Crayola Crayon Maker Review
What a great concept - take all your broken crayons and melt them down with the Crayola Crayon Maker to make all new crayons of mixed and swirled colors.
My daughter got the Crayola Crayon Maker from her grandma for Christmas. The Crayola Crayon Maker costs $29.99 at ToysRUs. To kids, this is a borderline science experiment. And the unit definitely looks interesting, as if it came out of a science lab. So, the kids were quite excited to try it out.
We went to try it out first thing the next morning, only to realize that the unit did not come with the required bulb. Ok, not too big of a deal. I figured I would just head to the store and pick one up. Well, it took me three stores to finally find the bulb. It has to be a 60W decorative bulb (B style), with a small base, and it can't be a Long Life bulb. We finally found it at Lowe's and we were ready to go.
The kids eagerly picked out broken crayons of different colors and we started the process. The bulb heats up a metal plate that heats the tray holding the crayons. After about 15 minutes, the crayons should be melted. If not, you have to repeat the process (which we did). During this time, the lid remains locked so kids can't open it and burn themselves. After the melting is complete you slowly push a lever that dumps the melted crayons into a mold. Then you have to wait for the unit to cool and unlock (about 10 minutes). After about a 1/2 hour (or more if the crayons did not melt during the first round), you get to break open the mold and get your new crayons.
The process was really interesting and my kids loved to watch it happen. There was some impatience with how long the process took, but they still seemed interested in watching it. When all is done, you end up with four half-sized crayons, that are not as swirled as the pictures on the box show. The unit comes with two crayon holders so you can put each of the halves into an end of the holder and create a two-sided full-size crayon. It's a neat process but the end result is just a bunch of half-sized crayons that look nothing like the ones in the ads.
Finally, my biggest complaint with the Crayola Crayon Maker (because this one falls on me) is the cleanup. You're stuck with gently scraping melted wax off of all the surfaces. It's enough of a pain that it discourages me from letting the kids use it all the time.
Overall, the kids thought the Crayola Crayon Maker did what the company said it would do, but I was a little disappointed with the end result, i.e. small crayons and nasty cleanup. Plus, I have not even seen my kids use the newly created crayons! I think they'd rather make them than use them. I hope this review helps.
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