Plastic gears can be used to draw designs and patterns on a chosen drawing surface. Aside from the round gears, this set also includes 4 shaped gears, such as the triangle gear and the cross gear.
Set includes 15 round gears, 4 shape gears, 2 guide rings, 1 guide rack, spiro-putty, 3 colored pens (red, blue, green), 14 page guide book, 20 sheets of design paper, and plastic storage case.
Draw fun and intricate patterns using any combination of gears. Get creative and use the patterns to design a journal cover, make decorations, unique greeting cards, or just doodle away an afternoon.
Pattern-gears can be used inside or outside the circular guide-gears, though going around the outside may take more practice.
Great for drawing alone, or use in a group to discover new techniques.
Affix one of the guide rings or the guide rack onto a piece of paper using the spiro-putty, then use the round or shaped gears to create patterns. Use more than one round or shape gear to layer the patterns, creating increasing complex designs.
This toy is not identical to its predecessor. The current gears are a little thinner, which has caused some users to question the toy’s durability. We have not found this to be an issue. While stepping on a gear may break it, we do not feel that is the manufacturer’s fault.
The durability of the storage case, however, does seem to be a bit lacking. The gears must be pulled out from their slot in the case, and care should be taken to remove the gears. Pulling too hard on just one side of a gear can break it, especially the guide gears and the rack gear. Storing the parts in an old shoebox, zip-lock bag, or other container may prove a better option.
Holding the guide-gear onto the paper with the spiro-putty has caused frustration for some users, since the guide-gear must make firm contact with the drawing surface to keep the pattern-gear from sliding under the guide. We found that using only small amounts of the putty on three or four places on the guide-gear is best. If too much putty is used, the gear may be raised slightly off the drawing surface, allowing the pattern-gear to slip under.
Make sure the putty does not spill over onto the teeth of the gear, since this will cause the gears to get stuck.
The putty has not caused problems for most users. Though the spiro-putty is reusable, it is nothing special, and any poster-putty or Sticky Tack can be used, just as well.
Anyone who remembers the old Spirograph knows the frustration of trying to find pens that will fit into the gear holes. Thankfully, the holes in the new version are slightly larger, so now most pens, as well as thin markers and colored pencils can also be used.
Some users report using gel pens and black paper for a bold look. If using gel pens, try to move the gears slower than usual, as the gel needs time to dry. If the gel is too wet, it can smear as the gear glides over it. Using gel pens takes some practice, but users found the overall effect to be worthwhile.
This toy requires patience and a bit of practice to master, even for adults. It may not be suitable for those who expect instant perfection.
The manufacturer recommends this toy for ages 8 and up, but we found children as young as 6 years old can enjoy making designs, so long as they have the patience for it.
We have noted a couple of instances in which the holes in a gear are misaligned, making it difficult or impossible to get a pen through the hole. If this occurs, please contact Kahootz Toys, as their customer service has a very good reputation.
- Wipe down with damp cloth
- Be careful when removing or replacing gears into storage case, as pulling too quickly can break them
For more in-depth information on how to clean this type of toy, please see our blog, The Cleaning Guide for Toys.
This toy provides no choking hazard so long as it is used appropriately. Small gears should be kept away from children who still put object into their mouths.
Parts and Pieces
As of yet, we do not know a place to purchase additional gears. However, the new Spirograph gears are compatible with the old gears, so gaps in the collection could be filled with gears from either set.
Every now and then, a set will be packaged and shipped missing one of the gears. If this occurs, contact Customer Service at Kahootz Toys by filling out this form. The company has a good reputation for correcting such mistakes.