Comics : Amazing Spider-Man: Colouring Pad & 3D Stickers (Scholastic Australia)

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This review was first published on: Apr 2013.

Background...

This is yet another "Australia/NZ Only" offering from Scholastic Australia. It's a giant activity pad of the same physical dimensions as the earlier Amazing Spider-Man: Giant Activity Carry Pad (Scholastic Australia).

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man: Colouring Pad & 3D Stickers (Scholastic Australia)
Nov 2012 : SM Title
Find ISBN 9781742834764
Publisher:  Scholastic Australia, Inc.
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Review

In fact, it's so large, it has a carry-handed die-cut out of the book itself so that little arms can hold it. Specifically, this colouring pad is 14.75" x 11". As well as its physical size, the eye is also quickly drawn to the red-and-blue 3D glasses included and prominently displayed on the front cover.

Wow, 3D! This is a 3D book! Look, it says 3D, there on the cover!

It also says 40 pull-out pages to colour! And 50 stickers!

Hey, Mom! Forty pages! And even more stickers! Fifty stickers! And it's all 3D! Can I have it? Can I Mom? Please Mom! Please!

Unfortunately, the interior doesn't quite live up to the expectations which might naturally arise from the cover blurb.

To be fair, there are indeed forty single-sided black and white line art pages to colour. The artwork is the same as the other Spider-Man books from the Marvel Color/Activity (Scholastic Australia) series around the same time. That is to say, it includes most of the contiguous Spider-Man "story" which appeared in Amazing Spider-Man: Colouring Book (Scholastic Australia) (which has been heavily sampled for many of the other Scholastic Australia colouring books). It has been padded out to 40 pages with other pin-up shots featuring Spider-Man, his foes, and his friends.

So, no problem there. The disappointment hits with the stickers and the 3D glasses. Unfortunately, there's only one sheet of stickers, and most of them are rather unimpressive - despite being 3D.

Also, apart from the stickers, the only other 3D content is the cover of the book itself!

I struggle to understand why the publishers would go to all the bother (and cost) of packaging 3D glasses into this book for a 3D cover and a single sheet of 3D stickers. It just doesn't seem worth the bother! Either do the 3D content properly, or don't do it at all!

In General...

Anybody spotting this book in a shop at least has the opportunity to browse through and see pretty quickly that the 3D content is very minimal indeed. But somebody buying online wouldn't have that opportunity, and disappointment could very quickly arise!

That's because the 3D aspects of the book are disappointing both in quantity and in quality. I've mentioned the paucity of 3D images. But worse than that, the images that are included really don't "pop" off the page very well at all.

Actually, let me be more specific. The Green Goblin appears in 3D quite reasonably - within the limitations of the coloured-glass technology.

But there's a real problem with viewing any image of Spider-Man. Because his costume is red and blue, it means that getting a 3D effect on Spidey is rather hard. So most of the images tend to try and 3D-shift the background while leaving Spidey as a 2D foreground. But even without a 3D-effect on Spider-Man, the fact that he is segmented by his colour scheme means he is viewed half in each eye. So it can be quite a struggle just to bring Spidey into 2D focus!

Overall Rating...

As a giant carry-around pad of black and white pages, this book is impressive in size, and is perfectly sound in terms of art quality and production quality.

Mind you, it would be nice to see some new content injected into these Scholastic Australia titles, instead of the endless recycling... and at NZ$15 (around US$12), this isn't particularly cheap at all.

So without the 3D component, I would probably rate it 3 webs at most.

But now let's see about some bonus webs for those 3D stickers and the glasses! Add one, carry the five. Hmm... nope. The 3D adds nearly nothing. It's still three webs at most.