Finding (and making) Dory at Epson’s #PrintingDory Event
There is nothing quite like seeing a child’s eyes glaze over with an overwhelming sense of excitement when mum utters the words:
“We’re going to the Disney store today!”
In fact, what I had actually said was that we were going to a ‘Printing Dory’ event, which was all about the versatility of the Epson EcoTank, much like the super printer that I use at home, to print some ‘Finding Dory’ themed origami and activity sheets for kids and adults alike, and to welcome the launch of Finding Dory (the sequel to Finding Nemo). And, it so happened that the event was held at the Disney store. Forget nursery, forget breakfast even, Aidan (my 4-year-old) had already donned his jacket and shoes, and was ready to shoot off to the Disney store, regardless of my repeated warnings that we could only spend time at the actual Disney shop AFTER the event. Alas, these words had fallen upon deaf ears…
We cabbed it pretty quick up to the Disney event and Aidan had stopped to take in the atmosphere of THE Disney store and its vast array of toys, so attractively poised in front of him.
A member of staff guided us to the back of the store and up a flight of stairs where we entered a pretty large room that had been miraculously transformed into Nemo and Dory’s undersea home, with murals placed all over the walls and a glorious breakfast buffet filled with croissants, fruits and my favourite breakfast pal, coffee. Over to the right was a rather long table, filled with activity stationery, coloured paper, colouring pens and pencils, glitter glue, and other such like material. It looked like we were going to have a very productive morning of making things and I had, indeed, brought the right son for this event. My eldest, who was at school at this point, is much more into reading and absorbing things with his mind, with the occasional snipe of the scissors if he absolutely has to use them. My youngest, however, is all about using his hands to make things. And, at four years old, he is actually quite good at practical tasks. I call him my little engineer because he loves to fix or create things.
Even though Aidan had complained about being hungry during the entire cab journey, he completely forgot about food and launched straight at the activity table to start making something, anything, it didn’t matter to him. The staff were very relaxed and allowed him to eat and colour at the same time. He even received Hank the octopus from Finding Dory for his troubles (where it is now, I have no idea…)
Our first port of call was to meet and greet the other bloggers over coffee and croissant, some of whom I had met before, and then bundle together in the seating area at the front of the room, where an Epson EcoTank printer that looked exactly like mine was on display. We were going to start off with a talk from the Epson and Disney team, welcoming us to the #PrintingDory event, which was going to be about how far the Epson printer could be stretched for all of our activity needs, especially during the summer holidays, and its cost effectiveness and efficiency, which means it would prove more valuable to mummy bloggers and business owners like myself.
As I feel like I know so much about the Epson EcoTank already, I ended up talking about the product too and it felt like I was selling it to the other bloggers. I think it really showed how much I love this printer. More on the Epson EcoTank below. Let’s get back to the event.
The #PrintingDory event
Neil Wilson, business manager of Epson UK, talked to us about the importance of including our children during paper making activities. I mentioned that I sometimes print worksheets, activity sheets or colouring sheets etc at home and we all get to ‘do some work’ on the dining table, whilst I get on with some ‘homework’ on my laptop. However, I also think that it is very important to sit down and engage with the kids. And, this event was all about creating magical Finding Dory themed murals, origami and other related creations, which we could then take home or affix to a large underwater mural on the wall. We all found our seats on the large table, bursting full of activity goodness and got started with the readily-printed activity/colouring/origami sheets, helpfully, provided by Epson and Disney.
We started off with the Dory origami, which proved to be so much more difficult than it looked. With some expert help from Aidan and Kristina from the PR team, I had finally mastered the Dory-gami! Here is my version:
There were tons of other origami and activity sheets to play around with and we did enjoy dabbling at them all before pausing for lunch, which was a very elaborate array of sandwiches, salads, fruit and hummus (pretty much all of my favourite food!). There was even some chocolate fudge cake on display, which I couldn’t help but have a nibble on. Aidan, no doubt, went in for the taste too, so we took a mini break to tuck into some much needed food.
Aidan was so preoccupied with creating a very lovely and colourful undersea mural for his brother that he left his lunch half-eaten and got on with making up Hank the octopus to add to his creation. He glammed up the sea with some glitter before signing the piece off in his name. It actually looked amazing!
Here are how the professionals got on
If you are not super creative or skilled with your hands, here are some tutorial videos on how to create your very own Dory origami (or Dory-gami (hah!)) and some of the other characters in the Finding Dory crew.
Or some Photobooth props
Or maybe a proper Aquarium to house all of your friends
Before breaking up to go home, we were handed a goody bag, with an Epson stationery set, which included some post-it notes and tabs, ruler and a pen, and a case to house them all too. We also received some mints, a USB stick with lots of templates for us to try out some of the activities at home and a super-duper 20% off discount to use on anything at the Disney store.
That was it. Aidan was done. “Right, off to the store now!” He pretty much dropped everything, including his chocolate fudge cake, and packed up the most important items from the event, his brother’s mural and the goody bag, complete with the discount card tucked safely inside. He even knew what he wanted already, making a beeline for the “Cars” section. Aidan chose Mater for himself and Lightning McQueen for his brother, two very thoughtful and interesting options, as they were quite cheap and small compared to the other toys in the store. But, he knew his brother would be over the moon about Lightning McQueen, so that’s what he got. Needless to say, it was a pretty amazing morning, one of my favourite events to date.
What Aidan and I learned at the #PrintingDory event
- I thought I knew everything there was to know about my new super amazing printer, but I had no idea you could create all of the above and at such a high quality too! There are ways to keep the kids entertained now, just get trusty Epson out and either let them get on with it, or dabble in a bit of arts and crafts with your kids too. So much fun…
- I should invest in some card to print out more origami stencils because they are just awesome to do and really quite challenging.
- I still haven’t watching Finding Dory with the kids and I really want to now.
- I thoroughly enjoyed creating some magical undersea pieces with Aidan and Aron was so happy to receive his Finding Dory personalised mural for his bedroom wall, as well as his Lightning McQueen car!
- Epson are really mindful of saving the planet – and our pockets – and what they have come up with, in the form of an EcoTank, is nothing short of amazing. The quality rivals other current printer favourites in the market today, but the Epson just saves massively in pretty much every single way.
Let’s learn a little bit more about the Epson EcoTank
The Epson EcoTank comes in a small range of printers, varying in price. These are the following:
I have already reviewed my very own Epson EcoTank-4550 on Amazon (review here), but here are some of the areas that I think Epson EcoTanks really excel at:
Setting up is a breeze
The printer comes with a manual. But, all you have to do is follow the PC and printer instructions and in about ten minutes, you will be set up. Plus, you don’t have to worry about shoddy wireless connections because it hooks everything up first time.
It comes with two years’ worth of ink in the box
Epson’s new EcoTank is designed to keep costs per page ultra-low and they have come up with a new refillable tank that saves the average home/home office/small office user an average of 70% on printing costs overall. You receive 4 ink bottles (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black), which are only priced at £7.99 each and £10.99 for the 140ml pigment black bottle. They are hugely cheaper than normal ink cartridges and they last much longer too. The ET-2500, ET 2550 and ET-4500 offer up to an impressive 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour. The ET-4550 increases this page count to a huge 11,000 black and colour. The more specialist ET-14000 model, which concentrates on low cost A3 printing, manages 7,100 pages in black and 5,700 in colour.
If you’re worried about skimping on quality printing, you’re not.
And, #PrintingDory event aimed to show you how crisp the print copies actually are. All of the six models in the Epson EcoTank range use Epson’s Micro Piezo technology for clear, sharp and precise printing. I can vouch for this. The activity and colouring pages that I have printed for the kids to do in the last several months, plus, important business/school letters, which I have needed to look supremely professional, have always come out looking nothing less than crisp and of a high quality. But, if you want to save further on printing, you can. Just hit the ‘Eco Mode’ on the printer and it will save even more on colour and price overall.
Other amazing features on the Epson EcoTank
- My printer is situated in the master bedroom, which is downstairs and to the front of the house. My office is upstairs and to the back of our house. I have connected my laptop, phone and PC to the printer and I have not had one problem with connecting.
- If you are away from your printer, i.e. at a coffee shop or doing the school run, for example, you can forward whatever you need printing to your email (Epson provides you with a unique email address, purely for printing connectivity). You just send the document to the specific email, as you would normally send an email to someone, and it will print out on your printer at home, waiting for you to pick up when you get back. I have used this option many a time and so has my husband. He likes to print out impromptu emails to keep me company when I’m busy working at home. It’s such a nice touch!
- You can print on both sides, which means you save further on printer paper.
You can print pretty much anything you want, including photos on proper glossy photo paper and activity sheets fit for origami!
“EcoTank printers have a wide range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi with auto-setup, Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet. These are combined with the simplicity of email print and the ability to print from your AndroidTM and iOS phones and tablets using Epson’s free iPrint app6. EcoTank printers also support AirPrintTM” Epson UK
The video on Epson’s product page on Amazon shows what the EcoTank can do really well. Check it out here: Epson EcoTank ET-4550.