Reviewed by Melody Floyde
When I was asked to review the John Adams Supergraph I jumped at the chance. With the school summer holidays fast approaching I was very keen to find new toys and games to entertain my two sons so we were more than happy to put it through its paces.
I’d never heard of Supergraph before but it sounded like it would be good fun for my 9-year-old son as it is aimed at children aged 8+. Supergraph is a drawing system that means children (and adults) can use it to draw pictures of anything they like by simply tracing a picture or object using the Supergraph. An added bonus was that the Supergraph doesn’t require batteries which is always a plus in my eyes when it comes to toys.
When the Supergraph arrived, my son was very keen to get it out of the box straightaway and have a go. The box itself was impressive being fairly large and really bright and colourful and immediately made it look very exciting. Inside the box there were several different parts of the Supergraph, some blank paper, two pictures to be copied and most importantly some very comprehensive illustrated instructions which were very easy to follow.
The Supergraph had to be assembled before we could try it, but this was actually reassuringly simple and only took a couple of minutes. Once assembled I was slightly startled by how large the Supergraph was and immediately began to worry where we were going to store it, but this was short lived as I discovered that the Supergraph can easily be disassembled and all the pieces fit neatly into the base, it even has a handle on it so it can be carried around. Ideal for taking to other places or out in the field if my son fancied trying to draw a landscape!
The Supergraph is actually a really clever system which allows children to copy any picture or object onto a blank sheet of paper using mirrors to “project” an image of the original picture onto the paper for them to trace over by looking through the eye piece.
My son got stuck straight in trying to draw one of the pictures included, which he tells me is from Captain Underpants. This kept him quiet for a long time and he really concentrated on drawing the picture. When he had finished his picture was a fair copy of the original, albeit a bit shaky – I think his technique probably needs a bit of practice, and actually, after having tried it out myself, it really is quite tricky to come up with an exact copy of the original picture, as it relies on you keeping your eyes in the same position for the whole time so that all the lines meet up in the right places. I was quite impressed with my unicorn too though!
As well as putting pictures into the picture support to draw, this can be removed and you can also draw objects. We started simple by drawing a mug and actually our efforts were pretty impressive. My son has been planning all the different objects he can try to draw as he improves his skills.
There is also a Supergraph App that can be downloaded so that the pictures are drawn directly onto a tablet rather than paper. Unfortunately we don’t have a stylus for our tablet so we weren’t able to try this out properly, although the App is actually quite a nice drawing app on its own.
Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the Supergraph, it has kept my son occupied and he is keen to keep using it. He’s not a natural artist and I think he has enjoyed being able to draw pictures that look impressive and this has given him confidence. We are a long way off producing pictures of the calibre of those printed on the box but we’re working on it!
I would highly recommend the Supergraph for any children who enjoy drawing, I can’t wait to see what my son produces next.
This product can be purchased from various retailers. For more information please see here.