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My ten year old daughter is a creative child and rather than being stuck in front of a computer or games console over these long summer holidays, she'd rather be doing something crafty. Looking down the aisles in Tesco's when doing my weekly shop, we were looking for something a little bit different to the ordinary paints, crayons or craft kits, when our eyes alighted upon this product. It's from a newish brand to the UK, WeVeel, and after getting good results from another product, namely the Scento's fragranced markers with designs that are absolutely fabulous for kids; we picked this up without any further thought.
WeVeel's mission is to create, A Whole New World of Creativity by introducing surprising new ways to create, share and experience colour and design. With the rather ridiculous name of 3-Donkulous (it could only be American), the 3D in the name gives a clue to its purpose; this is a stencil set containing 3D markers. There are three designs in the range, but my daughter chose the more girly butterfly one.
The kit comes in a stiff cardboard envelope with an aperture at the front displaying the three 3D markers. The design on the packaging is indicative of the design that you will be able to achieve with this, as rather disappointingly there is only one butterfly stencil included. Along with the stencil and the markers, you receive 8 double sided black paper sheets, and a pair of 3D glasses through which to view your end results.
There wasn't any delay in using this kit as the only setting up required was the removal of the little sections from within the stencil. It's a very simple designed butterfly but the antennae area was a little bit tricky, so I recommend you completing this beforehand, for little ones perhaps younger than aged 7. This kit is aimed at five years plus, but creativity is ageless, so neither Elysia nor I were worried that it might be too young for her; the singular butterfly might be, but you don't have to use that if you'd rather not, and make your own artworks.
There are no instructions with this kit, but to be honest you don't need them. Its paper, stencils and markers, so what you do is obvious at the end of the day. I was worried at first as the markers didn't seem to be as vibrant as shown on the box and I did initially think I'd picked up a dud set. The colours took a couple of minutes to develop, and then seem to 'pop' before your eyes. The 3D effect isn't evident at this point and it just looks like a bog standard felt tipped drawing but set off by the blackness of the background.
The stencil takes moments to use, and little ones might need a hand to hold the two layers steady. After colouring in the design, and adding some detail, it's time to put on the glasses. These are the old fashioned paper ones we used to get as kids, rather than the rather more up to date ones you get at the cinema and with home viewing 3D TV's for sale today. Oddly though they don't have the red and blue different colour lenses and are simply clear ones.
3 D Effect
I don't know how they work but they do, the effect is quite amazing. The designs do not seem to poke you in the eye, but they do seem to hover and float. The effect is reminiscent of looking at something through a heat haze, it sorts of shimmers and floats. Of all the three colours, the purple/lilac has the best effect, closely followed by the blue. The blue doesn't seem to shimmer as much as the effect is more brought out by its vibrancy of colour. The pink shade is rather a let down; it's an insipid blancmange like shade of pink and doesn't really pop out or draw you in either. The 3D effect with this shade is extremely minimal and in fact, I could only set the motion when used as a dot rather than a bold splash of colour.
For the price of £4.00, I think this kit will be enjoyable for a short amount of time and will be quickly forgotten, possibly to be picked up at a later date. There are 8 double sided sheets of card/paper in this kit, and Elysia completed the stencil and made a further two of her own designs before she was off to do something else. Once the effect is seen, the wonder of it quickly wears off and it loses its magic. I don't think this is due to my daughters age, I think even younger children will be the same.
This is a good kit for a short period of creative time. I do think that this is never going to have a long lasting appeal with kids of any age, simply because it's too basic. If this were a part of a larger craft kit, it would be great but on its own there is very little appeal. It's one of those products, 'Seen it, done it, don't want to do it again', any time soon at least. I've packaged the set away for further 'I'm Bored' moments later on in the holidays, but I don't think it will appeal to Elysia again, and I might have to pass it on to my seven year old niece instead.
It was good while it lasted, but £4 for twenty or so minutes play value was a bit of a disappointment. OK, my niece will have some fun with it, and being three years younger I'm sure it will appeal to her age and sense of creativity more. It's just too basic for 'older' kids, so I feel that I can award a three out of five star rating to be fair, and the five and over recommendation seems a little high too. I can't see why a three or four year old couldn't utilise this with good effect, they'd just need help holding the stencil in place.
It was good but just not good enough, and a big part of that was the lack of other stencils, why oh why was there only one? Surely they are only cardboard so it wouldn't bump up the price too much too have added some more; this really limits the sets play time appeal in my opinion.