The smART pixelator from Flycatcher is exactly what I would have begged my parents to get me at Target during the holidays when I was 10 years old. But before smartphones and digital canvases, my artistic self was stuck with iron beads and a couple of boring templates. My Lite Brite was fun for a while, but the patterns grew old. The smART pixelator remedies those woes in its total reinvention the classic art kit.
It’s essentially a hybrid of Lite Brite and the iron beads of years past, but with endless opportunities for creativity and imagination. With 3D structure templates, bright scenes, and the option to use your own photos as a template, the smART Pixelator guarantees hours of artistry.
The smART Pixelator workstation revolves around a base you can either plug in, or pack with batteries to power. It connects to a companion app on a phone or tablet, which you can use to control the template display on the base.
First select what material you’re working with. I like working with beads, but the smART Pixelator supports pegs and even sequins, too. Next you can choose from one of 50 premade templates, or upload an image of your own to use. A 2D design selection will light up the base as though it's a canvas and provide a map for your bead placement. This option is ideal for translating a custom image, like a selfie or photo of your pet.
But the 3D designs are what make the smART Pixelator stand out. The app provides templates for puzzle parts that piece together to erect incredible structures. In about 20 minutes, I made a red alligator that stands upright. (It’s an adorable addition to my desk, if I do say so myself.) But there are more intricate designs like robots and pirate ships that take longer. So if you have a little artist in your life, arming them with this kit will keep them creative for hours on end.
I love the smART Pixelator because it’s an endless activity parents and kids can do together. An adult will need to oversee iron use, so it could be a way to bond over an awesome art project during the holiday season.