As everyone knows, Stampin' Up! is not the only rubber stamp producer. As you may or may not know, Stampin' Up! is not the only home based sales of rubber stamp sets. There are 2 other companies that I am familiar with - TAC (The Angel Company) and CTMH (Close to My Heart).
The main difference that I have heard about our companies is that SU! sells wood mounted stamp sets whereas the former companies sets are acrylic mount. What does that mean? Well, our rubber images are permanently adhered to wood blocks. The other companies images are removable and adhere to acrylic (plastic clear blocks). People who use acrylic blocks rave that your storage space is increased immensely because your sets are only as thick as a CD case and you store them in those to save shelf space. You have an acrylic block which your rubber images are stuck on to and them removed when you don't need it. This way you may have say 4 blocks that you use for all your images. I had heard it said too that the rubber images are clear so that you can see exactly where you are stamping an image. I was curious....
A friend had a book party with TAC and I found one set that I really liked so I ordered. It got the stamp set today and this is what I noticed:
1) The images are not the same size as the catalog. I know it says somewhere in the book that the images are only a certain % of the size shown, but I hate being expected to visualize the size of an image!
2) The images are not perforated at all on the rubber-it is literally a sheet that you just have to cut around the separate images, maybe not a big deal, but just different.
3) NO DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO MOUNT THESE THINGS! The rubber is separate from the foam! I assume that I mount the really sticky side of the rubber to the rubber image itself and not so sure about the other side. It is hardly sticky at all. This must be the side that attaches to the acrylic block. I wonder how long this thing will stick to the block if I change images frequently.
4) No sticker for the outside of the plastic container to label your box.
5) The rubber is not clear. It is blue...I always thought that the great thing about acrylic mount stamps is that the images are clear and you could see right through the block and rubber image to see exactly where you are putting the image. NOT so with TAC.
Once I buy an acrylic block (I neglected to get one when I placed this initial order), I will let you know about how they stamp. Let me just end by saying that I am so happy I found Stampin' Up!!! I love the images on the stamp set I purchased and TAC definately has a different style than Stampin' Up! I'll have to wait and see if I feel the desire to purchase any more.