Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just Cause... Shrinky Dinks! 06-26-10

So, following up on Presto Magix and Colorforms, the next logical topic for toy-centric discussion is Shrinky Dinks. They were magical sheets of clear plastic with black and white, coloring book-esque images on them. You colored them with colored pencils, cut them out and then baked them in the oven, where they would shrink down to a tiny charm-sized piece. You could then flatten them out and place them in a stand to make a mini figurine. (It looked like a typical game piece for any licensed character board game from the 60s-80s.)
Like Colorforms, they came in a wide variety of licensed properties. I had this Spider-Man set. I had some problems with it. First of all fuck colored pencils. I HATE them. H-A-T-E! They're so pale and non-vibrant and lame. Hey, markers called and told you to suck it. (The plus to this is that when the Shrinky Dinks shrank the pale drab colored pencil would become concentrated and brighter, so that was at least a nice side-effect.) Also, the sets only came with like four colored pencils and, uh, there're more than four colors in the world. So you'd have to mix them, like use red and blue to make purple, which NEVER worked. It just turned out to be this red and blue muddled mess. It looked kinda like when my mom would wash like all the laundry on hot and throw a red shirt in and completely RUIN the entire load of laundry. Which she did like EVERY load of laundry. Never learned. I bet she still does it. Movin' right along...

Problem two, I didn't get why you had to bake them one at a time. What a waste of time! I just threw all mine in at once. The REASON you have to bake them one at a time is that you have to flatten them out afterward and you only have a few seconds to do this once you take it out of the oven, so I had one flat mini Spider-Man and a bunch of warped, contorted other heroes and bad guys. Fail.

Like I said, I think I only had the Spider-Man set, although maybe I had the He-Man set. I wouldn't have wanted the GI Joe set, because that would have just been too much green and the set probably didn't even come with a damn green pencil. So the whole army would've been a blue and yellow blob. I didn't know they MADE DC Super Heroes Shrinky Dinks, so I have to track that down at some point! I wonder if you buy an old set like this, if they still work.
Nowadays, Shrinky Dinks are more "crafty." You make them and then you're supposed to do stuff with them, not just make mini figurines. To my knowledge, they don't even make the licensed character sets anymore. But, you can buy blank Shrinky Dink "paper" and print whatever the hell you want on them, so you can make your own. (Hmmm, I wonder of you can print in color, because that eliminates that whole colored pencil unpleasantness.)
They still have some themed sets, like this horrible looking "I Love Horses" one. I so never understood girls and their fascination with horses. Hope that came with a brown pencil. Blaaaaah!

Also, now they sell a Shrinky Dinks oven, which is similar to an Easy Bake Oven, so you don't even have to use the real oven anymore. Hmm, I should start making my own!

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