Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Clanger - The 'Sketch a Graph'

Strong statements with no sign of a disclaimer anywhere.

Click on the photos for close ups

Who was the twisted genius that came up with the concept of the 'Sketch a Graph'? And what committee of idiots were so impressed with the prototype and demos they put the thing into production. Fortunately I never got this box of disappointment for Christmas. Unfortunately I made the the mistake of splashing some Christmas money on one at the sort of shop selling stationary downstairs and toys upstairs, after being taken in with the adverts showing almost spectacularly accurate reproductions (in larger or smaller sizes) of maps, photos and illustrations created by this higgldy piggldy contraption - a cross between an etch a sketch, a compass and trellis fencing .

What in the name of Tony Hart was it all about? - I could have done better with my eyes closed using my left hand or if I'd tried drawing it driving over cobbles as the end result was always an absolutely hopeless shuddery muddle, not helped by the pivot only being secured by a solo drawing pin.

I found one almost MIB as they say on Ebay, for 50p in a local charity shop, but more amazingly the 'Sketch a Graph' is still going strong, you can see it here. It's been given a make over, and they seemed to have addressed the shudder issues. I could be tempted to try again.


office pest said...

I had one. The problem is the amplification effect of a small random movement ('just a tiny amount' as Charlie Higson says), being writ large at the other end.
I would end up going over all the lines with a ruler, or reproducing the curves with a compass to give the result some semblance of order as opposed to it looking like the product of an on-the-rocks draughtsman with the DTs.
I much preferred Spirograph.

Planet Mondo said...

Exactly - I'm amazed they confidently claim will "reproduce plans"!! I can't imagine these reproductions would have been legally binding or worried Draughtsman too much.

I gave up after several hair tearing sessions and went back the trusty tracing/greaseproof paper flipped over and rubbed onto plain paper technique

Axe Victim said...

I had one of these as a Christmas present. My dear old dad used to think these things were 'clever'. He was easily impressed bless him. He always used to go to Hamleys' for my Christmas present and would often fall for the fancy (and very well practised)demo's and buy me some such rubbish that any normal kid would simply make a fist of. He had probably stopped off at a local pub on his way. I had the lot. Spirograph, that swing thing with a pen in the middle, Etch-a-bleedin'-sketch, you name it I probably had it. The best present I ever had though only lasted two days before it broke. A gun that could fire rubber balls - around corners!Wipes misty eye.

Planet Mondo said...

AV - check the link in the post for the all new space age Sketch a Graph. Looks like it's been made from spare oil rig parts.

A gun that could shoot round corners!!! Sounds like something you used to get American comic ad's (along with 'Sea Monkeys' and X Ray Spec's) . Why aren't the MOD onto this one? Surely should be fitted as standard for tanks, rifles etc...