by Doug Stillinger
Source: bought from Chapters
This set includes everything you need to draw beautiful spirals. Four drawing wheels with many various shapes let you draw spirals of all shapes and sizes. Layer your spirals, line them up, or just scatter them all over the page. It's up to you. If you make a mistake, just turn your crooked spiral into something else: a dinosaur or a chicken. There are no rules. Get ready to have fun!
When I was about 7 or 8, I really wanted a Spirograph set. The commercials made it look so fun and so easy. In reality, it was anything but. Instead of hours of fun, I ended up with hours of frustration. Eventually, all the pieces got packed into a plastic bag and stored somewhere. I haven't seen the set in years.
Recently, I came across this awesome set at Chapters. The main problem I'd had with the Spirograph was that the wheel would not stay in place, and tended to pop upwards when I was trying to draw (usually near the end of the circuit, thereby ruining the spiral). This set solves that problem by including a frame that goes over the drawing wheel, holding it in place. As long as you're drawing on a flat surface, your drawing wheel will stay put, allowing you to complete a perfect spiral nearly every time.
The set comes with the frame, four drawing wheels (with very interesting holes that allow you to draw a great variety of shapes), three gel pens with variegated ink, and a book. The book has a few pages of instructions in the beginning, and the rest of the pages are for drawing. One thing I like about the book is the emphasis on fun and originality. As one of the pages says, "There are no misteaks." That was a message that would have really benefited my 7-year-old perfectionist self. Mess up a spiral? No big deal. Just turn it into something else! Creativity is stressed here, so you can't really draw a spiral wrong.
The book does seem a little long to me. There are a lot of pages to fill in, with drawings and prompts (such as drawing spiral flowers on the provided stems or filling up the gumball machine with yummy spiral treats). It's more like an activity book in this aspect. There are also some ideas and instructions for making things like stationery and tie-dye spirals. I haven't filled in much of the book yet. I actually found drawing in the book more difficult than drawing on paper (which is what I started with, being a perfectionist and all and not wanting to "ruin" the book). I think the difficulty has to do with the spiral binding; it's hard to get a completely flat surface with that in the way. Still, my wheel only slipped a few times, and I was able to complete my spirals without too much mess.
This would be a great gift for kids (or adults) who like to draw. I really wish this had been around when I was little. I probably would have gotten a lot more enjoyment out of it than I did my Spirograph!
Ease of use: 5/5
Overall: 4.75 out of 5