Friday, September 29, 2006

Etch a Sketch: TV Fun

Last week I promised you guys (and coincidentally the readers of the Express and Star newspaper) that I’d be exposing the “Etch a Sketch for the 21st century” this week. Sure sounded dramatic didn’t it? Well here it is; the 'Etch A Sketch TV Fun'. Or more specifically a handheld device that plugs straight in to your TV and lets you draw anything you like.


Those familiar with the original Etch a Sketch will know that they consist of two dials which can be turned to draw up and down, or left and right. Whilst you might think this new variation looks the same it actually contains two big buttons instead of dials; one to move a cursor in four directions and the other to be held down when you’d like to start doodling.

As it’s electronic they’ve also tried to add a couple of new features in order to make things varied. The first of these is connect the dots which includes five pre set challenges for you to complete. To join the dots you simply click on one dot and then the next number up and a line is drawn automatically. Sadly five puzzles won’t last very long but some children will no doubt want to do them again and again.


As well as connect the dots there’s also the option to trace four images. The problem is the arrows keys are incredibly sensitive in this mode meaning that drawing anything other than a straight line can be a bit of a nightmare. Whilst I’m sure this can be overcome with practice it could be off putting for a child the first time they pick up the device. Or maybe it’s just me wanting to not go outside of the lines…

The most unique mode is called simply “Cool Drawing Tools” which pretty much says it all. This mode lets you use an ice scraper to carve images in a frozen lake and an aeroplane to place clouds in the sky amongst other themes. It’s easiest to draw in this mode as the sensitivity has been reduced and it also puts the TV screen to good use.


Last but not least there’s the old fashioned drawing mode where you can pretty much draw anything you like. This mode is the least sensitive meaning you can take your time and draw more inventive creations. There’s also an eraser that will remove the last line you drew in case of mistakes.

So it seems the team at Etch a Sketch have come up with some new ideas but sadly you never quite feel like you’re in control of what you’re drawing. Still it costs about as much as a regular etch a sketch so if you’re still intrigued or just want to write messages in the sky you can buy the Etch a Sketch TV Fun here

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).