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e-Briefing | GADGETS & GIZMOS

Do We Really Need a Shrinky Dinks Maker?

January 17, 2002|P.J. Huffstutter

Parents probably remember the 1970s fad of cutting out plastic shapes, coloring them and shrinking the crafts in the oven. In a bid to revive the trend, Canadian-based Spin Master Toys recently released its "child-safe" Incredible Shrinky Dinks Maker.

For about $30, the toy comes with the "oven," three sheets of the shrinkable plastic, three colored pencils, three key chains, a magnetic strip (for making refrigerator magnets), two shrink trays and traceable images.

First, the good stuff: Shrinky Dinks rock.

Now, the bad: Not included is a 60-watt round clear candelabra base light bulb, which can be a pain to find at the local grocery store. Buy the wrong light bulb and the dinks won't shrink.

Unlike the days of old, kids must trace the images, instead of cutting out pre-made designs and tweaking the colors as they see fit. Though this is a bonus to anyone with a creative slant, the artistically impaired might find the additional step a bit trying.

Also, if this device is supposed to be just for kids, then why does a huge warning on the cover of the box scream "Parental Supervision Recommended," and the see-through window on the oven say "Hot: Do Not Touch"?

Why not just pick up the refill kits, for about $6, and make them in a regular oven?

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P.J. Huffstutter

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