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My daughter had been asking for Hello Kitty Cool Cardz for absolutely ages (after seeing an advert on television for it). I kept putting it off as the age recommendation was 6+ years and she would have been too young for it. However this Christmas I decided to finally buy it for her! (She's almost 6)
Cool Cardz are made by a company called Flair. We have the Hello Kitty Cool Cardz set but there is also an unthemed Cool Cardz set available.
Hello Kitty Cool Cardz comes packaged in a cardboard box, with instructions inside. The instructions are simple to follow, they come in written and diagram form (so simple for youngsters to follow). There is nothing to set up and you're ready to start right away. The contents include 1 unit, 4 Hello Kitty sticker sheets, 15 laminates, 15 cards, 2 Hello Kitty ink stampers, ink pad, glitter gel pen, purple pen, 2 frames, 1 card envelope and 2 ribbons.
The unit is made of plastic, can be wiped clean and has a handle on top to carry it around. It's a bright pink and black colour, and looks pretty 'cool'. It has a place to keep the stampers (and ink) on top and also has a drawer inside it where you can store all of the bits and pieces (except for the 2 frames which are too large to fit inside), which is very handy. The unit has a slider on it - this is where you laminate the Cool Cardz. Fear not, there is no heating or glueing involved!
To start you must choose a card (there are 3 different Hello Kitty designs to choose from) and decorate it with the pens, stickers and stampers. You can write, draw, stick and stamp whatever you wish. It really encourages creativity, my daughter gets really stuck in and has created some really good cards. Once you are happy with your card, you can then laminate it. You must get a laminate sheet and place it on the unit/slider, then put your card on top and slide the slider across. This magically laminates the front and back of the card and transforms it in to a proper card. My daughter was thrilled the first time she saw her Cool Card - we had no idea how 'grown up' her card was going to look! They look very smart, shiny and durable when they're laminated. I had to demonstrate the laminating process a couple of times for my daughter (it's a little bit fiddly at first) but afterwards she could do it by herself with ease. The laminating process is quite quick and simple. You are advised to push down on the cards after they have been laminated to get rid of any bubbles, although I must say that we haven't experienced any bubbles (although it is a good idea to push down on the cards to make sure they don't come unstuck around the edges). I would say that the most important thing to remember when laminating is to hold down the card because if the card lifts up, it could all go wrong!
After you have made your Cool Card, you can then get creative again and choose what to do with it. There are 2 lovely Hello Kitty cardboard frames included, my daughter framed one her cards and stuck it on her bedroom wall. She framed the other one and gave it to her cousin! She has made numerous personalised cards for friends and family (a couple of them were even tied up in a bow). I have my very own Cool Card which I keep in my purse! There is also a cardboard envelope which you can place your Cool Cardz inside (to store or give as a gift) - my daughter is hanging on to this one, although it's my birthday soon so I'm pretty sure it will make an appearance then! The only downside is that I don't think there are enough accessories included, it would be much better if there were a few more bits - my daughter has more cards left to make but no more accessories to decorate or display them...
Another small downside is that after you have used your 20 cards and laminates, you need to buy a refill pack which generally costs about £7.00. This can work out costly if your child goes through their cards quickly! I haven't actually seen Hello Kitty Cool Cardz refills in shops either, only online.
You can buy Hello Kitty Cool Cardz in most toy shops etc. It is widely available and generally costs between £15.00 - £20.00. Ours cost £17.00 from Tesco. This may seem a little expensive, especially since you will need to buy refills on top. However my daughter likes it and it seems like a good quality toy, so I don't mind paying it.
I wasn't too sure how this toy was going to go down. Quite often my daughter has high expectations of certain toys because of how they're portrayed on the adverts - this results in a lot of toys being a total disappointment! However I'm pleased to say that we both approve of this toy. My daughter loves arts and crafts (even more so the older she gets) and has spent lots of time playing with her Hello Kitty Cool Cardz. She loves creating, decorating, displaying and giving her own personal 'grown up' cards. It's fun, creative, simple, mess-free and I'm happy to recommend it.
My daughter begged for this present from Father Christmas and luckily he obliged for around £20!
Hello Kitty Cool Cardz allows your child to decorate a card and then laminate it in the machine without the need for any mess or heat which all parents will be happy to hear.
Within the brightly coloured pink box which shows the machine and all the contents on the front, you get:
The Hello Kitty Card Design Studio
Hello Kitty Cool Cardz
Hello Kitty Stamps
Fine liner pens
Hello Kitty card holders
and full instructions for use.
I did one of these with my daughter earlier today. Firstly you choose a card design of which there are several of each. An example being a card with a white background with small pink circles over it with lots of different coloured hello kitties along the bottom.
You can then decorate this card with the two fine point pens that are included, one black, one pink. Use the stickers, or stamps and then once ready the laminating process starts.
On the studio itself you you slide the handle to the left or right ridges depending on whether you are left or right handed then open a laminating sheet but don't remove the blue card that is attached to it completely. You then feed the blue card which has an arrow on it through the rollers of the studio almost all the way. You then place your finished cool card on the laminate. Push it up against the laminate's crease and then slowly slide the handle half way across - hold on to the front of the cool card that has been partially laminated and then push the handle the rest of the way across and voila - you have your own laminated card. You can then put the card in a card holder and attach a ribbon if you wish or leave the card as it is.
I made one for my husband and my little girl made one for her bes friend - ah!
I love the idea of this and the creativity it provies for my little girl. This product is marketed for 6+ but I would say that the actual laminating process is a bit tricky and my little girl who is six preferred me to that part. My 8 year old son can do it but as it is her present it was a bit disappointing that it is a bit fiddly getting the laminate in to the rollers and then trying to position the card straight and laminated properly. Saying this it probably just depends on the child and other six year olds may find it easy whilst others will struggle.
Despite this it was a very enjoyable way to spend some time with my daughter and the part she enjoyed the most was decorating her card so the fact that I finished off the process didn't phase her at all.
It is great that you get the stickers, stamps etc. but there is not much room on the cards to do too much once you have written your message.
Included in the box is a Hello Kitty Refill Request Form so it is a gift that you have to keep giving for once the initial items have run out but I will have a word with father christmas about that lol!
You purchase an entire refill set costing from £5.70 for 1 refill to £28.80 for five refills plus between £1.29 and £2.19 for posting so this can end up being quite a costly toy, that is if it keeps their attention long enough to want refills. In my household that remains to be seen.
The refills include: 10 further laminate sheets, 15 hello kitty cool cards, 1 card holder, 1 ribbon, 2 sticker sheets and 1 ink pad.
The studio itself seems quite sturdy so hopefully it will live long enough should refills be required.
If you have quite a creative child I am sure they will enjoy this product but as I say it could be fiddly for some children so if you don't mind getting involved, if used correctly it does it's job very well.
Thanks for reading. x
also on ciao
One of my daughters requests for her birthday was a Cool Cardz card design studio. You can buy just a basic kit, but they also come in High School Musical and Hannah Montana varieties, my daughter requesting the High School Musical one .
Essentially, this is a heat free, battery free laminating machine, that comes with a bunch of pre designed cards. Laminating sheets, stickers, stamps, ink, and pens are also included to customise your cards, as well as two red plastic tags that can be used to hold cards and make them into keyrings, or attach them to clothing. There are enough cards and laminates to make 15 cards, and refill packs are available to buy seperately.
The machine itself is red plastic - rather cheap and insubstantial feeling, with several compartments that enable you to store all the accesories inside the unit itself. I like this, as it means there is no reason for there to be mess everywhere . On top of the unit is a kind of roller handle that you pull back to seal your completed cards in the laminating sheet - and I have to say that the laminated cards do look quite smart and professional.
My daughter and her friends really enjoyed playing with this at her birthday party, although personally I regret allowing her to open it there, as they all wanted a try and very soon we had run out of cards and laminates . It was at this point that I realised this toy could be a bit of a money sink - having paid £17 for this machine, that's already a cost of over £1 for each laminated card - rather expensive I think . A pack of refills costs £5.46 on amazon currently - but only includes enough for 10 cards apparently, which is rather expensive .
I'll buy them for my daughter, of course, as she loves this little gadget, but it could work out quite expensive to do this on a regular basis, which is a shame, as I'd hate to see a toy she loves consigned to the back of the cupboard because of the cost of the refill parts . Luckily, similar but non branded pouches are available on ebay significantly cheaper, so she's not entirely out of luck.
Overall, a nice toy that my daughter enjoys, but sadly it's going to keep costing me money for refills, which it would be useless without. Hence, 3 stars - good for occasional use, but expensive to keep supplied .
One of the craft activities Little Miss received for her birthday was this set, and she loves it.
WHAT IS IT?
The set contains all of the materials to design and make laminated cards.
WHAT DO I GET?
The Cool Catz box is brightly decorated with pictures and information on the box and a set of easy to follow instructions inside the box. The instructions are in the format of stages and are a series of pictures and simply written instructions; Little Miss was able to follow the instructions by herself with no help from me.
All of the equipment is easy to get to with no scissors required.
Inside the box there I find:
* Pink laminator with two swing open blue drawers
* 20 decorated cards
* 20 laminating sheets with an arrow showing which way the card goes into the machine
* 3 stamps
* Ink pad
* 3 sticker sheets- lips, stars smiley faces
* Glitter pen
* Black pen
Everything is of good quality and brightly coloured and certain to appeal.
HOW TO MAKE THE CARDS...
As I mentioned before the cards are very easy to make. First of all, the cards need to be designed- it's possible to design on both sides which is probably best because when laminated both sides can be seen. Little Miss uses the enclosed pens as well as her own pens and makes good use of all of the stickers before starting to laminate the cards.
To laminate, the ready cut sheet should be opened and the pink card with the arrow on should be left as this will be removed during the laminating process. Feed the sheet through the rollers and place the card on the clear side of the laminating sheet before pulling the rolling holder back and over the card.
Hey presto- a cool card!! It sounds tricky but once one has been made they can be made en masse.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY...
Available from toy shops I am not sure how much this cost, but I know it is made by www.flairplc.co.uk
An excellent easy to use set which Little Miss thoroughly enjoys using. She hasn't yet run out of the laminating sheets but if she does a refill pack is available to buy. She has made birthday and thank you cards and the recipients have enjoyed receiving these high quality small business card size cards which are sturdy enough to keep.
Plenty of space in the swing open trays to keep the bits and pieces from getting lost
Great present for someone age 6 plus.
Thanks for reading
This was bought for my daughter for Christmas as apparently it's the new cool toy at her school.
I bought it from Toy R Us for £14.99 and the refills are about £5.99 which comes with ten laminates and cards, a sticker sheet for decorating, two stamps and a refill ink pad.
What is it?
It is a box with two pull out apartments that pull out either end. There is a lid that pulls up on the top to store the stamps and ink pad. There is a roller part which is where you laminate the cards. I have to admit Flair have provided enough space to be able to store all the parts that come with which I was impressed with as not many companies think that far ahead.
The main part of the box is bright pink and the two pull out draws and the lid to cover the stamps are blue. The roller part at the top is yellow and it's all made of sturdy plastic.
How it works?
Your child has little cards about the size of a credit card that they can write on and put stickers and stamps on. I found my daughter being very creative which I try to encourage and she was soon making a card for everyone on Christmas day thanking them for her presents. The cards are a good size to keep in you purse or wallet. Once the design has been made you slip the card into the plastic laminate and put it through the roller. The instructions are very clear and the diagrams show you step by step how to use it.
Would I recommend it?
Well the amount my daughter has played with it since Christmas I certainly would. She is always making me cards and writing me letters which usually go in a draw but I like these as I can slip it in my purse and keep it to take with me. The price I would say is a little too high but that is far outweighed with my little tokens of love from my little girl. A great buy.
This was bought as a Christmas present for my 8yr old daughter after it was circled in the god forbidden Argos book!!
So it went on the list for Christmas and Nanny ended up buying it for £14.99,at the time I was not really sure what it was all about and presumed it to be some sort of card making,which it is,but not in the traditional sense of card making,it is in fact the small type business cards with a sticky backing.
You are met with a plastic box coloured in pink blue and yellow 24cm long,15.5cm and 4.5cm deep,it is all nicely rounded with no sharp edges and does seem to be of a good quality,it has a roller on top and a flip top tray which you put four little stamps in and a couple of slide out drawers for storing the bits and bobs in,these include:
20 cool cardz
20 cool cardz laminating sheets
4 groovy stamps
1 ink pad
3 sticker sheets
1 glitter pen
1 black pen
1 clear pouch to store cardz and instructions (this list of contents is off the box)
I was not impressed with this to start with and still do not think it is worth £14.99,but it has grown on me as my daughter plays with it quite a lot and makes us lovely little cards with cute messages on,perfect for mum and dads wallet,it is quite a clever little thing in its own way,just don't expect too much from it, at the end of the day these are only little plastic cards.
The basics are you choose a card,write a message on it,decorate it with stamps and stickers etc. and then laminate it using the machine and voilà! Your card is complete. No mess and no fuss.
Refills are available from mail order direct from the maker Flair costing 1x£6.49,2x£10.98.
I would recommend this if you could find it for less money,my daughter has enjoyed playing with it a lot,it is very simple and easy to do to boot,even though the refills seem to cost a lot.
And lastly why is cards spelt with a "z" do these people not think we have enough trouble teaching our children good grammar and English without it being thrust upon them??
This Cool Card Design Studio contains 20 laminates, 20 card sheets to decorate, 4 stamps, 1 stamper ink pad, 3 sticker sheets, 1 card holder to attach to bags, keyrings etc, 1 glitter gel pen, 1 black fine line marker, 1 Cool Cardz unit, incorporating cool laminating gadget, two drawers to hold contents and flip up lid to reveal stamps and ink pad.