Among the throngs of flea market treasures stacked up in my closet is a pack of Barbie Shrinky Dinks that surpasses myself in age. Although the box is crushed, opened, and without the accessories, the uncut sheets remain intact. It's from a different age of Barbie, where she was content to remain loafing on the beach or riding her bike as opposed to getting sodomized by GI Joe and cleaning up dog shit.
With 4 sheets to choose from, I still didn't find too many of the options entirely appealing. I didn't have any of the parts to make keychains or light covers, and it seemed kind of useless to waste time on coloring the bits without them. The good thing was I had a pack of extra Shrinky Dink paper and decided to go ahead and make some extra plastic friends.
As I inspected both packages I realized something very tragic must have happened between the Barbie pack and the new sheets were made. While the Barbie pack features many pieces you can personalize like ID tags and bike plates you can put your name on, the newer sheet comes with a warning against doing so. Apparently Shrinky Dink name tags are a target for pedophiles worldwide.
I paged through coloring books, traced some DVD cases, and even printed out some pictures I found on Google image search. I picked out the most delightful menagerie of characters to turn into little plastic buddies. Out of the Barbie pack I picked my top two -- a necklace piece (I have a thing for hearts) and some sort of random tag that featured Barbie soakin' up some sun. The pieces were fairly large to begin with, and even at 1/3 scale I presumed they'd still be sizeable.
Here we have my cookie sheet featuring two Barbies, Count Duckula, Launchpad McQuack, Vicki from Small Wonder, and Mr. Belvedere. I amaze myself with my own randomness. Some were done fully in Sharpie markers, but the ones that required a greater color spectrum were done with Crayola colored pencils. After 3 minutes in a toasty preheated oven, they were ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille.
They shrank to a lot smaller than I had originally projected. I could probably stick a piece of Play-Doh on the bottom on some of them and use them as replacement tokens for Monopoly. Or I could just make one incredibly twisted version of Candyland, perhaps replacing the Gingerbread Plum Tree with Mr Belvedere's 'Stash Comb Emporium.
The Barbie pieces from 1979 didn't fare so well. The beach one became a little warped and didn't want to flatten down and the heart piece shrank very unevenly. At least the heart didn't break, because that's an omen I'd certainly want to avoid, at least on my behalf. I could certainly use it to work some voodoo on others.
My favorite of the bunch would have to be Launchpad because he just looks so adorable I almost want to keep him in my pockets and bring him out for secret conversations when nobody's looking. The only problem is he'd sure to get broken between my cell phone and loose change.
The process of making Shrinky Dinks from start to finish probably took me three hours and it took my all of three seconds to toss them on a shelf and forget about them. I guess I could always just stick them in with the scrapbooking materials in case I go on a vacation to Transylvania and need a Count Duckula page decoration.