Kidlandia recently offered to let Big Kid make a map to review here. They described it to me as a map he would make by choosing names of people he knew and using characters to represent them (well, they probably described it better than that, but that's what I took from it). I was picturing something very digital looking and thought the characters would like "avatar-ish" versus cartoonish. Does that make sense outside of my own mind?
I thought it sounded fun and knew he would love it, but didn't envision it as any sort of heirloom or personalized piece of art. Just a fun thing we'd do that they'd print out and send to us.
When we began making our map, I was pleasantly surprised by the graphics. The map layout we chose was really traditional looking and Big Kid loved entering in the names of friends and family. They offer a lot of name spaces too--we have "DJ Lancepuff" as one of our creatures. You can either use the wizard to make this project quick and painless, or you can use the custom panel for more control over the design process. I'll admit, I didn't realize there was a custom panel until after Big Kid and I finished his and he was pretty annoyed at me once he realized it existed. I tried to convince him that we had tried out the beta version and they must not have had that feature, but I'm pretty sure he knows I was lying.
Anyway, Big Kid LOVED making the map. He was happy just to make it, he didn't even realize a physical representation of it would be mailed to us until I explained that part, and then he was super excited since I never let him use the printer to print out his creations.
I was shocked when we received the finished product. I can't even begin to tell you all how cool it turned out. We got the 12" x 18" and it is on thick canvas, the colors are vibrant, and it has a glossy, protective sheen to it. I can't wait to hang it in the play room, it is truly adorable. He included the names of family members, friends, and past loves as well as hobbies (yes, there is a Computerland on his).
Since I can't share his with you (since it is covered in our personal information), I made one for the Closet. HERE IT IS The pink land layout is a little loud for my taste, but so are we, so I went with it.
I think a Kidlandia map would make an awesome new baby gift, it's really a unique idea for a personalized heirloom. It would also be a fun birthday gift for your kids--you could sit down and design it with them and then surprise them with the framed, finished product.
Big Kid loves his, I've had to take it out of its protective tube at least 15 times since receiving it. I'm going to frame it and hang it this week, maybe I'll share a photo of it then so you can get a general idea of how nice the finished product looks.