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Crayola® Glow Station™ On The Go

10/09/2010

For reasons I rather not get into I found myself with $20 in Kohl’s cash. I am not a huge fan of the store and this is largely due to finding its merchandise selection, pricing and visual aesthetics rather unpleasant. Also there’s always the scent of some foul smelling Yankee Candle wafting throughout the store. Nevertheless, I couldn’t let this cashmoney evaporate so I decided to head over there late one night in hopes of getting rid of the darn thing. I bypassed the softlines and what not and headed straight to the kid’s toy section, figuring there would be something that wasn’t blanketed with bedazzling or marinating in the stench of synthetic Lemongrass-Honeydew. After tripping over a misplaced stuffed animal, I found the Crayola section and was immediately attracted to the Crayola® Glow Station™ On The Go! Attractively packaged and priced – $14.99 w/25% off – I snapped it up (along with another product I’ll be reviewing) and made a dash to the register. Crayola® Glow Station™ On The Go is amazing! It is a cross between Lite Brite and Etch-A-Sketch, but without being as cheesy as either. Without even calling La Mommie, I’m pretty sure I know why we didn’t have either as children. Where I could see unlimited artistic possibility, she could envision the Etch-A-Sketch being wielded as a weapon if my sister and I got into the scraps or jacking up her vacuum cleaner by accidentally running over Lite Brite pegs. I could barely contain my excitement about testing out the Crayola® Glow Station™ On The Go. Unfortunately my excitement had to be postponed because as an adult without children I failed to appreciate the value of reading the product packaging prior to leaving the store with it. Naturally, the unit requires 3 AAA batteries, which, of course, were not included. Normally, this would not be the beginning of an adventure. However, I live in Vermont where the sidewalks are rolled up at 9pm and it was nearly 10pm! Because I wanted to play with that damn thing THAT NIGHT, I had to pay the “impatient” tax to the tune of $3.99 at a grocery store for a package of eight AAA batteries when I normally score a 24 pack for seven bucks at Home Depot.

Crayola® Glow Station™ On The Go components:

  • 1 glow canvas featuring on-the-go handle and storage (10″ x 11-1/2″ x 1/2″)
  • 1 light wand
  • 1 stencil sheet, six stencil shapes
  • 1 texture sheet of lifelike designs, and instructions

some kids having a grand old time - not shown, parents with frazzled nerves

Out of the package, the Crayola® Glow Station™ On The Go resembles a fairly unremarkable dry erase board/lap desk. Still, it seemed to be reasonably designed for kids, though that damn battery compartment for the light wand was a bit troubling for those with chubby fingers or any other issues with motor skills. Then there was the matter of the light wand itself. I could just imagine the hijinx unsupervised children could get into, with possibly tragic consequences. Yeah, it’s all fun and game until someone gets the light wand zapped into their eyes. Never touch the cornballer, indeed! Since I wasn’t planning on zapping anyone’s eyes, it’s only worth noting for those who have children or others in their lives inclined to such behavior. Once the unit is all powered up, you have to find some place dark. I don’t mean Teddy Pendergrass dark; all the way dark. Thus you probably need to make your peace with your higher power as you climb into the trunk of your car or seal yourself off in a panic room or closet. Then you wait. Based on my experience with the product about two or three minutes of sitting in burnt up skillet darkness should get you there. Then you use the magical sheets and begin crafting your masterpiece. Now the product is not really designed with the ambivalent in mind; you only have a couple of minutes before your creation disappears before your eyes, which happened to me twice I as tried to neatly pen, “does this light pen write?”. And forget trying to photograph it. Between the car trunk, the darkness and disappearing drawings there’s no time to be taking snaps. And as much as I enjoyed the commercial, my experience was not nearly as camera ready. There was way more fumbling, cursing and “OMGing” than most commercials targeted to children allow.

The Bottom Line:

  • According to the Crayola website the Glow Station received the following awards: Winner of the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval for 2009. Received Mom’s Best Award 2009.
  • Portable and great for car trips and such
  • Affordable at $14.99
  • Requires some serious darkness
  • Magical paper is kind of flimsy
  • Light Wand is really cool looking, but don’t look directly into its powerful beam
  • You can’t be real attached to your creations because they vanish fairly quickly
  • Suggested for ages 6 – 15; I’m a bit older and I liked it a lot
  • Hours of fun if you ever happen to move into any number of windowless basement apartments
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 10/13/2010 5:51 pm

    This actually looks like fun, even though I always loved Lite-Brite and Etch-a-Sketch too. Seems like it would be an ideal toy for Discardia enthusiasts, as you don’t end up with a lot of pieces of paper you can’t bear to part with.

  2. 11/12/2010 10:15 am

    Very true. it’s actually a lot of fun. I find myself using it when I’m on the phone. it’s not distracting enough to lure my attention away, yet distracting enough to keep my hand busy, while allowing me to save on electricity bills – the darkness.

  3. Q.V. permalink
    12/11/2010 4:43 pm

    The kids at work got the full-size version of this as a gift from one of the parents. The darkness thing is an issue, since only a few kids of the 20 can play with it at a time, and it’s fair to say that all of the other activities in the child care centre require light. But when there are just a few kids left, and it’s dark out (i.e., after 4pm, these days), they are pretty happy with it. The light in the eyes is an immediate issue, and my kid, who has impaired vision, only wants to put the light in her eyes.

    Also, kids are grabby. There needs to be another wand to use in the full-size pack, especially since the kid who is being grabbed from has a handy, pointed weapon to wield in defense.

    Another cool thing is that you can make designs by blocking the light while the light is on, which we found out when someone was leaning on it with their hand, and when the lights went off, we had a hand shape to work with (briefly).

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