3Doodler Start: Should You Buy It? A Review from a Crafty Mom.
What is the 3Doodler Start?
The 3Doodler Start (which retails for $49.99) is the kid version of the world’s first 3D printing pen and in my my mind one of those toys that can make or break a kid. Why? Because it has amazing potential as a tool but it also has the potential to be amazingly frustrating to those not patient or skilled enough to use it.
For starters, expectations are high. Not only does the 3Doodler Start sit on the Hot Toy List of Target and Toy Insider, the packaging that comes with the doodler is awesome. The box has pictures all over it and two brochures include handy steps with pictures of all kinds of things you can make. Also, there are videos on YouTube that show all kinds of things being made from noodle-esque Eiffel Towers to twisting globby trees, loopy flowers and robots standing up, but the cold hard reality is these things take time to make. A lot more time than the average kid I think is willing to put in, sadly.
The 3Doodler Start is a really fun toy to play with though and if you have a kid that has the ability to be “methodical,” one who enjoys quiet hours making things, this might be just the toy or crafting tool for them. (The recommended age is for 8 years old and up.) If you have a kid who wants or expects to make a masterpiece right out of the box, they might find gravity is still their bitter enemy.
Drawing in space (see pictures below!) isn’t as easy as it looks. It takes time and patience and since this doodler runs on the cool side (bonus: no burning!) it’s a very slow process. The plastic sticks squeeze out very very sl-ow-ly and you can’t rush it because then the plastic gets too thin and hairlike.
If you take your time, you can make things! Making straight edges can be a challenge if you are making them in space (the top lines will sag and droop) but if you use a hard surface and then stand your creation up after it dries, it will work much better. You can then attach pieces and parts with more plastic. If you have the patience to follow the patterns provided in the 3D Doodler Starts’s instruction booklet, you can make some really cool things. Like these bendable glasses!
My daughter had no patience for making these glasses but she sure liked them after I’d made them. I have to say, as an artist, I am really glad to have this crafting tool in my arsenal. I’m sure it will come in handy for manufacturing that odd piece or part that I can’t make with paper or glue when I want something more malleable than hot glue. But as a toy, I’m feeling like it’s still in beta mode. Or, maybe I should just step it up and get one of the adult models, which are the 3Doodler Create ($99) and the 3Doodler Pro ($250).
I must add that since the minute I received this toy, my girls have been begging me to play with it and now they are asking if they can take it to school with them. So there’s that. All in all, my daughter and I give it a 3 out of 5 star rating. Really fun tool, but not quite a solid winner as a toy. The 3Doodler Start retails for $49 and can be found at our affiliate Target.
Alpha Mom bought its own 3Doodler Start to review.Published December 1, 2016. Last updated December 1, 2016.