Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Morphoscopes are Certified Cool

I recently tried out a Morphoscopes kit from Ooz & Oz. It's a crazy concept, and I don't know how they came up with it, but I can tell you this: my boys, and these are teens we are talking about, both agreed that Morphoscopes are really cool and strongly encouraged me to review them on the site.

Here's what you get: two Morphoscopes mirror decoders (which are basically reflective cups), some crayons, and lots and lots of activity sheets to keep your kids busy.

Now, you may be thinking, okay, but how is that crazy?

Okay, take a look at this pic to the left.

You see the image on the mirrored decoder? The cute pic of the kids playing soccer?

It's not there.

There is nothing printed on the cup.

Instead, look at the page under it. See the crazy swirling mess? That's what the image looks like on paper!

To color it properly, you have to look at the image as it is reflected in the cup.

The cup shows it as it should be, rather than all distorted as it is on paper.

It is, folks, a real mind trip, and one that blew my mind.

Especially because, within the Sports of All Sorts kit, which is the Morphoscope set I received (they have tons of them to choose from over at the Ooz & Oz site, even a Halloween one) there is also a very realistic sketch of a person's face.

Or at least that's what it is when it is decoded.

Seeing a human face spread out in the weird swirly way on paper really does a number on your perception!

Morphoscopes are, as they put right on the box, "Brain-powered play." Kids can even make their own with instructions in the kit. And there are activities that kids can do that adults have trouble with, like connecting the dots using the reflection on the cup. Wild.

The suggested age for the kits are 8-14 years old, but I could see younger kids playing with this as well, and as an adult I got a real kick out of our Morphoscopes: Sports of All Sorts Kit.

I could definitely see gifting kits for Christmas. They have Twisted Pajama Party, Princess Pony and Pirate Party kits, too.

Now, on to my teens. The guys who normally wouldn't be caught dead coloring at their ages.

The Rhino's take: "Whoa, Mom. That's cool. That's a really cool idea. You have to give them a really good review on your site!" (14 yrs old)

The Owl's take: When called in to give his verdict, The Owl, who is a fan of optical illusions, wondered how they made the art sheets and marvelled at the perception of the original versus the decoded image. He, too, gave the Morphoscopes a huge thumbs-up on the coolness scale.

Viv's Take: I've never seen anything like the Morphoscopes before. They really engage kids' interest (as well as mine, I was coloring furiously right in there with the Rhino), spark their creativity and keep them interested a lot longer than just simple activity pages or coloring sheets ever could.

I received the Morphscopes: Sports of All Sorts free of charge to aid me in my review of this product.

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