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Review CornerSoftware
Pokémon Project Studio Red Version
Rating: five stars
The Bottom Line
Kids — and printers — will be working overtime with this print/creativity software title. It features virtually endless possibilities for printable crafts and projects, as well as the indisputable appeal of Pokémon characters — 600+ Pokémon graphics to use in 250+ projects.
Award of Excellence
Ages: 6-up   Subject: Creativity/Art  Brand: The Learning Company
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
Pokémon Project Studio Red Version Product Overview
Every young Pokémon fan will want to get their hands on this creativity/print studio. There are 2 versions available — Red and Blue — each featuring 80 of the Pokémon characters (if you want to "catch 'em all", you'll have to buy both versions).

There is no questioning the popularity of Pokémon — kids collect and trade more than 150 distinct Pokémon creatures, each with a special personality and characteristics.

This program boasts 250+ different projects. There are 600+ Pokémon graphics to work with, and kids will love to personalize their projects with their favorite characters.

Those familiar with Nick-o-Matic Design Factory or Rugrats Print Shop will find that Pokémon Project Studio is designed in a very similar format.

From the main screen, kids can select the type of project they want to do, then choose between customizing a ready-made project or starting from scratch. Then it's off to the Design Desk! The types of projects available are as follows:

  • Greeting Cards: birthday cards, invitations, etc.
  • Signs: signs, door hangers, placemats, giftwrap
  • Birthday Kits: each kit includes a place mat, place card, birthday invitation, envelopes, a banner, and gift wrap
  • Banners: all-occasion banners, plus a growth chart
  • Photo Fun: photo frames, and photo album pages
  • Postcards
  • Calendars: yearly or monthly
  • Envelopes: matching envelopes for greeting cards and letterhead stationery
  • Trading Cards: in addition to trading cards, place cards, character cards, and ID cards
  • Stationery: letterheads, diary page
  • Crafts: paper airplanes, mobiles, T-shirts, necklaces, tattoos, window decals, keychains, puzzles, mazes, fortune-tellers, masks, necklaces
  • Certificates: awards for friends, parents, teachers, etc.
  • Stickers: add text and characters to stickers for fun, addresses, video tapes, name badges, etc.
  • Blank Page: start a project from scratch
At the Design Desk, kids need to become familiar with the Object Toolbar on the left side of the screen. Kids can select Pokémon clip art from Graphics, click on Headlines to get large, bold text, and select the Text Block icon that allows kids to type text and place it anywhere on their project. There are plenty of background colors and Pokémon backdrops to choose from when Background Effects is selected, and kids can add borders, lines, and photo frames from the Borders/Lines/Frames icon. Graphics or photos from other sources (such as a digital camera, the Internet, a scanner, etc.) can be imported by first selecting the Photo Toolbox button.

Children will be motivated by the idea of creating things using their favorite characters and discover different ways of doing things. For example, they might want to add word balloons to surround their text, and experiment with different sizes and fonts. They will discover an extended color palette with beautiful colors and color blends for their backgrounds. Kids will learn many of the functions and tools that adult print shop software titles use — and will soon become experts at doing exactly what they want to do by resizing, undoing, rotating, and arranging objects.

Included in the box is a package of some supplies to get kids started. They will likely want more, and the jewelcase insert manual lists the products along with product numbers to make it easy to purchase the right supplies.

The pre-made character cards include information about each of the 80 Pokémon characters featured in the version — type, height, weight, and characteristics.

Undoubtedly, after letting your kids loose with this software and your color printer, your house will be overrun with Pokémon doorknob signs, place mats, mobiles, certificates, and more.

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98, a Pentium 100, 16 Mb RAM (32 recommended), and 2X CD ROM drive, and a printer.

Educational Value
Although print shops are not designed to be academically educational, they do require children to be resourceful, to think creatively, and to make use of tools to create their masterpieces. Projects generally have a "blank page" option that allows kids to make things from scratch.

Entertainment Value
The tremendous appeal of Pokémon graphics combined with the attraction of creating real and useful printable crafts from the computer add up to a highly entertaining product.

Design
Although there are kid-friendly icons, this program resembles an adult print shop title with its many options. As such, children ages 6 and 7 will likely need some help to get the most out of the program.

Replayability
Because this program is a software toolbox loaded with options and possibilites, its replay value is excellent.

Dollar Value
The suggested retail price is $24.99 US. Add to this the cost of printer cartridges and possibly craft supplies, and it is still worth it.

Released: 1999