Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: STACK-A-DOODLE Crayon Set: Good Ideas are Simple and Familiar

photo: Fred and Friends

Stack-A-Doodle: Building-Block Crayon Set
DOES:  it's toy art; it's also a functional crayon and functional building block
INVEST: $7.50 Suggested Retail Price (other retailers may differ- I bought it for less!)
TOOLS: Think Like A Scientist/Engineer (good creations inspire this thinking), Express Yourself

I don't know if I should call this a review because I am only doing one thing with these stackable crayons.

That is, I am admiring them.  I am solely admiring them and if any of my children uses these blocks as crayons on a piece of paper........  GASP!  Oh no, you didn't!

photo: Fred and Friends

Maybe in 2013, I will let my boys use them but in 2012, no one will be allowed to color with these crayons.  Why?  Well, just look at them!   Aren't they so pretty?  I've seen stackable candies in this Lego-style blocks but these crayons are just adorable.

They come in a very sturdy box and so you know it will never come to you broken and while yes, there are only 13 crayons in there, I love these so much, at $5.00... I feel like it was money well spent because they are not just crayons to me.  (I was lucky and purchased them at a discounted rate at the SITE NYC booth at the Queens Mamas Expo.  Site NYC normally sells them for $6.) 

To me, I just love looking at them ...sort of how I love looking at the Oblo Puzzle Sphere.  It's play, it's art, it's happiness that you can hold in your hands.  I would also guess that they could be the perfect impromptu gift for any non-routine occasion (hospital visit, new friends, family visit, ...)  I use these examples because new and impromptu situations usually call for icebreakers and these building block crayons make people smile and smiles are definitely needed in icy or awkward social situations.

photo: Fred and Friends

Try to Just Enjoy Them - Your Time is Precious

Since they are unusual, there is a lot to talk about here.   "How did they make these?"  The Maker Moms, think in their heads, "I bet I can make these at home.  They could be the next party favor. It will be fabulous."  I definitely had these thoughts running through my head and I'm not saying it's a bad idea.  I think cool stuff like that would be an awesome party favor.

However, I won't be making anything like that right now.   I have other things to make. (You will see them, it will be super cool!) and I also think that you don't have to make everything you can make at home just because you can make it.  If so, there would be no more bakeries and restaurants.  The joy of eating out would be gone. And can you imagine your world without shopping?  Not talking about toilet paper and milk here...

Since I'm busy, I don't mind spending $5 or $6 to show my kids that art can look like this.  It's a  5-dollar lesson that they can touch and feel in their hands.   The lesson?  Art can be familiar.  Not only art but good design in general can also be a combination of two things that don't normally go together. That is, two things that they see everyday becoming one and the abnormality of that is part of what makes it brilliant and exciting.

photo: Fred and Friends

Other combinations that were probably odd, unusual, unexpected, at first but now are not that novel anymore....
  • fried ice cream
  • California Roll 
  • tampons
  • wheels on a suitcase and children's backpacks
  • maybe play-doh (what did people think when that first came out?)
  • magnetic wooden blocks and magnetic plastic blocks
  • dolls that pee
  • magnetic chalkboard wall as a new playspace.. ahem...
  • dough not baked but rather boiled (a.k.a. mien English: noodles or spaghetti), courtesy of China via Marco Polo)
  • watercolor pencils (have yet to try these....)
Believe me, I'm not trying to make my kids the next inventors of a Mensa-winning game.  All I want them to do is to see that good ideas don't have to be huge things that are far away from their everyday lives.   Sometimes it's something totally ordinary with just a little spin.

Inside a strong thick box, the crayons sit safely each in its own little bed.  Love it!

Gosh, maybe I should let them actually use them as crayons...  Oh, that would be painful!  Actually, by now, since my kids have seen me adore it so much, I bet they won't do it unless it was a special occasion.... you know, like the way you break out the bubbly on a special day.  Speaking of special days .. Happy pre-Mother's Day to all.  Hope all of you buy yourself something that you really want and get something that you really want too.

If you are not near Site NYC and need to buy them online, you can try my Amazon link (click the photo):

Note:  I bought these myself.  I just had to!!!!   Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any fashion by the manufacturer or retailer of any of the mentioned products for the publication of this post. 

photo: Fred and Friends

1 comment:

  1. Ooo,  if I ever saw these before, I don't recall doing so, but they are stuck in my mind now.  What a fantastic gift for Lego loving friends - of which my kids have many (and are!)  You should defintely revise this post on your FB page around all holiday gift giving seasons.