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My eldest daughter loves to be creative so before her birthday I searched through the arts section of Amazon and found this set which I thought she would love. The set can be bought in other shops such as Toys r Us, from Amazon it cost me just over £15 although the actual RRP is £19.99.
The set came packaged in a white box which was shaped like a octagon accept the four straight lengths were longer than the four diagonal pieces. The box was white in colour and showed lots of brightly coloured stickers on it and of the course the name of the product. Inside the box the set was held in by cable ties and sellotape and the box ended up ruined trying to get it out.
The set comprises of a bright pink and blue case with a brightly coloured Gelarti sticker across the front of it. The case doesn't fasten at all and on opening you find there are four holes along the back of it to put in the gel pens and there is a bright green area for your child to colour the stickers. The green area has a square indentation on it which is the exact fit square for the sticker sheets and the area is like a turntable to make it easier for your child to colour the stickers without leaning over and smudging their work.
There are four gel pens with the set, I call then pens quite loosely as they are made of see through plastic and are in the shaped like a flame and have a solid colour nozzle on the end to match the colour of the gel inside. In the set you get a orange, blue, green and red and they have a glittery effect in the gel too. The pens aren't great, when they are full they sort of splodge out and you get too much gel, the lids don't stay on and when you turn to tighten the lids they just keep turning. The pens don't stand in the holes they are meant to and when the case is closed they often fall out and finally the nozzles get clogged with the gel and you have to use a needle to free them up whenever your child wants to use them.
The stickers are different depending on which set you buy, the starter set which is what we bought comes with six sheets of stickers to be coloured, the sheets are probably about 3.5 inches square so there are only a couple of stickers per sheet. The stickers with this set are everyday things such as a cat, stars, clouds, flowers and the outlines are in thick black lines which are raised to help the gel stay in the right place.
The set also copmes with a packet of what they call gems but I call shaped plastic pieces, we had no idea what we were supposed to do with these and there was no indication what they were supposed to do or even if they would be held on the stickers with the gels so we have stuck them in Sophie's arts and crafts box to be used with other things.
By now I would think you will realise I was certainly not impressed with the set. When Sophie got the set for her birthday she wanted to play with it so we set it up and showed her how to gently press on the plastic pens to get the gel to come out however no matter how gently we pressed it came out in splodges and the first set of stickers she tried to colour had to be washed before the gel set. We tried again and she did manage to colour a couple of the sheets of the stickers but considering she is quite a neat colourer for her age these ended up quite messy. The stickers then take up to 24 hours to dry so of course she then lost interest as for a 5 year old to wait that length of time seems like an eternity.
Once dried the stickers can be peeled off the sheet and stuck on items around the house and they will peel back off without leaving any residue and can be stuck around again, at first Sophie thought it was great but again she quickly lost interest when the stickers began not to stick on very easily.
The second time we got the set out for Sophie to play with the nozzles were all stuck up and by the time I had found a needle and cleared them all out she had found something else to play with and the set has never been got out again.
It is advised that this set is not for under 3's due to small parts on Amazon but the box states on it this set is for age 5 plus which is the age of my daughter. I think this set is poor as the case doesn't fasten, the pens fall out of their holes, the nozzles clog, the gels don't come out easily and you have to wait too long for the gels to dry to be able to use the stickers. The idea is good as you can use a tool included to make a marbling effect on the stickers and you can get some nice results. Sophie is not impressed with this and like I say she has played with it properly once so she is obviously not impressed.