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Crayola Crayon Maker

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Crayola Crayon Maker
By: Amy Jacquin

Kids who love art may be interested in the Crayola Crayon Maker. But will it keep their interest?

We asked a class of very well- behaved third graders at St Mary's Elementary School in Cape Girardeau to help us test the Crayola Crayon Maker. And we discovered right away that four of Mrs Ostendorf's students already have the product at home.

"Turn the on-off switch on," Mrs. Ostendorf reads directions.

But ooops... We accidentally turn-on the wind-up timer instead. And that means the lid locks until the timer stops, which is about 20 minutes.

While we wait for the timer to unlock the lid, Mrs. Ostendorf reviews the directions. The $18 Crayola Crayon Maker comes with a starter set of colors to melt together.

"This has to be an inch or smaller," she says, holding up a normal solid-colored crayon. "But not too small. If you use shavings it'll gunk-up the machine. If they're too large, it can't melt them."

We finally get the lid open, and the third graders take turns filling the trays with pieces of crayons. After they're full, we close the lid. And now it's time to start the timer for real. After about five minutes, we notice the colors are starting to melt, and all the kids want to look...

"It looks awesome!" they murmer.

After about ten minutes, the light turns off and the timer knob tells us it's time to pour the melted crayons into the mold. But the tray dumps quickly, and some of the bigger globs get globbed at the top of the form.

Directions do not warn you to pour slowly, but that probably would help make sure all the pieces slide into the mold. We consulted with two of the children who already have Crayola Crayon Makers at home...

"It just kind of sticks to things," they say. "You have to pour really slow."

As we wait for the new crayons to harden, I ask the third graders what they like about the Crayola Crayon Maker.

"It changes colors, and we like to draw and stuff."

But they admit it's not an EXCITING toy, and not one they'd grab very often. Yet about a third of the class says they really want one for Christmas. Okay, finally it's time to take our new crayons out of the mold.

"do those look like normal crayons to you?" Amy Jacquin asks, as the mold reveals mis-shapen colors. "No!" the kids say as they make faces.

The new crayons not very solid, and break easily when you press harder. As each student writes their name, you can ocassionally see the rainbow effect.. But overall, it's not much different than using a normal crayon.

"On TV, they make everything look perfect," one girl calmly explains. "But sometimes they don't really turn out that good."

Out of the mouths of babes! We give the $18 Crayola Crayon Maker a C-.

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