“ Brand: Tomy / Age: 18 months „
Tomy Thomas Megasketer.....
Jack has gotten over his Thomas The Tank Engine stage but at the time he was going through it, seemed to accumulate a lot of merchandise from the show. This Mega Sketcher was an item purchased by me but really due to the fact that it was such a bargain.
When our local Woolworth's were closing down there were selling off everything at a ridiculous price and the RRP on this item was marked at £25 and it had been marked down to a mere £5! This was such a bargain and seeing as we didn't have anything that was in the slightest bit like this already at home I thought it was a must buy!
The age range on it is 18 months plus and I think at about the time we bought this it was probably the right age for Jack. However he is now 3 and still enjoying playing with it.
The Megasketcher itself is basically a rather large board which you are able to draw on with the attached pen and use the stamps and train track maker included on the board to make up your own pictures. These can then be erased by pulling down a large button on the left hand side of the board and the art work disappears!
The look of the pictures and stamps etc. when drawn is really clear and not much pressure is needed to create a dark line or picture on the board. The eraser also works very well at making sure there is not a trace of the last picture left visible on the board and it only takes one pull down to get rid of all the marks.
Jack has really loved this board ever since we have had it and it has been a firm favourite of his. The only trouble I find is that when he has done a really good picture now, I can't keep it or put it up on the wall - he just wipes it off! I have overcome this by taking a photo of the board with really good drawings on!
The whole thing works well and is pretty hard wearing too so I would have to say it was certainly worth the mere £5 that I paid for it and i'd even recommend it at £20.
A 5 out of 5 star product that has definitely had its moneys worth and can keep Jack amused for hours!
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.
The Thomas Megasketcher costs around £20 from lots of popular toy shops such as Toys R Us, which is where we purchased our one from. I think £20 is a little on the high side, but in fairness - this is the only megasketcher type toy that the grandson has had for more than a month or so. Cheaper versions from Tesco have always broken and faded after only a little bit of use, so I do think it's worth paying that extra few quid for a brand name product in instances like this.
What you get for your money is firstly a very large 'magic sketch pad'. What that means is that you can draw on the pad with the tools provided, and then wipe the picture clean when you're finished. The standard tool with all of these kinds of toys is of course a stylo (pen type thingy) which this particular model has attached to the pad with a thick piece of string so it doesn't get lost.
Also included is a track rollerball stylo, which little ones can roll across the pad to make realistic looking train tracks. Then there are two semi-circle stamps which have pictures of Thomas trains on them (Thomas and, I think, James). The tools all tuck away easily in their own little compartments which fit in with Thomas's design. The stamps are wheels, the pen is the bit that joins the wheels, and the track roller is a bit of yellow piping on the top of Thomas.
All of the tools are extremely easy to use, and very good quality too. Little ones can produce excellent quality pictures no matter how sloppily they stamp or run the tools about. The pad is also big enough to share between two children, or a child and an adult, so a younger child can produce nice pictures with a little bit of assistance - without having to get pushed out of the way.
This is definitely a favourite arts and crafts tool in our house, as the grandson is absolutely mad about trains but not very good at drawing free hand. This toy allows him to produce good quality pictures of trains with minimal effort, which in turn boosts his confidence and spurs him onto making that little bit more of an effort to try drawing free-hand (though mostly only on the pad with the stylo included!).
£20 does seem steep I know, but you really will get a durable, easy to use and very large megasketcher toy for that price. I'd definitely recommend it for all Thomas fans.
When his six year old sister got a classique MegaSketcher for her birthday, Michael fell in love with it. He has difficulties getting a pencil or crayon to make marks on paper, and yet with the mega sketcher he could manage to draw pictures with hardly any effort (even if we couldnt recognise what they were). It was no surprise that when it was time for his birthday that he asked for one of his very own. Now we couldnt really buy him exactly the same one, that would have caused too many arguments, but luckily enough I had seen the Thomas MegaSketcher in ToysRUs when I bought Ashleighs classique one.
---Whats A MegaSketcher?---
A MegaSketcher is a magnetic drawing board, that comes supplied with a pen (attached by string) and some stampers. A light grey, approximately A4 sized, drawing surface is enclosed in a sturdy plastic shell, and when the pen or stampers touch the surface they attract darker filings which stay put until the eraser lever is pulled.
---Whats So Special About The Thomas MegaSketcher?---
Well, as you can probably imagine the Thomas MegaSketcher is based on that very useful engine Thomas The Tank Engine. The actual shell is in the shape of Thomas and as well as the standard pen (with thick and thin writing points) it comes supplied with two engine stampers (Thomas and Percy) and a track roller. The magic eraser is also specially decorated with a picture of Harold the Helicopter. All in all its very Thomasy and looks far nicer than the Classique version.
---How Do You Use It?---
The Thomas MegaSketcher is as easy to use as the Classique version (thank goodness), all the child needs to do is touch the writing surface with the pen, stampers or roller and they will make a mark. They can draw away, and create some nice train scenes quite easily, and then when theyve finished (and shown you the final picture) they can erase the surface ready to start again. The eraser is pretty clever, and all you have to do is pull Harold down and let go, and hell make his way back to the top, clearing the screen as he goes.
---Is It Any Good?---
Well like I said, Michael is able to draw with this without difficulty, he also has fun making patterns with the roller, but the stampers arent as good as the ones in the Classique version. Theres just too much detail in them and its really hard to get a good image of the train. Theyre also fairly small and quite easy to lose.
Other than this though its great and has had many, many hours of play since it was bought just over a month ago.
---How Do I Keep It Clean?---
The MegaSketcher is very easy to keep clean, in fact all it needs is an occasional spray with antibacterial spray and wipe dry with a cloth. I definitely wouldnt go as far immersing it in any liquid as Im pretty sure its not water-tight.
---How Durable Is It?---
Its very durable, Michael has had this a month and has dropped it many times onto hard surfaces and its not even scratched !!! The writing surface is also in very good condition, and considering this gets used for at least an hour every day, thats not bad going either.
---Who Is It Suitable For?---
Officially this is suitable for children over the age of three, due to the small pieces, but I would say a much younger child would be able to use this with supervision. Unlike the version Ashleigh has, I would say this is firmly aimed at boys, but must say both my girls sneak goes at it. As far as an upper age limit goes, I would say that there really isnt one. Even my thirteen year old sneaks the occasional play on it, but I dont think hed actually appreciate being bought one.
---What Will My Child Gain?---
What your child will gain from this toy is will depend greatly on their developmental level, but as long as they are able to hold the pen or stampers they will be able to make a mark and believe me, Michael gets great pleasure from the fact he can do this.
As they use this any childs drawing and (pre-) writing skills will be developed, no matter how slowly. With the more advanced child you can get them to copy letters and pictures, which will also improve their observational skills.
Above all my children gain the pleasure from showing Mummy and Daddy their finished masterpieces, before erasing them ready to start again.
---Where Can I Get One?---
We bought Michaels Thomas MegaSketcher from ToysRUs for £19.99, and it appears to be available on-line at Amazon for a very similar price.
---What Other Versions Are There?---
There is a complete range of MegaSketchers available which are :
The Classique Version : Basic version (which I have previously reviewed).
A portable MegaSketcher ~ for sketching on the move
A Princess MegaSketcher ~ Very pretty looking with lots of princess stencils and lights (this one needs batteries)
Winnie Baby MegaSketcher ~ A Winnie the Pooh version for younger children.
There is also an on-line version of both the Classique and Thomas MegaSketchers at Tomy.com which are great fun for your child to have a play with.
---The Good Points---
* Re-usable writing surface
* Easy to make marks
* Looks nice
* No batteries
---The Bad Points---
* Stampers are to small, and its hard to get a clear picture from them.
---What Michael Thinks About It---
Michael loves his MegaSketcher, and plays with it everyday. You can see the pleasure in his eyes as he manages to make a mark and draw pictures. But Im pretty sure he thinks the best bit is the eraser bar, which still makes him laugh as he pulls it down and it whirrs back up.
---What His Mummy Thinks---
In case you havent guessed I think this is a great toy, its really encouraged Michael to practice holding a pen properly, and I love the fact that he is drawing pictures for me to look at which is something hes never been able to do before. Although this Thomas version is quite a lot more expensive than the version Ashleigh has, I would say it was probably still worth it, because Michael loves Thomas so much and it does look like its going to last quite a long time.
I am therefore recommending this toy to parents of children who not only love Thomas but enjoy drawing, or actually find it difficult to make marks on paper. However, if youre child is not a Thomas fan then I would suggest getting the cheaper version, which is just as good (and in some ways better).
We bought this for my eldest sons 3rd birthday and of all the things he was bought including a swing/slide set for the garden this was his favourite!!!! It really was our best buy for him he'll sit for ages just drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing its even stopped him drawing all over the walls which he was doing a lot when he ran out of paper! It even has two little stamps in the shape of wheels which when pressed on the screen show up as a little thomas and a little james which he loves, theres also an extra which draws a train track for you so you certainly get your monies worth! To anyone whose child loves to draw I would say this is a must for you - you never need to buy paper again! :)
The Thomas Megasketcher is a sketching unit with touch-sensitive drawing board. The screen clears with the downward push of a switch. This set includes Thomas and Percy stamps and a roller stamp that leaves an impression of train tracks.