and colouring books. The only one thing I can think of that is not very good is the Yellow pen, it seems pretty pointless to have the yellow, as it does not show up clearly on theirs colourings. Apart from that I think these are a must have, I would definately buy some more should these run out.