HomeSpirographComparing the new Spirograph® Deluxe Set to the old Super Spirograph: In-Depth Review

Comments

Comparing the new Spirograph® Deluxe Set to the old Super Spirograph: In-Depth Review — 67 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I just picked one of the new sets at a store for my 7 year old for Christmas. I can’t wait to play with it myself! One of my cousins had a Spirograph in the late 70s and I thought it was really cool, but I never had one myself. I can’t wait for Christmas so I can play with my kids Spirograph!

    • I can’t think of a more fun thing to do on Christmas day than to sit down with your kid and discover it together. I love showing it to kids. You might want to make sure you have some different colored pens in the house to try with it.

  2. You are awesome. Thank you so much for writing this article. I’m crazy about my Kenner’s Super Spirograph, which is in great shape. I’m just afraid that something will happen, and I’ve got to have a back-up. Cheers! Ann

  3. Thanks so much for this review! I’d read reviews of similar toys that just were not as good as the old Spirographs, and was curious how this one compared, Your review was just what I was looking for.

    • Yes it does! There are different brand names, and I’m actually using some blue stuff now that I scavenged from a wall so I don’t know what the brand is, but it works fine.

    • Do you mean as you’re drawing? Go slowly, let your hand learn how much or how little pressure to apply, let the wheel guide the pen. Relax your hand and practice. If you can be more specific, maybe I’ll try to address it in a video.

  4. Ive been thinking that using a Spirograph for quilt blocks would be fun. Can you tell me what the largest size design is on the Spirograph?
    Will I be able to use fabric instead of paper?

    • Interesting! I suppose you’d use some kind of fabric marker? Or a permanent marker that is small enough to fit in the penholes….

      When I was a kid, in the 1970s when it was cool, I actually embroidered Spirograph patterns on my clothes. So I probably drew it on with a pen, then embroidered over the lines with a normal outline stitch.

      So I suppose liquid embroidery… something like this? I have never tried it and don’t know if it would fit in the holes, but it would be worth checking out.

      As for size, designs inside the rings (hypotrochoids) are up to 2.5″. But you can make bigger designs by running a wheel around the outside of another wheel or a ring (epitrochoids). Super Spirograph designs can be page-sized. And Wild Gears can make all sizes of hypotrochoids.

      On fabric, the pen will not travel as smoothly as on paper. So you will need to fix the ring very firmly to the cloth, stretching the cloth tight, and using lots of putty or lots of pins. The new set doesn’t have the small pin holes, but the pen holes are bigger, which may suit the liquid embroidery pens. You might want to choose simpler designs then color them in.

      Anyway, it sounds like such a great project, and it’s giving me ideas! I hope you’ll send pictures when you get it done. I’d love to make a post about it and inspire other people too.

      • I found this comment interesting and by the way I enjoyed your review very much Heather. Another way to do the quilt blocks would be to make a spirograph picture or pictures and scan it or them into your computer and then get the specialty fabric squares that can be used with an ink jet printer and print the picture on the fabric and then incorporate these printed pictures into a quilt and quilt as desired. I haven’t tried it myself but have seen photos done in a quilt that way.

        • Interesting. I’ll have to look for these printable fabrics. They must have a backing that you can remove after printing. You could also use iron-on transfers. In either case, you’d have all the colors of your pens, or could even alter the colors in photoshop.

          I actually bought some fine-tipped fabric markers at Christmas and am working on a t-shirt project with my Wild Gears, drawing directly on the shirt. I’ll write a post about it when I’m done.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to write and post this. It was very helpful and inspiring. I was reading it because I was thinking about getting one for my granddaughter, but now I, also, would like one. Unfortunately, my granddaughter lives in a different state, so I won’t be able to draw with her:-(
    Sandy

    • Thanks for writing, Sandy. Maybe you can exchange designs by mail or email (scan or photograph them), or use Skype to do it “together”! Have fun.

  6. Does anyone remember a Spirograph kit that swung from a tripod like a pendulum? I had one as a kid but can’t remember who made it.

  7. Thanks for your effort and energy designing and writing about Spirograph! Your site is a good resource. Just bought this for a gift yesterday and using it brought back so much delight/creativity.

    I am concerned about quality! The sprockets on the wheels seemed to skip. Is any US comapany interested in making these (in the USA) on a 3D printer out higher quality plastic for ease of use?

    I would upgrade!!

    Regardless, I am grateful that this product has been reintroduced in game stores. It affords an individual adult or child quiet creative time.

    • Thanks for the kudos about the site. I appreciate your comments about quality, as the old versions were thicker and less flexible. You may improve with practice. It also helps to use 4 pieces of putty and make sure the ring is firmly attached to the paper, but don’t get putty IN the teeth. Keep it between the ridges.

      If you’re interested in an “upgrade”, check out Wild Gears which are laser-cut on demand out of acrylic sheets. I’ve written quite a bit about them and will write more.

      3D printing would be an interesting direction to try. Anyone?

  8. I have a Super Spirograph from the 1970s. Unfortunately, there are a few pieces missing. Any idea where I can procure replacements? *fingers crossed*

    • My best suggestions are (a) look for a used one online through eBay or similar, and hope that any missing pieces are not the same ones – the seller should describe what pieces might be missing; (b) buy a new Super Spirograph, as the parts are compatible – at least the wheels and rings are. I haven’t tried the new super parts to know how well they’d fit together with the old ones.

      Until someone starts modeling and 3D printing compatible Spirograph parts, that’s your best bet.

  9. Hi My name is Mónica and I’m from Argentina. I sell spirographs in many styles. I invite you to visit my website and have a look of the kind of spirographs available actually. Have a nice day!!

  10. Sadly, I do not have my kit any longer (heavy sigh, tear rolls down cheek). I’m thinking about picking up a Super AND Deluxe set but am concerned that the wheels, tracks, rings, etc are the same in both sets. Can anyone comment?

  11. Hi, Great Article.

    I’m struggling to find suitable paper for spirograph designs, particularly when using felt tips. I just keep going thru the paper.
    Any advice?

    Peter

    • Hi Peter, I just use cheap inkjet printer paper or whatever. If the felt tips are going through your paper, you must be pressing too hard. I just use a light touch. I remember paper getting saturated with ink and tearing with the old ballpoint pens, especially in very dense patterns, but it’s been SO not an issue with the felt tips.

      The bigger problem with the felt tips can be smearing. It seems to depend on the porousness of the paper surface. Some papers are coated with a layer that keeps the ink from getting absorbed fast enough to dry quickly on the surface, and when the wheel comes around, it smears the ink. Sometimes the cheapest paper is best!

      That said, I have had some good results with felt pens on glossy cardstock. Maybe some coatings are designed to let ink in.

  12. Complaints about the tight fit of parts in the new Deluxe Spirograph case do not apply to the new Super Spirograph. In fact the parts are so loose in the case that tops must be placed on the compartments or the pieces will fall out and could possibly get lost. Plastic tops for each compartment have been provided by Kahootz. The modified case design might be the result of Kahootz listening to the customer. I think I like the Deluxe case and that tight fit a bit better. Neither case is ideal, though

    • There’s always a trade-off, eh? The combination of a tight fit plus thinner plastic makes me afraid of breaking them while removing them from the case of the Deluxe set. But I wouldn’t mind a special cover for my old Super Spirograph, as I lost the lid years ago, and must keep the base horizontal at all times.

  13. Hi Heather,

    I recently discovered Spirograph at the Museum of Math (MoMath) yesterday in NYC, as I visited the museum shop after work. This brought back fond memories as a child of the late 80s of having a blue box Spirograph I had gotten for Christmas as a kid. I think that was the Kenner version. Yesterday, I purchased a Super Spirograph and Travel Spirograph made by Kahootz, I have not opened them yet, possibly tonight I will test these out and will bring back my childhood memories. Are the Kahootz versions a complete reboot of the Original Spirograph. I read the Wikipedia article on this and it says that the founder of Kahootz wanted to reimagine Spirograph for the new generation since it is nostalgic. Also any tips or tricks for any owner of Kahootz Travel and Super Spirograph. Do all sets have an ecosystem where you can use all parts across their product likes like using a gear from the Travel set to the Super Spirograph set or any of their other sets. It seems that any toys or device nowadays use a system for their parts to work together for a user experience, same for Spirograph. Is the Cyclex compatible with the Spirograph sets.

    • Yes, the Kahootz Spirograph and Super Spirograph are essentially the same as the old Kenner Spirograph and Super Spirograph, with the slight differences noted in the post above. You can even mix the new parts and the old parts and they work. The Travel Set, from what I see (not having one) is basically a partial set in a smaller package. Cyclex is another thing altogether. The wheels don’t have teeth. You wouldn’t use it with Spirograph parts. But from what I see in the video, it can do things that Spirograph can’t do, and vice versa. Since you’re buying a Super Spirograph, you’ll have all the parts that are available. The travel set is a subset of those. They should be interchangeable. When you get them open, let me know if I’m wrong about that. There are lots of tips and tricks on this website, so have a good look around. Have fun with your new Spirograph sets and keep us posted!

  14. Thank you for the information it was very helpful. I had Spirograph as a child and thought it very cool. I am buying one for my daughter for Christmas!! Nothing like starting early!!

  15. my Grandaughter and I had a blast using her new Spirograph kit. I always wanted one as a youngster and now I get to use it with my “darling”.

  16. We bought the new Spirograph and found it very difficult to use. The thinner wheels keep separating, they don’t hold in place like the original models. We are returning our set.

    • Sorry to hear about that. If you have a chance to find an original set on Ebay or somewhere, you may be happier. Some of it has to do with practice, but certainly the new set I bought its less robust than the old one. I’d be interested in hearing about other people’s experiences.

  17. We purchased a set for our son and the inner wheels slip all the time ….. Not at all near the quality of the the original Spirograph. Very disappointing.

    • I can only suggest that you contact the manufacturer, Kahootz Toys. They need to know if there are flaws in production. The new product is not made as well as the old, but should still work and be fun. Keep in mind though that it does take practice to learn the technique, so in fairness, the challenge is to figure out if it’s you or if it’s the gears.

  18. I have read reviews that say this set is no where near as good as the old sets. Too flimsy and the blue tac idea? No pins. Health and safety gone mad. I was going to buy but decided against it. At least until they make it more sturdy like the old one. Oh yeah and drop the price.

    • I actually prefer the blue tac/putty to the pins, as it doesn’t leave holes in the paper and you don’t need a backing board to stick them in. I don’t think it’s a health and safety issue as kids under 8 aren’t going to get very far with Spirograph anyway, on average. True, the new set is not as well made as the old one. I still prefer to use my old set but use putty with it. Maybe you can find a second-hand set.

      • Ended up buying an old 1960’s one from Ebay. My daughter is mad about art and I loved this when I was a kid. I might give the blu tac a try.
        Just need to find some pens now. Cheers Ric..

        • Great. Be sure to see my posts on pens (see menu). There are so many options now. She may have something around already that will work – but there’s nothing like a brand new package of colors that all work.

  19. Looking for the denys ? model I bought one in the UK back in 1960’s Just love to have it nostalgic trip
    any suggestions or shouldI just go with new model :0
    Live alone now :9 but have lovely children to visit

  20. Hi! I am new in spirography, bought a new set one week ago and I am addicted! I have a question, if I order old wheels 36, 50 and 64 will they fit with the new rings? Will their teeth work the same? Thanks!

    • Yes – in my experience absolutely. I have an old set and bought a new set, and they work perfectly well together.

      Where do you order individual wheels?

      • Wonderful article. Would love to know where to buy original wheels 36 50 and 54 and can you suggest any brands of reasonably priced felt pens thin tips in colors, Maybe a set? and where to get them. Also please can you tell me if you remember what typing ink jet paper you use. is the newer spirograph delux set ok for a 7 year old, with help. Blind leading the blind as i am 75 and want to use it to help my hand when it shakes, as I make lovely designs. is the delux set and the design newer set one and the same.

        • If you’re looking for missing Spirograph parts, try ebay.com or Etsy.com. You can usually find old sets there, which may be incomplete, but see if they have the wheels you want. The old sets and parts are compatible with the new ones.

          Pens: There is a section on Spirograph Pens in the menu for this website. See my favourite fine felt-tip pens here.

          I use any old paper. Cheap printer paper. Doesn’t matter. You could draw on the floor if you use putty to hold the ring in place!

          Whether a 7-year-old can handle it depends on the child. It’s a little young, but if they have good coordination and like to draw…. There are sets designed for younger children like the Spirograph Jr which are easier to handle – check it out here: http://amzn.to/2gVXNCg.

          There are various names for the sets. Amazon calls the “Deluxe Set” the “Deluxe Design Set”. Whatever. There are other smaller sets like the Die-cast set or the Tin Design set – they are smaller assortments. See the pictures above the comments. Links go to Amazon where you can see more about them.

          I hope it works for your shaky hands! Have fun.

  21. When I was a little boy I received a spirograph for Christmas. I loved it. My teacher (a lovely lady) taught me how to calculate the number of petals in the flowers I drew.

    Next year, my brother received a superspirograph. I found it amazing.

    I made a computer simulator for superspirograph a long long time ago.
    It is quite difficult to program but if you have the patience you can make beautiful designs in PDF format. Arcs and line segments can be assembly together and make a path for rolling a disc around/inside it.

    http://michelle.esfm.ipn.mx/~mrspock/superspiro

    • Thanks for your comment and link. The gallery images are amazing; they couldn’t ever be produced by a physical Super Spirograph. I encourage people to explore it. Someday I’d like to do an article about Spirograph simulations….

    • Is it possible to pass on your system of how to calculate the number of petals on flowers you drew, that the lovely lady taught you. I am not sophisticated re math, so hope its not too difficult, and is it a family secret, or would you mind sharing.

      RE. Eduardo Viruena Silvas post on oct 9, 2016 thank you so much

      • Of course, Carol.
        Perhaps you know how to compute the least common multiple (lcm) of two integer numbers a and b, say lcm(a,b).
        Well, if you take a=number of teeth of the path, and b= number of teeth of the disc, the number of petals is lcd(a,b)/b
        Example: Let suppose you have a=120 and b=80. The least common multiple of 120 and 80 is 240. Now, divide 240 by 80 and it leads 3. Thats the number of petals that your spirogram will have.

  22. I am so happy to find this article– recently, I started following a Spirograph account on Instagram and it prompted me to find my old set at The Parents’ house. My set is dated 1967 and has all the pieces (even the original pens!). After reading your review, I feel very lucky to have it, and excited to get some poster putty and felt pens and start playing with it again after a 45-year break. 🙂

  23. I made a Spirograph out of Meccano and using a lot of gears – this was back in the early 1950s in Melbourne, Australia. Meccano was fabulous. And there was no limit to the number of different patterns, just adjusted the gears. At first I turned a handle; later fitted a small motor. Should have been an engineer but girls couldn’t – I still feel bitter about that.

    • I may be 15 years younger than you. I grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. It was my little brother who got a Meccano set, and I played with it a lot. When I went to university, I didn’t really know what an engineer was, other than the kind that drove a train, even though I had top marks in Physics. No one suggested engineering. I might have liked it.

      But I never made a Meccano spirograph! Was yours like any of the ones in this video?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQkhCbR1w8E

  24. Thanks for this! I had spirograph as a child and really loved it, and now I want to buy it for my godchild. I was wondering, I seem to recall the old spirograph had a big rectangular frame with teeth, so sone could also make cool borders. Does this one have it? From the photo it seems like it doesn’t but maybe you could let me know.
    Thanks!!
    Elizabeth

  25. Hi,love this website of yours and I have a question: I recently purchased a Super Spirograph, & unfortunately, discovered that this particular set came with TWO #72 gears, & no #80 gear. Would contacting the manufacturer and asking for a replacement #80 be the best route? I’m feeling a little cheated.
    (& boy, do I need more practice. Several sheets of paper later, & I have yet to make a “keeper” out of the bunch………

    • Yes, if it is one of the new sets made by Kahootz Toys, they have been very responsive. They replaced a faulty gear in a set I bought after I mentioned it on this website, and I’ve heard similar stories.

      Keep practicing and have fun!

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.