Cricut Celebrates 5th Birthday At CHA Winter 2011

What’s a fun loving bug to do on his (or is it her?) 5th birthday? For Provo Craft’s Cricut bug, the obvious answer was to celebrate in a big way, naturally!  CHA Winter 2011 marked the 5th “birthday” for Provo Craft’s Cricut machine, and so the company decided it was time to celebrate!

To kick off, the company launched the celebration with a special “anniversary” edition of the popular Cricut Expression Machine. This limited edition release machine, known as the E2, will be making its appearance in stores sometime in April. On first look at the machine, the body seems a bit sleeker and it feels noticeably lighter in weight. The added feature of a lighted cutting area is intended to help users see exactly what and where the machine is cutting.

The E2 will also have a LED touch screen control. This new feature eliminates the need to use overlays on the keypad, and allows layers to display on the machine’s display. Cutting will also be able to be paused in the middle, a feature intended for use when paper starts to shift on the mat to allow corrections. Users will also have  a home and zoom feature and the ability to cut out Cricut Imagine shapes (but not the ability to print the Imagine images.)

Provo Craft also announced their upcoming “online design studio” computer software called the “Cricut Craft Room” in Los Angeles. From the test version, it appears to be a more user-friendly version of the company’s existing Cricut Design Studio software. Users will be able to weld words with the click of their mouse.  They will also be able to “link” cartridges to their Craft Room (similar to the Gypsy’s current operation) and then cut images by hooking a Cricut to their computer. The Cricut Craft Room will also be compatible with the new E2 machine via Wi-Fi.

The birthday celebration/promotion was definitely Cricut’s theme on the show floor. Attendees at the show were invited into Provo Craft’s booth to create a 5th birthday cupcake featuring Provo Craft’s Cricut Cake machine, and given a clip-on stuffed “Cricut”  bug. They were then asked to photograph Cricut in creative places throughout the rest of the show, and given a chance to make a “Where’s Cricut” decorated frame for their pictures. The best “Where’s Cricut” photos were featured during Provo Craft’s big daily giveaway, and prizes were given to the winning photographers.

Cricut also celebrated its 5th birthday in a big way at the exclusive Conga Room located at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. Attendees were met with food and drinks and shown a light-hearted video on how Cricut came to join the Provo Craft family and why they had to create the Cricut machine just for him (her?) Then, the crowd was surprised by an appearance by dancers from the popular Fox TV show “So You Think You Can Dance?”, who joined the party goers to celebrate Cricut’s birthday. (Author Betsy Burnett is pictured below with Twitch from So You Think You Can Dance?”) To end the evening, all attendees received a goodie bag with a large plush version of Cricut, a Cricut t-shirt, the Birthday Bash Cricut cartridge and the promise of receiving the new E2 machine when it was released.

The Cricut Expression 2, known as the E2, will be a limited-run machine, and will make it’s retail debut on HSN on April 26th, 2011. The MSRP for the machine is set at $399, which is the same as the previous Cricut Expression models. The Cricut Craft Room is expected to launch in April of  2011, and the Wi-Fi compatibility update is due to be released a couple of months later.

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13 Responses to Cricut Celebrates 5th Birthday At CHA Winter 2011

  1. Gab February 22, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    It looks very sleek!

  2. Lisa Williams February 22, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Sounds like a fun time!! 🙂 Great looking new machine. Love the “lighted cutting area” feature.

  3. Mandie Wade February 22, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Can’t wait to get my E2!!! Great article 🙂

  4. Teri February 22, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I don’t think I want one. It’s a limited release, which means there’s probably a better one coming in the future. After buying my Gypsy for a lot of money when it was first released on HSN, it quickly came down in price. I can stop cutting on my current Cricuts (the bug & the E) by using the Gypsy. And overlays are not a big problem. I think I’ll save my money for the little cake and some more carts.

  5. Patti Chubbuck February 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I agree with the previous comment. I wonder why the limited edition? The cost of an expression has dropped drastically and it is easy to find for ~$170-$195. I also have the gypsy and can do the pause, etc. I’m more interested in the Cricut Craft Room. I have Design Studio that I use on my husband’s pc but my computer is a mac and I’ve read that craft room will be mac compatible. I think I read that the craft room is a free service? Not entirely sure of that but I can dream.

  6. Vicki February 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Did they mention how they plan on dealing with their infrustructure over at provocraft? currently their message boards are horribly slow– what will happen when they add craft room to the servers?

    Any mention of downloadable images??? I think thats a feature everyone could cheer about!

    • Betsy Burnett March 2, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      I do know they have been updating their servers in preparation for Craft Room.

  7. LTR February 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Question – by selling their Cricut Craft Room – is this supposed to take business away from Sure Cuts Alot?

    • Betsy Burnett March 2, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      Cricut Craft Room will only work with cartridges similar to (design studio or the Gypsy) it’s not designed to create your own cuts like Sure Cuts Alot.

  8. Renee J. February 23, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    Thanks for sharing the Cricut celebration with us. It looks like lot of fun!

  9. The Wedding Scrapbook Ideas Girl March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    I have wanted to buy the new cricut for some time now and this just convinced me to go for it.

  10. Tracy April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    For $400 you can purchase a better machine for the money (and one that will use Sure Cuts a Lot and/or Make the Cut software…which saves you a ton of money from buying cartridges and you get the images that you want vs. paying a ton of money for a cart that only has a couple of images you like.) Do your research before you buy!!! I can’t stress that enough. Here is a link to a blog that has information on all cutting machines…

  11. Carol Salter April 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    I think I will pass. I really want a program that allows me to cut any TT font from my computer. From what I understand the new Cricut Craft Room will hold our designs on the Cricut/Provo Craft server, therefore, will belong to Provo Craft to do with as they see fit, even sell it if they want to.

    Why so many models of an electronic cutter. Why not build an excellent cutter that will appeal to cartridge lovers AND 3rd party software lovers. I was both until my MTC was taken away.

Let us know your thoughts!