Friday, August 5, 2011

Embracing my eight-year-old self

I spent some time perusing Toys R Us the other day, looking for ideas for a birthday gift for my grand-daughter.   And I came upon Spirograph.

Does anyone remember Spirograph?   We had one when I was a kid, and I remember enjoying it so much.  I figured it was a bit too hard for my 4 year old grand-daughter to do, but as I was looking at the reviews, I noticed something interesting.

The "new" Spirograph is made by Hasbro.   And ALL the reviews commented about how it was cheaply made, difficult to use, and just not as good as the "old" Spirograph.

So I did a bit of research, and found that the Vintage Spirograph from 1966 was made by Kenner.   According to Wikipedia, the Kenner Company was bought out by Hasbro in 2000.   I don't know what they did to the Spirograph, but apparently people don't like it much.

I decided I really wanted to find a vintage Spirograph and my searches led me to EBay.   There were quite a few on there.  Unfortunately, most of them seemed interested in selling to collectors who were worried about whether there were creases on the box cover or whether the original paper was included.  I put a bid into a couple of them, but was quickly outbid.

Heck, I just wanted a set that had most of the plastic parts.   So I turned to my new, fun addiction..... Freecycle.   Anyone use this website?    It's for trading items completely for free.  No money exchanges hands.  You put your stuff up locally so there's no shipping.

It's amazing the kinds of things people put up and also what people are looking for.  Just today was a TV, some clothes, cinder blocks, wood, etc.  I find it fascinating that people have so much stuff, they'd rather just give it away for free than have it hanging around in their house.

So I posted that I wanted a Vintage Spirograph.....and within a day I got a response.   Someone had a SUPER Spirograph and I could come and get it!

Only one little curved piece is missing.   Everything else is there including the instruction book, little push pins, cardboard to stick the pins in, and design guide.

Unfortunately, as was expected, the pens don't work anymore.  It took me awhile to find something that would work.  I used skinny markers, although colored pens would work much better.

A first pathetic attempt:

I'd forgotten how hard these are to do!   It got a little better as time went on:

The Super Spirograph has pieces to make cool shapes, not just circles.   I did this one using a square.  Too bad I messed up the middle!

I'm going to have fun practicing this art.  I'm going to need some colored pens first, though.


Me (aka Danielle) said...

Wow! Talk about a flashback! I had a Spirograph as a kid. It brought hours of entertainment for me.

Plus, this "Freecycle" you speak of...interesting. I'm going to have to look it up.

Sincerely, Michelle said...

That's really very cool find.

Joan J said...

Looks like fun! Once you've practiced, there's an easy way to transfer these over to fabric and then color them in with crayons for some really neat decorative pillows. If you look on my blog in the right hand corner and find a link to Mamacjt's blog and you'll see how she does it. If you can't find it, let me know. Fun stuff!