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My eldest daughter is really easy to buy for as she loves drawing, painting and anything crafty, before Christas I had loads of fun finding things in the craft section of Amazon for her Christmas presents and this was one of the tiems I found which not only is to do with drawing but also Hello Kitty which she likes. The set is currently selling at £17.86 with free delivery although before Christmas I paid nearer to £20 but as usual with Amazon the prices do go up and down frequently.
The box that the set comes in is bright pink in colour which makes it attractive to young girls especially if your girl is like mine and loves anything pink. The box is not oversized which is great and is betwen A5 and A4 in size, the front of the box shows the device inside and tells you that the set is for ages 6 plus and contains 30 plus designs. The set is from ravensburger who also make a lot of jigsaws which we have and always great quality which helped me decide to buy the set.
==Inside the Box==
Inside the box you get the drawing case with a zoom lamp, a sun shield incase you need to shade your drawing, 20 design discs some of which have more than 1 design on them, 10 small squares of paper for drawing the designs onto, an instruction sheet and a black felt tip pen for drawing with.
The instruction manual is very thorough and gives you step by step instructions on each page in a wide variety of languages, they really are instructions for dummies telling you what every piece of the set is, hot to set it up the first time and a thorough piece on how to use the set.
The case is pale pink in colour and has a see through square on the top of it, the case fastens with push down plastic flaps and needs 4 x AA batteries which go inside the lamp and are secured with a screw so that children cannot get into the batteries. The case is great in that it has plenty of space so that you can keep all parts of the set in there and therefore you don't even need to keep the box that it comes in.
The sun shield fits into 2 little slots on the top of the case and sits around the see through screen so that is the sun is shining it doesn't shine on your drawing and stop the picture being projected. The shield is the only part of the set that I think is a little bit poor as it is a simply a piece of pink cardboard with a picture of Hello Kitty on it, the shield works in that it has a wide back and 2 short sides all made of cardboard so the joins between the back and sides weaken very quickly and it becomes pretty useless.
The felt tip pen which comes in the set we don't use as there is no mention of it being washable which I do insist on with both of my girls as they end up with pen everywhere, we have also found that the pictures come out much nicer when they have been drawn with pencil rather than pen due to the width of the lines being a little too thick with pen for what ends up small drawings.
The discs that come with the set are made off see through tough plastic and these have pictures drawn on them in bold black lines, there are a wide variety of pictures and accessories. You get loads of different pictures of Hello Kitty all in different poses or with different backgrounds and then along side them you have loads of little pictures for finishing off your pictures such as flowerrs, insects, love hearts and bows to name a few. The little discs have a section within the case for them to sit inside when not in use and this prevents them being bent and damaged which is great qs they do bend pretty easily.
To use the set you have to first place the batteries into the lamp box and switch the lamp on with a sliding switch on the lamp bix, sleect one of the plastic discs that you want to draw and place that on top of the lamp box where there is a see through circle where they perfectly sit. You then have to close the case and place a piece of paper on top of the screen on the box and the picture will be transferred onto the paper for you to draw it.
The set is supposed to be for children aged 6 plus however Sophie is 5 years old and has been playing with this for the last 4 months, she has no issue with playing with the set and she is able to swap and change the pictures herslef without any help at all so I really think this is probably suitable from about aged 4.
The set is actually meant to be to make mini comics and the discs have letters on them from A to D so you kno which discs are meant to go together and make up the comic strip however Sophie has no interest in making a comic and she prefers to just draw the pictures and to colour them rather than making anything out of them.
I have actually taught Sophie a new way of tracing which she uses with this set as she wanted to draw the pictures on cards for people but of course the pictures won't show through card so I got her to trace the picture she wanted to use and then we coloured the back of it with lead pencil, we placed the picture onto a piece of card where she wanted it to be and then she redrew the picture over the original lines and this causes transfer of the lead pencil underneath and provided an outline of the picture she wants on the card which she can simply draw over again, this way of using the images make Sophie really pleased as she loves making cards for people.
When playing with the set you can pull the lamp up and push it down making the image change size, this is the only part of playing that Sophie needs a little help with as she cannot manage to graps the 2 tabs together that allow the lamp to move and move it at the same time which is only an issue with her coordination rather than the actual device and something which I am sure she will master in time.
Sophie loves this set and she plays with it loads, the et is easy for her to handle herself which makes it a favourite as some of the sets she has I have to set up before she can play and then she has to wait for me to be able to set it up if i'm busy with her younger sister. The set is brilliant it is very basic to work and it barely uses the batteries, we have had the same batteries in since Christmas and they are only very cheap batteries but they are still going strong. The set is really durable apart from the sun shield but we just close the curtain if the sun is shining when Sophie plays with the set so it has never caused a problem.
This set is well worth the money and everyone is getting birthday cards made with the set now as she loves playing with it so much, I think the makers should release extra discs with different characters on them rather than making it a set that only a Hello Kitty fan will want and if they did happen to release other character discs we would most certianly build up a collection, 5 stars from us.