Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Spirograph Deluxe Design Set
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on August 25, 2013
The only reason I took off a star is for what I feel was a little deceptive about the description where it says there are 45 pieces in the set, 20 "pieces" are the 20 pages of plain white paper, they literally counted each piece of paper as one "piece". Other than that I like the set a lot. But I bought this for one reason, for use with black paper and gel pens.

I remember when the first generations of gel pens for use on black paper came out, gosh about 2 decades ago, I very quickly thought of Spirograph. I bought a Spirograph set and we tried many gel pens but the first generation of gel pens were not very good. It went from dozens of companies making gel pens and black paper to only a handful. This generation of gel pens has made a great comeback and we see a lot of companies getting back in to the business of making gel pens and black paper. For gel pens on black paper the best are the Sakura 38176 10-Piece Gelly Roll Assorted Colors Blister Card Moonlight Gel Ink Pen Set and the ink glows in the dark but if you really want to add to your Spirograph fun I recommend also getting what I call "The Castle", the TEKwriterUSA Gelwriter Gel Pen Set with Pop-up Case, 100-Count (27104-D), it has every kind of gel pen you could imagine and great for every shade of paper from black to white but the ink does not glow in the dark like the Sakura pens. Be aware that the Gelwriter pens have a pump action tip so you don't want to use to much pressure.

For black paper I recommend getting both the Wausau Astrobrights Heavy Duty Paper, 24 lb, 8.5 x 11 Inches, Eclipse Black, 500 Sheets (22321) and the Black Page Journal, Black Cover, 36 Qty/case, you get three sizes, 12 each, I'm guessing around 5, 6 and 8 inch size with about 50 pages each, a fantastic value at less than a dollar a notebook. The notebooks are not lined.

Also if you are in to what I like to call "florescent" art try the light boards and liquid chalk markers. Here is one light board but there are more a little lower in the "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed" section, Neon Board Features Multi-colored, Flashing LED Lights. The light boards have a bunch of different colors and lighting effects from the most simple, leaving one color on, to multiple color and effect combinations. Seeing how each color of liquid chalk marker interacts with the different color lights and effects is amazing.

(Update)
Sakura has come out with smaller version of the Gelly Roll set that has the best colors for black paper in the set Sakura 38174 5-Piece Gelly Roll Assorted Colors Blister Card Moonlight Gel Ink Pen Set, Dawn Pack, it eliminates some of the darker colors from the larger set. I would also recommend getting some extra fine pens for the more intricate designs on white paper. Some good ones are the Pilot G-Tec and Hi-Tec series, the Uni-Ball Signo series and the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner series. Metallic ink markers also work well on black paper and come in all point sizes just make sure the point fits the hole.

Highly recommended!
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on December 20, 2012
So cool that the Spirograph I remember is back! We have tried for years to find this toy in stores and online...could only find old ones on ebay for a fortune. This has all the original wheels and rings plus really NICE PENS...not only that, the pieces have bigger holes so that they work with any pen or kids marker you have at home. The best part though is that they now include "spiro-putty" for holding the pieces down instead of having to poke holes in the paper....great idea! I love that the storage case has a built-in work surface too....our kids aren't allowed to use pens on our table because it will leave marks, the work surface protects the table and makes it easy to grab all the pieces from the storage tray. The kids and the adults in the house all love drawing with this...Totally recommend!
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on February 22, 2015
my granddaughter is 5 and enjoyed playing with her spirograph. Easy to follow and she loved her art work. Great job by Amazon. Every piece as a masterpiece. Inks were great.
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on February 14, 2013
WARPED – I am so disappointed in the quality, or lack thereof in the plastic rings and gears. I still took it over to my sister’s house to have ‘Spirograph Night” and her daughter (22 yrs) loved it so much that she purchased one from Amazon two days later. She was hoping that mine was just a bad one and the one she would get would be better. Well, I texted her the other day to ask how her Spirograph was because she told me she had received in the mail. She texted and I quote “Worse than Yours!”. How disappointing. After that text, I went to write a review, and then looked back at others reviews I hadn’t seen before I made my purchase. I saw others have had this same problem. After this purchase, I found a smaller version (different brand name) at a bookstore. The quality of the other brand was so much better, I mean a lot better. However this other brand didn’t have as many gears, not as many wholes inside the discs (which means less design options) and the wholes are smaller so you can’t use ultra fine point sharpies with it, which is what I love about the Spirograph brand. So I give Spirograph a big thumbs up for variety of discs, bigger wholes in the discs, and that they give a little bit of putty. The putty works best on a heavy card stock. I use 110 lb. But I give Spirograph a big thumbs down for the lack of quality of the plastic. With so many people having this same “warped” problem, I think it’s time this product needs an upgrade, because people do want this product. It’s a lot of fun when it works and frustrating when the gears slip due to a warped disc messing up the cool design you had going.
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on November 2, 2000
Was very disappointed with this version of Spirograph. Bring back the original!! Please!! I used to love my spirograph many years ago. What happened to all the gears and instructions to make wonderful creations. I got many hours of enjoyment with my old spirographh. What I would give to have it back. This excuse for spirograph is BORING!!!
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on September 20, 2000
Glad to see I was not the only one who thought this was an awful imitation of the Spirograph I loved as a kid. My 5 year old played with this once 9 months ago and hasn't touched it since. Why couldn't they even include the 4 colored pens? (Only 1 comes in the box now.) Definitely better off spending your money elsewhere. How about an Etch-A-Sketch?
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on May 22, 2000
Stop now if you are a Spirograph fan. This is a poor imitation of the toy you remember and not worth even the few dollars they are charging. There are no interestingly shaped gears (only circles) and no 'doughnuts' to work inside and outside of. There are no instructions for creating particular designs and the gears need to be broken out of their moulding sheet to be used. It seems like product designers must have been thinking, 'how cheap can we make it and still call it Spirograph'.
More than anything else, the lack of gears and options reduces this to a gadget and has taken the genius and pleasure out of what used to be a very engaging and creative toy. You will only be terribly disappointed if you buy this. I'm tempted to go hunt for an original ....
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on July 10, 2000
My wife and I both enjoyed the original Spirograph 25+ years ago. The original set included many "gears" with pins to hold them down, and was a quality toy. It was a big deal to get a Spirograph. I took pains to keep it in good shape, and I used it for several years. What a disappointment to see the Spirograph name attached to this collection of plastic junk. We bought it for our son for his sixth birthday, expecting him to enjoy it as we had. Sorry, son, for the horrid present.
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on September 23, 2002
This item is Spirograph in name only. It bears little to no resemblance of the toy you knew and loved as a child. It is cheaply made, has many less exciting gears, and no longer has a large frame to make full-sized designs.
Save your money. Buy anything else.Just not this.
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on November 20, 2000
When I played with Spirograph about 25 years ago, they were made with this really tough plastic and the wheels were not dark colored. The different sizes had different colors. There were many sizes and shapes to choose from. Not any more. I bought the beginning Spirograph set for my daughter and then thought she was old enough for the bigger, more advanced set later. The set I received had warped wheels that would not roll in the grooves when you wanted them to, and turned into a really frustrating experience for both of us. The wheels were a dark blue and was hard to see the lighter colors we tried to use (gel pens). I could not even use it right. ....
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