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A Dad Reviews … 3Doodler

3Doodler is a 3D pen that lets you bring your doodles to life. Here’s what happened when we tried it out.

Gary Rudoren

Please note that the author is a dad. He will be reviewing toys with a general dadliness that only a dad can provide. This week we’ll be discussing 3Doodler – an exciting new way to do what Dads love to do – doodle!


I realize most toy reviews don’t start off with a thought about an obituary, but if I could write my own obituary headline it would refer to me as a “doodler.” This Dad loves to doodle! Give me a napkin and a pen and I’m all set. When my kids were even younger, I would entertain them at diners — OK, by “entertain” I mean “distract from making a scene” — by doodling their names on napkins and making a game out of it.

It’s hard to hide my excitement for the 3Doodler. First off, great name. Simple, clean, I get it. This is not your Grandpa’s “2Doodler.” All the kids these days want to make 3D objects. I want my kids to learn to make cool stuff, but I want them to learn to draw. If you’re like me, a Dad with an obsession for turning out kids who can make their imaginations come alive, then you’ll be proud to have them dig into 3Doodler.


Since I’m also a Dad obsessed with boxes, I smiled when I saw the word “Essentials” on the 3Doodler box. The way I thought of it, “essential doodles” initially felt like an oxymoron — like “jumbo shrimp” or “seriously funny.” Are doodles really essential? Well, if you want to be creative, you need a way to experiment and express your ideas. So, yeah! That’s pretty essential.


It’s also easy to use. You crack open the box (only one piece of tape!!) and pull out a clear plastic organizer with your essentials — the easy-to-grip doodling tool, the packets with multi-color plastic sticks for your projects, a charging cord, and a great handbook of project ideas to start you off (the Eiffel Tower, robots, eyeglasses, and much more). It’s as simple as, dare I say, a doodle.


My daughter and I chose to make a set of trendy eyeglasses as our test project. She thought I needed to look cooler, hipper. I thought I’d get some serious street cred out of multi-colored plastic glasses. At the very least I figured it would distract from the baldness. The ergonomically sound tool was a breeze to operate, and she worked with the easy-to-use template from the project idea book to craft me a pair of red, blue, and orange glasses. Look out fashionistas, “Cool Dad” is on the loose.


Not all the project ideas were about boosting my ego. The Eiffel Tower is not an exact replica, but it’s a fun example of how kids can start to translate what they see into 3D. There’s also a car and a flower pot, but you can use it to create almost anything. Eventually I had to kick my daughter out so I could play around with it. I was reminded of one of my favorite existential questions: “Are you ever really finished with a doodle?” 

I know that discussing obituaries and existential questions aren’t typical for a toy review, but 3Doodler isn’t a typical toy.

Bottom Line Dad Review

Whether you’re making something real or something imagined, this toy is unreal. Sorry, that was a Dad joke.

THE DAD SCALE© — From 1 (annoying) to 5 (pretty awesome)

  • BOX: 5



    EASE OF USE: 6