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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fifteen Forgotten Crayola Crayon Colours

As far back as I can remember, I have always loved Crayola Crayons.

I love them so much, I still have my Crayola crayon carrying case that I received as a Christmas gift in the early 1990s - and most of the crayons that originally came with it!  Have a look!

When this case was brand new, it had 96 different crayons.  You had the standard 64 pack, plus 16 neon colours, plus 16 Silver Swirls crayons.  As you can see, I've used up at least six to their entirety.  Most were colours I absolutely loved at the time like Sea Green or Royal Purple.  And, obviously the eight original colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, black, and brown) are half used up.  But surprisingly most of them still remain intact. 

Now, in the 1990s, I thought having 96 colours was a big deal.  But did you know that as of 2015, there are a total of 135 different colours of Crayola Crayons available?  And some of the colours that have been created since the 1990s have some rather unique names such as Macaroni and Cheese, Razzmatazz, Beaver, and Purple Mountains' Majesty.

But in order for some of those colours to be created and added into Crayola's colour database, we had to say goodbye to some colours along the way. 

And this is what today's blog entry is all about.  Consider it a tribute to the Crayola crayons of the past.

Now, at first I thought that only eight colours were discontinued.  That would be back in 1990 when colours like Green Blue, Violet Blue, and Maize were replaced with Jungle Green, Cerulean, and Dandelion.

But in actuality, fifteen colours have been retired officially by Crayola.  And two of them happened before I was even born!

So, let's take a look at the fifteen colours that were taken out of rotation beginning with the earliest and ending at the most recent.  Do you remember any of these?  And which colours do you miss the most?  I'll give my own personal list of the three colours they should permanently reinstate, as well as three colours that I think they could easily replace at the end.

1.  Brilliant Rose

Did you know that there was a colour named Brilliant Rose?  Neither did I!  Apparently it was one of the colours that was introduced as one of colours in the then brand new 64 count box of crayons in 1958. 

It lasted exactly one year.

So, why was it discontinued after just one year?  My guess is that somehow the colour formula that was used to make the crayons was lost, or the materials needed to make the exact colour were no longer available.  It was swapped out with another similar colour - Magenta.

2.  Light Blue

Light Blue shares a similar story with Brilliant Rose.  It too made its debut in 1958 and was discontinued in 1959, for likely the same reason.  Turquoise Blue was its replacement.

3.  Blue Gray
4.  Green Blue
5.  Lemon Yellow
6.  Maize
7.  Navy Blue
8.  Orange Red
9.  Orange Yellow
10.  Raw Umber

I grouped all eight of these colours together because all eight of them were eliminated at the same time.  Prior to 1990, all eight of these colours were standard in a 64 count box of crayons.  And you could probably find at least half of these in a 24 count box. 

For some reason, I seem to believe that the colours that were retired were chosen by fans of the product, but I am not sure if this was the case.  I wasn't even ten when the colours were removed, so I can't remember.  But whatever the case, those eight colours were removed and their replacement colours were Cerulean, Dandelion, Fuchsia, Jungle Green, Royal Purple, Teal Blue, Vivid Tangerine, and Wild Strawberry.  In some cases, I can see why these colours were chosen, as they happen to be a lot more vibrant and bright.  Still, I do wish they had kept at least one colour.  They were available for sale briefly in 1991, but they are really hard to find now.

(Truth be told...I still have a box of the eight colours that were retired.  And, I use them sparingly.)

11.  Thistle

What a rather unusual colour Thistle was.  When you think thistle, you more than likely think of the colour green, or brown, or some colour that has to do with nature.  Or at least, I did anyway.  At my childhood home, I couldn't run around in my backyard with bare feet because our backyard was filled with thistle plants that had sharp needles.  For the life of me, I couldn't understand why the heck the colour thistle was represented by pink!

But after doing a quick Google search, I realize that our backyard had the useless weeds.  Apparently thistle flowers are pink. 

Didn't matter much in the end.  Thistle was one of my most hated colours.  I was glad to see it go in the year 2000.  The only thing that makes the departure of Thistle sad is that it was a regular colour since 1949.  It managed to last 51 years before being pulled.

12.  Blizzard Blue
13.  Magic Mint

Some of you might believe that neon colours were only big in the late 1980s and are experiencing a resurgence in 2015.  But Crayola proved that they were ahead of the times as they created their first neon colours all the way back in 1972!  Blizzard Blue used to be named Ultra Blue, and was one of the original neon colours that were added when Crayola began selling 72 count boxes.  Magic Mint was added eighteen years later in 1990. 

I don't know why both colours were discontinued to be honest, but they were two of four that were removed from the Crayola crayon line-up in 2003 - the last year that Crayola retired colours as of right now.

14.  Teal Blue

Boy, Teal Blue didn't last very long, did it?  Mind you, it did have more staying power than Light Blue and Brilliant Rose, but of the eight colours that were added in 1990, this one was taken out of rotation in 2003.  My guess why?  Probably because it was made redundant by all the similar shades of blue and green out there.  Besides, of the eight new crayon colours, teal blue was my least favourite.  Not a huge loss there.

15.  Mulberry

Mulberry was the last colour to be eliminated from the Crayola rotation, and I can't say I blame Crayola one bit.  It's a dull reddish-purple colour that could easily have been replaced by Red Violet.  Again, it was a colour since 1958, so after 45 years it is sad to say farewell...but again, it was a colour that I don't consider to be one of my personal favourites.  Truth be told, I like Red Violet better!

So, there you have it.  The fifteen Crayola colours that time forgot.

Now, I did promise that I would give my opinion on three colours that they need to bring back, and the three colours that I think can be axed to make way for the three returning crayons.

Crayola.  If you're reading this...take notes.

One colour that needs to be brought back is Maize.  When I was a little boy, Maize was the perfect colour for a lot of things.  I used Maize for drawing cornfields.  I used Maize for colouring houses.  I used Maize for kids who had blonde hair.  Basically, Maize was a colour that was simple, yet realistic.  You can't use Dandelion for a kid's hair.  It just doesn't look natural.  Some may not agree, but I say bring back the Maize!

I also think the decision to get rid of Blizzard Blue was a bit of a rash one as well.  I think Blizzard Blue was the ONLY shade of blue in the neon colour line, and it was unique enough that I think it still deserved another shot. 

And while we're on the subject of neon colours, I hate the fact that they discontinued Magic Mint - a colour that was bright, but you could still see it - and kept Electric Lime - a colour that is too bright and literally hurts my eyes.  Though, I could say the same for Laser Lemon too.

Anyway, I say bring back Maize, Blizzard Blue, and Magic Mint.

Now, as for colours that I would remove?

While there are nowhere near fifty shades of grey in a box of Crayola crayons, do we really need so much grey?  One colour I would eliminate is Timberwolf.  I'm sure we can eliminate one shade.

I know this next shade has been around since the dawn of time, but for the love of all things Crayola, please get rid of Spring Green.  The Spring Green crayon I have in my 1990s era crayon case is UNUSED.   Because nobody ever uses Spring Green!  EVER!  At least nobody I know uses it.

Finally, get rid of Salmon.  Really, the only thing you could colour with Salmon is...well...salmon.  I'm generally not a pink person by any means, but Lavendar, Magenta, and heck, even Razzle Dazzle Rose are more pleasant to look at than Salmon!

Okay.  I've shared my thoughts.  Now let's hear yours!

1 comment:

  1. Bring back Maize! That was the first color gone in all of my boxes.