This is something almost all of us must have done as kids, strictly speaking it’s not really a toy but it’s close enough to talk about here. There’s something really special about colouring in, it’s really immersive, even if you’re pretty rubbish at drawing etc. you can have some success with colouring. You get stuck in scribbling away and maybe even adding some shading if you feel particularly artistic.
Adults don’t really colour much, some of us have artistic hobbies like painting and sketching but the old colouring books don’t get much of a look in. This is a bit of a shame because I’m yet to find an adult who doesn’t get totally lost in a colouring book once the opportunity arises, hogging the colours and otherwise neglecting the child they were supposed to be helping. The other week I ‘helped’ Logan to colour in a Ben 10 colouring scene and it was great, I’m officially a massive fan of colouring, it’s one of those activities that you can get completely lost in, allowing you you to get into a kind of ‘zen’ state (as someone more new-age than me might put it).
There’s a resurgence (of sorts) in the popularity of colouring in among girls at the moment, thanks to a range of books which come under the heading ‘Top Model‘ made by expert stationary company ‘Depesche’. The basic theme is clothes design (though some books are dedicated to interior design), the books are filled with mostly blank pages featuring a line drawn model waiting to be outfitted by someone’s imagination. The whole concept is just clever, with sticker accessories and stencils to help those who can’t quite produce the look they want by themselves. If you had told me 4 or 5 years ago that a colouring book would be one of our best sellers I’d have been extremely sceptical but Top model products now trump pretty much any other product as presents for girls of 6/7 years+.
Well the girls are on board with how great colouring can be, but what about the rest of us? A colouring book and some colouring pencils (always my favourite but there’s nothing wrong with using pens, crayons or even paint) is a simple and inexpensive product to pick up and, depending on the images in the book, colouring a page can sometimes take more than an hour (I’m currently hunting down a colouring book we used to stock where you copy great art works). In terms of value colouring books are right up there.
I’ll confess I’m a bit of a quantifying junkie: I like to count up everything and sadly this habit even stretches to entertainment. For example an average sit com is about twenty minutes an episode with roughly twenty episodes to a season, that’s 400 minutes a season, a DVD box set is typically about £15 and unless the show is an instant classic like ‘Friends’ or ‘The Big Bang Theory’ you’ll maybe watch it all the way through two or three times, this gives you a maximum entertainment value of 75p an hour (and that’s being optimistic). Then look at colouring books, a personal favourite of mine at the moment is a ‘Transformers’ colouring pack that we sell in the shop at £1.29, and you get 5 A4 sheets, colouring pencils, a door hanger and a bookmark for that. I could take maybe half an hour to an hour colouring and shading each picture and I’d still have the pencils to use on another book. Maximum entertainment value here would be around 26-50p an hour, and a normal colouring book has a heck of a lot more pictures than five.
So continuing on a number of themes from previous posts, colouring is an activity that adults and children alike can (and should) enjoy, it’s good value and it can offer everyone a chance to change pace a bit and just get lost in something for a wee while.
N.B. the image used at the top of this post came from www.clickncolour.com a site that offers interesting designs for people to colour (their prices are in AU dollars)