by Eldon Toys
In 1968, kids enjoyed Eldon’s Design-A-Matic Woodburning Set. This 14-piece craft kit left little to the imagination because it came with 8 “Easy To Make” wood plaques. The plaques were precolored with the imprinted design a reddish-orange tint. The idea hasn’t changed much over the years: Heat up the woodburning tool and change the red to brown by burning the wood with the tool.
The basic set included plaques that were pre-printed with a Clown, a Two-Horse Portrait, a series of Simple Geometric Designs, a Native American and a cute Kitten and Puppy Portrait. Three interchangeable Design-A-Matic tips for the burning tool increased the user’s chance of success. Simply match the tip to the design and, unlike with crayons, it was easier to stay inside the lines.
The box touts this as an “Exciting New Craft…Creative, Easy, Fun!” We’ll agree with the “fun” and “easy” parts. To get “creative”, you might want to turn the included wood plaques over to the back side and try your skill at freehand woodburning.
For the more adventurous, Eldon released the “Deluxe” version of the Design-A-Matic Woodburning Set. Additional plaques were inbcluded in the Deluxe set. You could get portraits of George Washington, football stars Terry Bradshaw, Dick Butkus, Daryl Lamonica, Roy Jefferson and Ron Johnson. Also included were plaques of a revolver, an Intricate Geometric Design, a large Outdoor Scene with Horses, and a Hunting Dog (seen here).
Both sets came with a tip-changing tool. The Deluxe set came with a handy plastic paint brush with 4 primary-colored paints plus black.
The Eldon Design-A-Matic Woodburning Set provided hours of fun, regardless of a child’s creativity. And that’s what Eldon is all about, right? “Just for the fun of it!”