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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast creativity booster
For all of us who think creativity is only for the gifted...think again ! The THINKPAK allows anyone to jump start their creative mind using simple but very effective techniques. ANYONE can use this tool to alleviate the writer's blank page syndrome or to prepare a presentation, to propose a business plan or plan a birthday party. The nice package makes it an ideal gift...
Published on March 24 2009 by Francois Lavallee

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1.0 out of 5 stars Thinkpak? Think Again!
This was one of the worst 'toys' I've ever invested in. Purchased the item for use during motivational/sales training sessions. I was in the market for some new ideas & felt this might be the breath of fresh air I was searching for. Wrong!! I'm embarrassed to mention that I own this worthless box let alone use the kit in front of employees! My own brand of...
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by SlippersLadd


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast creativity booster, March 24 2009
By 
Francois Lavallee "Aliter Man" (L'Assomption, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
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For all of us who think creativity is only for the gifted...think again ! The THINKPAK allows anyone to jump start their creative mind using simple but very effective techniques. ANYONE can use this tool to alleviate the writer's blank page syndrome or to prepare a presentation, to propose a business plan or plan a birthday party. The nice package makes it an ideal gift too !
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5.0 out of 5 stars In what ways might I ThinkPak?, June 29 2003
This review is from: Thinkpak (Cards)
ThinkPak is 56 individual cards used to create new and innovative ideas. Not only can the cards be used individually but also with groups, co-workers, teammates, family, children, etc. First let me demystify ThinkPak, ThinkPak is basically the technique of SCAMPER, but with some great additions. If you have not read the books Thinkertoys, or Cracking Creativity, SCAMPER is merely a way to create new ideas.
SCAMPER
S = Substitute?
C = Create?
A = Add?
M = Modify
P = Put to other uses?
E = Eliminate?
R = Rearrange or Reverse?
You merely get an idea or a problem and expand on them using the individual SCAMPER cards. In addition, you then can evaluate your ideas with the "evaluation" cards. Sound simple? Yes it is, but all too powerful!
Let me also start by properly labeling how the cards are separated, and put together into 4 different uses. From the ThinkPak booklet,
Card No. 1 is an easy -reference list of the nine principle strategies.
Card No. 2 outlines the basic techniques for using ThinkPak.
Cards No. 3 through 47 are idea stimulators, i.e. SCAMPER
Cards No. 48 through 56 are techniques that help you evaluate your ideas. i.e. "evaluation" cards
What makes the cards very nice is they are sort of "bullet-items" for SCAMPER, so the cards can do the walking. One side of the cards is some creative diagram visually labeling the card sets (just visual, nothing to use). The backside of the cards is where the information is. All of cards are numbered and the cards are filled with questions and examples, useful to understanding and using SCAMPER.
ThinkPak also comes with a small 61-page booklet with instructions on how to use the cards. The booklet is also great, I have read both of Michael's books and the little ThinkPak booklet gave me some new examples on how to use SCAMPER. Also in the booklet Michael gives some great examples on how people used ThinkPak in real life creative situations. There is a lot more in the booklet as well, including an area on how to use ThinkPak in-groups.
Lotus Blossam is also mentioned in the ThinkPak booklet. Another one of my favorite techniques for creating new ideas. Lotus Blossam is merely a special diagram you draw on a piece of paper that you expand your ideas with. You merely start with a central idea and you expand it outward from a central starting point. The diagram is expanded and is shaped somewhat like a flower (although with squares), hence the name Lotus Blossom. For an in-depth explanation of the Lotus Blossom, check out Cracking Creativity. One of my all-time favorite books, and a great addition to ThinkPak.
Two minor, but noteworthy quivers that I do have concerning the ThinkPak card deck.
No. 1 problem is the size of the individual cards. The cards measure at about 3" x 4 3/4" in size. This makes the cards rather bulky and not extremely pocketable. I would like to have seen the cards been a little smaller in size, something akin to regular playing cards. There is a lot of text on the cards and this is the possible reason for the size? The cards are a little large, but they are handleable. However, they are great size for business groups, or group brainstorming. They can be easily scattered on a table and then selected by your group, or thrown into a box and shaken vigorously. I usually separate my card deck into two piles and then select individual cards. The evaluation cards (48-56) I use mainly after creating new ideas, so they are usually always separated from the main deck.
No. 2 problem is the cards are essentially thin paper. I was curious if the cards would be laminated or not, sadly they are not. I enjoy my cards so much I merely fixed this problem by laminating my cards. Your local Kinko's will laminate the cards. Kinko's offers two different types of lamination (light or heavy) for all sorts of cards, layouts, pictures, etc. Rather inexpensive to laminate but well worth the time and effort. Now my cards are practically waterproof, pocketproof, and childproof :-)
These are only minor complaints for ThinkPak! I love my card deck and I find them very helpful. I also have always liked SCAMPER, and find it very idea-friendly. With SCAMPER, evaluation cards, Lotus Blossam and other ways to create ideas, be prepared to have a notepad ready because ideas will come so fast you may not be able to write them down fast enough! Yeehaww!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamite!!!, Feb. 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Thinkpak (Cards)
I have had "THINKPAK" for about 3 years now and they have never failed to help me or my management team generate tons of ideas. Every new idea is some addition or modification to something that already exists. These cards show you how to take anything (service, product, process, etc.) and manipuate it into something new by using a checklist of questions based on the classic SCAMPER brainstorming technique that dates back to Alex Osborne the early guru of creative thinking who invented the process of brainstorming itself. Anytime you are at a loss for an idea, need a solution for a problem or just plain brainstorming, pull these out and the ideas just keep coming. If you're in a business where you need to keep coming up with novel, fresh ideas to stay ahead of the competition, this deck is the ticket. It's dynamite
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5.0 out of 5 stars Multiple Uses, April 25 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Thinkpak (Cards)
I purchased Thinkpac nearly 2 years ago, but have waited until now to write this review. One reason is the myriad uses I have discovered for these versatile cards. Thinkpac is tool for brainstorming, and is based on the author's wonderfully useful acronym SCAMPER. (See 'Thinkrtoys,' Ch. Nine.)A brief book summarizes the principles. The cards provide the means.
Traditionally, brainstorming is viewed as a technique for solving problems occurring in business and industry. However, I have become increasingly intrigued with other applications. When 2 or more people engage in creative discussion many options open. I have used Thinkpac to plan a family vacation. And a friend and his associates used the cards to strategize and assemble a fantasy football team for an entire season. The sky's the limit.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Thinkpak? Think Again!, Feb. 25 2004
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This review is from: Thinkpak (Cards)
This was one of the worst 'toys' I've ever invested in. Purchased the item for use during motivational/sales training sessions. I was in the market for some new ideas & felt this might be the breath of fresh air I was searching for. Wrong!! I'm embarrassed to mention that I own this worthless box let alone use the kit in front of employees! My own brand of brainstorming has netted more creative explosions. Quite frankly, a deck of Old Maid garners a higher rating than Thinkertoys. At least someone was thinking of more than a quick buck when he/she created that deck of cards. My advice is: don't waste your money. Rather than investing in Thinkertoys, buy your child a set of Tinkertoys and watch a true creative genius at work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, Aug. 4 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Thinkpak (Cards)
This is a terrific brainstorming tool. Whenever I flip throught the cards, the ideas start popping up out of nowhere. I've given decks to everyone on my staff. Now, we automatically flip throught them, whenever we are problem solving or looking for new ideas. This is the best tool for creative thinking that I have ever seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very practical tool., July 3 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Thinkpak (Cards)
This is a very practical tool for use in brainstorming sessions when you are brainstorming for ideas alone or in a group. The ideas start coming almost involuntarily as you flip through the cards. I keep a deck at my desk and have become addicted to its use.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, April 9 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Thinkpak (Cards)
We used this deck of cards brainstorming in our company, and the cards sparked an idea that has doubled our profit. Can't begin to tell you about all the ideas this little deck has sparked. All I know is we are very happy to discovered this tool.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great questions -- maybe not the perfect design for the deck, April 5 2013
By 
Collin C. Carbno (Regina, Saskatchewan Canada) - See all my reviews
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I found the cards are too large and awkward to hold and deal. The questions on the cards are wonderful, and process itself is solid. There are sort of 9 suites around the themes "adapt", "eliminate" and these each have a different back side of the card design - letting you sort the cards by suite. Each of these suites has 5 cards for 45 questions cards. There are 2 other suites, an evaluation suite with 9 cards and instruction suite with 2 cards. 45+9+2= 56 cards in total.

On the detail side of the cards of the same suite all have the same title -- wouldn't it have been nicer if instead of just saying, "Eliminate", it was "Eliminate in sense of yyy", where yyy provide how this eliminate is different from that of other eliminates? Why not put the word eliminate on the back of the card with the design ( and use precious space on information side to provide more graphics.) Personally I would rather had less information on each card, and more cards in the deck. Many cards have a lot of questions on them, I'm thinking each card should be limited to 1 or 2 questions, instead of 5+ often found, by just create more cards. If suites could be expanded to 13 cards each then if one gave up on the problem one could probably play regular card games with them ... until the creative juices reappeared! With 9 suites bridge would be even more exciting! Also if one could break the deck, into two decks with the evaluation cards and instruction cards in a separate deck as I'm constantly finding the evaluation cards getting mixed up with the idea generation cards. Annoying!

The ThinkPak process reminded me a lot of TRIZ, with similar sort of thinking happening although the card format is truly inspired and fun to work with. I'm using this pack on a lots of things, from presentations to writing.

On a practical evaluation, the cardboard is thick and strong- but more plastic coating to make them food and drink spill resistant would be appreciated. I'm scared to use them anywhere around where we have food. While I liked the designs on back of the cards I thought been neat if these cards had individualized pictures portraying concepts on the information side. (I've seen these Tarot decks that are amazing with such great artwork --- an inspired artist could create fabulous pictures, and names for the cards). The thought that did occur to me, if one going to have different back designs, why not make them creative in some way, so one could form a morphing puzzle or pictures or something. I remember these children books where you can flip pages and drawing are cleverly designed to mess perfectly to create hundreds of pictures, couldn't these cards maybe do something similar on the back design. Let the cards create an amazing factory scenes or something.
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