I came upon scrapbooking while looking for crafts to do with my kids. I had tried scrapbooking before, when Michaela was first born, but quickly discovered that I neither had the time nor the talent to dedicate to it. Still, it seemed like the sort of thing that kids would like, so I figure we should give it a try.
As usual, I went looking for a kit. After seriously considering Alex My Scrapbook, given that I’ve gotten so many other Alex products and that I’m pretty happy with them, I decided to look some more and came upon the Totally Me! – It’s A Girls Life Scrapbook Kit, sold at Toys R Us, which was cheaper ($16 vs. $20) and had a “buy one, get one 1/2 off” promotion going on.
It's A Girls Life Scrapbook KitGiven that I didn’t get the Alex kit, I can’t really compare the two. The Toys R Us one is pretty nice, very pinkish and girl oriented, and it comes with a variety of frames, stickers and so forth (read this review for a complete list of contents). I wish there were more sizable stickers (the ones they have are mostly tiny ones), but all in all I think it was a good buy. I started scrapbooking with Camila (my 4.5 yo), and she was quite happy with it.
Today, I was at Michaels shopping for beading needles (which, btw, are much cheaper online than at Michaels, but then you have to pay shipping), when I came across the “Ultimate 12″ x 12″ Memory Album Kit” by “Memories Forever”, which seems to be a brand of Creativity Inc.. The scrapbook was on clearance for $15 – off an alleged original price of $55. The box looked nice and it said it made 100 pages (vs. 20 for the Toys R Us one), so I thought it was a very good deal. Boy, was I fool.
The kit (which does not appear in the Creativity Inc. website and must have been discontinued as soon as it hit the stores) includes a 12″ x 12″ album with 50 page protector pages and 100 thick pieces of paper. We’ll get bored of scrapbooking much before we finish this album. But the album is your standard ugly, brown, photo album. While the Toys R Us ones is red (or is it pink?) and lets you put a picture on the cover, this one is definitely austere. Mika (my 7.5 yo) was quite disappointed.
The stuff that comes with it is also very disappointing. They didn’t have any of the stickers and punchouts taht were featured in the box, and instead they had a bunch of individually-wrapped packages of boring images in muted colors that are just boring for a little girl. What’s worst is that they included several packages of the same images – why not offer some variety? Clearly, this kit was not put together with any care whatsoever. And indeed, it was put together with no thought. The largest picture frames they include are 3 x 5 – who gets 3 x 5 prints anymore? Everywhere you go they give you 4 x 6, so the frames (all 80 of them) are just useless.
Oh well, live and learn.
Memory Album Kit