Bic seems to have been around since the dawn of time. I remember using Bic pens to write my exams when I was a kid. With that lovely dose of nostalgia I embarked on reviewing the Bic Kids range.
The Visa felt pens were the first to be thrown to the slavering hounds, a.k.a terrifying group of toddlers. They were stood on, eaten, left open, dropped and hidden down the sides of a sofa and still worked at the close of the session. This is very impressive for me because I’ve used other brands and they’ve dried out pretty quickly.
These, however, come with the boast that they won’t dry out if left uncapped for weeks. The colours are nice and bright and they do wash out of clothes. The latter being a huge point in their favour as I’ve had many a sad moment over a ruined dress or shirt thanks to indelible marker ink.
Selling for £3.09 (why the nine pence?) they are cheap for their long lasting value and extra benefits. You may get ones for 50p but they’ll be dry in seconds.
Next on the agenda were the Tropicolours pencils. I liked these and their big stripey design, as did the toddlers. Shouts of glee met me as I produced them at the table. To be fair they did break fairly quickly and it was a good thing I had my sharpener on hand but they also kept to their promise of being easy to sharpen.
Because boys were included in the test group for truly tough testing, these pencils were stood on a lot. One broke and that was probably because I stood on it too and it was the final straw for the poor thing. It didn’t splinter and was a clean snap. I approved of this immensely.
These chaps sell for £2.99, have 12 in a pack. Considering that you can get vastly more expensive colouring pencils and also vastly cheaper, I’m going to weigh in at saying they are good enough value but not quite a bargain.
Plastidecor Crayons were the next set from Bic Kids to meet with stringent testing from the tot troupe. These are promoted as being extra clean, easy to sharpen and shiny. I have to say that I agree. The colours were lovely and bright, comparatively so against other brands on the table. They were smoother and rubbed colour beautifully onto the pages.
The kids loved them although there was a near death match for the gold and silver crayons. I really like these and even with a lot of abuse not one has been broken and smooshed into my carpet. That gives it an extra point.
Retailing for £2.49 they are a neat price point that sits in the cost-effective zone for me. They are worth every penny for resistance, colour and quality.
Finally we whipped out the piece de resistance, the Aquacouleur colouring pencils. I think I was far more excited than the kids who just eyed the little tubs of water I brought out with great suspicion. You see, these pencils work as pencils and they can be swooshed in water to make painting effects. You can also blend the colours if you want to. It’s such a mess free version of painting, how could I not love the idea?
At first there was resistance to the idea with kids point blank refusing to wet their pencils. They thought I was mad. Eventually after painstakingly showing them how funky the colours and effects were once wet, things got going.
These are actually rather great but the one down side is that if they are left in water, as any kid is liable to do, they sort of dissolve and melt, leaving a gooey trail on your shirt. As happened to me. Fortunately it washed off in seconds which was another plus.
So, if you keep your eyes on them and don’t let them collapse in the water, these are stunners. Good for journeys or trips when ordinary pencils just won’t do, or when you can’t be bothered with the mess of painting. These are worth £3.09 purely because of the fun factor.
In conclusion I have to say that the Bic Kids range is dependable and good quality. I am also impressed with the fact that you can download colouring-in templates from the site as well as activities. Good money saver that one!