When the opportunity arose to review the IDO3D Vertical Design Studio, I instantly knew it would be a big hit - it was already on Juliette's Christmas list and we're still in September ! I didn't know that Pierre was equally enthusiastic though, which just goes to show that it appeals to children of both sexes and all ages.
Inside the box, you get four gel pens (red, orange green and blue), a light attachment (which is used to dry the gel - more about that in a moment), two moulds (a small half egg and a larger half sphere) and a sheet of plastic.
You also get an instruction sheet with three projects to get you started - a helicopter, a dinosaur and a bike - which you can use with the plastic sheet to trace the different elements. You can find further ideas on the IDO3Dart website, including video tutorials which are a great introduction to how it all works, or you can let your imagination run wild, which is what the Madhouse kids did.
Juliette picked up a picture book about robots and used the front cover as a pattern, tracing over the design on the plastic with the gel pens.
You need a reasonably thick line so that it doesn't break once you've dried it and pulled it off the plastic, but you can go back over the line if necessary or you can fill in the whole area with a block of colour so that it's less fragile. Juliette opted for a 2d flat design to begin with.
Whereas Pierre decided to go for something slightly more complicated and use the half egg mould to create a little bowl for his fairy friend. I did point out that he could make two half eggs and then join them together to make a whole egg, but he was adamant that he wanted to make a bowl - so that's what he did !
They both got the hang of it really quickly. After drawing a line of ink gel, you have to use the special light to dry it out before adding the next line.
It came out a little bit rough and ready around the edges but Pierre was nevertheless very proud of his finished egg/fairy bowl.
The thing they had both seen on TV and desperately wanted to try out, though, was the vertical drawing, so Pierre decided he wanted to build a house next. After getting off to a false start, we realised that you have to screw the light on to the gel pen so that it shines on the ink gel, drying it as you go. You have to go quite slowly for this to work, so Pierre's lines were a bit wobbly, but it's still very impressive, especially for a first attempt.
You can work in all directions, horizontally or vertically, so the options are limitless. We need to practise a bit more before we get neat lines without wobbles, but it's a lot of fun trying ! I must admit, when I saw the advert on TV, I never thought it would work, but it really does.
With a bit of practice and a steadier hand, I'm sure we'll soon be able to recreate some of the more complex projects such as this dinosaur, or I fancy having a go at the Eiffel Tower, which looks really cool. There is even a windmill with rotating sails and a water fountain that look unbelievably cool on their youtube channel so I think I may have to have a play when the kids are in bed !
That is the absolute best thing about the kit. Besides the fact that it creates cool artwork and helps boost your child's creativity, I love the fact that it appeals to children (and grown-ups !) of all ages so the whole family can play together with no squabbling.
I'll definitely be looking into buying more of the pens as stocking fillers because I'm sure they won't last long - the kids have a head full of ideas that they want to try to bring to 3d life now !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £24.99
for more information :
Facebook – IDO3D_UK (there's currently a giveaway on there)
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YouTube – IDO3D_UK
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.