What It Is
With the MagnaColor Design Station, kids can create colorful images using magic dots. The set comes with a MagnaColor Design Station, two double-sided tracing stencils, four magic dot dispensing pens (red, orange, yellow, and green), 160 magic dots (40 for each pen), and a screen swiper.
To start filling the pens with the magic dots, insert each pen into its color-coded compartment with the pen's clear window facing up. Insert the writing tip of the pen into the refill position. Once all the pens are in place, close the compartments. Then pour all the magic dots on the MagnaColor Design Station. Use the screen swiper to slide the dots to the top of the Design Station, making sure they all go through the slot at the top. Gently shake the Design Station left to right, and you will see the magic dots separate into their proper rows. Continue to shake until all the colors have separated. Turn the Design Station counter-clockwise. Open all four compartments by moving the latches to the right. This will cause the dots to fall into the pens. Close the compartment doors and remove the pens.
Select an image and place it in the Design Station. With one of the pens, press down gently in one spot to release a single magic dot. If you press down gently and slide the pen across the picture, you will release a series of magic dots. The metal dots stick to the magnetic Design Station.
The original MagnaColor came with 3D glasses, but with this version, you can download the free MagnaColor app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and scan your completed picture to watch it come to life on-screen via augmented reality. In the app, kids can also draw with virtual magic dots and play with the characters from the stencils on-screen. Additional themed stencils that work with the app are sold separately.
Is It Fun?
The MagnaColor Design Station offers a different way for kids to color, and because they can easily remove the magic dots from the pictures, they can color the pictures in new ways each time they play. The app is a pretty cool feature for kids who want to see their pictures appear in 3D, plus the app's other activities extend the creative play. However, kids will enjoy "coloring" with the magic dots even if they don't have the app.
Who It’s For
The MagnaColor Design Station is age-graded for ages 4 and up. However, the magic dots are very small, small enough for even a 4-year-old to swallow. So adult supervision is recommended while younger children are playing with this toy.
What To Be Aware Of
Tech 4 Kids says that the magic dots are NOT magnets. The dots are metal and the board is magnetic. Swallowing them is no harm as they will just pass through you. Even so, these should never go in the mouth.
There are two extra pen spaces on the back of the Design Station, one for a blue pen and dots and one for a pink pen and dots. Extra colored pens are available and sold separately.
When releasing the magic dots, make sure your pen is held upright, otherwise the dots won't come out.
Play in a contained area to minimize the chance of losing the dots as kids play.