Shrinky Dinks

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Shrinky Dinks are a children's toy and activity kit consisting of large flexible sheets which, when heated in an oven, shrink to small hard plates without altering their color or shape. They reached the height of their popularity in the 1980s. Most sets are pre-printed with outline images of popular children's characters or other subjects, which are then colored in before baking.

Shrinky Dinks were invented in 1973 by two housewives (Betty Morris and Kate Bloomberg) of Brookfield, Wisconsin, as a Cub Scout project with their sons.[1] The first kits were sold at a local shopping mall and became very popular. Shrinky Dinks were soon licensed to be manufactured by the major toy companies of the time such as Milton Bradley, Colorforms, Western Publishing and Skyline Toys. The shrink plastic is still available from many retailers and can be used for anything from charms to pins.

The base material consists of thin, flexible polystyrene plastic (#6) sheets.[2] Prior to heating, the plastic sheets can be colored with felt-tip pens, acrylic paint, colored pencils, etc. and cut into shapes. However, oily or waxy substances (such as cheap colored pencils, crayons, or oil paint) are not suitable because they melt or burn in high heat. When heated with the Easy-Bake Oven, a conventional oven, or a heat gun, the plastic shrinks by about five-eighths and becomes thicker and more rigid, while retaining the colored design.

Although Shrinky Dinks is considered to be an arts and crafts product for children, many adult crafters find the product to be suitable for jewelry making and other projects. Blank sheets are available for this purpose.

Recently, University of California, Irvine Professor Michelle Khine has applied Shrinky Dinks to create tiny structures for the application of microfluidics to topics such as stem cell research.[3]

In 1992, the California rock band Sugar Ray formed with the name "Shrinky Dinx", but later changed it upon threat of lawsuit from Milton Bradley.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doris Hajewski, "Shrinky Dinks founder hopes to sell toy business", The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 27, 2008.
  2. ^ Kathy Ceceri (2008-05-23). "Shrinky Dink Science Creates Tiny Dark Evil Creatures". Wired. 
  3. ^ Anthony Grimes, David N. Breslauer, Maureen Long, Jonathan Pegan, Luke P. Lee, and Michelle Khine (2008). "Shrinky-Dink microfluidics: rapid generation of deep and rounded patterns". Lab Chip 8 (1): 170–172. doi:10.1039/b711622e. PMID 18094775. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
    See also "Shrinky Dink Microfluidics". Chemical Technology 2008 (01). 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. "Sugar Ray - Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 

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