Recently, I’ve been lucky enough be able to pick up several of my holy grail items that I had in my youth and that I’ve been wanting to own once again. These include a Treasure Island board game, Street Hawk bike, a Tonka car, a motorcycle helmet bike, an awesome Lamborghini Countach poster that I never thought I would be able to find, and only just a few hours ago, the awesome Gore the Lord Protector Zoid. A few of these I couldn’t actually remember the details of or had to research what they were called. I document a lot of these holy grail items on my Most Wanted page.

Holy Grails

But there’s still one that I really really want.

I’ve got a very strong memory of doing lots of Shrinky Dinks in my youth. I also remember putting crisp packets in the oven too and making a keyring out of a packet of Skips, Monster Munch or Space Raiders, but for this post it’s the official Shrinky Dinks I’m focussing on. There was one set that I have a very distinct memory of, and yet I can’t remember all the details. You had the semi-transparent material that you used to trace over the pictures in the booklet, that’s pretty standard, but it’s the booklet that I really want. It was a kind of ‘build your own character’ deal. I don’t think that was the case in every Shrinky Dinks set. This one gave you several different shapes of head that you could choose from, and then, when you’d traced your head, you had a whole bunch of different eyes that you could choose from to trace, and then a whole load of noses and mouths etc. This way you could build up your own character and at the end you even had several bodies to add too and finally a shape to go around it all to make it into a key ring or whatever. It was this Shrinky Dinks booklet that helped get me into drawing cartoons for most of my youth. I still use methods that I learnt from that booklet when I’m now teaching my son to draw. When I get flashes of the drawings in my head it fills me a huge nostalgia buzz. But I can only remember small flashes. I don’t have much detail. I think it must have been around the mid-80s.

One thing I’m not sure about is what the theme of the Shrinky Dinks set was. I do remember there was a Frankenstein body at the end and I remember some scary eyes and mouths etc. So it may have been a ‘Build your own Monster’ set, or something like that. But I’m not sure if it was all monsters, so it may well have just been a ‘Build your own Cartoon Character’ set perhaps. I really don’t know, and it’s hard to search for it without knowing the name of the set, because there are SO many Shrinky Dinks sets out there from the past, and also the property is still going strong today.

All I know is I would do anything to get my hands on that booklet. There must be one somewhere, either on eBay or even just scanned online. I just want to look at those images again.

Does this spark any memories in anybody reading this? Do you remember the name of the set? Or can anyone point to me to any good Shrinky Dinks resources online?

Thanks a lot. Michael