The French Crayola Coloring Books Complete with Crayolas

Crayola is a global company.  For those of you that reside and collect in the United States, there is a lot going on internationally that you may not be aware of.  Case in point, over 2016 and 2017 the French publishing company of Editions Grund (began in 1880) partnered with Crayola and began publishing a series of illustrated coloring books that contained six Crayola crayons in a pouch mounted on the front of each coloring book.

The crayons contained in each publication are different (although I did notice that two of them appear to have identical colors).  As I do not have these personally, I am not sure which colors exactly are in each publication but obviously they were chosen based on the illustrations.

Let's take a closer look:

Crayola, Le Cirque (the circus):

Illustrated by French illustrator, Alice Turquois Zaza, this one came out in August, 2016.  Alice is an accomplished illustrator who studied at Lycee Choiseul in Tours, France where she still lives and works.

Here are a couple of sample coloring pages from it:

Crayola, Le Engins (Machines):

Illustrated by Italian illustrator, Laura Desiree Pozzi, this one came out in April, 2016.  Laura is an accomplished illustrator who studied at the University of Balogna and did illustration study at the School of Applied Arts of Castello Sforzesco, Milan.  She is currently an artist in residence at the Maison des Auteurs in Angouleme, Italy.

Crayola, A' La Ferme (On the Farm):

Illustrated by Korean illustrator, Sejung Kim, this one came out in April, 2016.  Sejung is an accomplished illustrator who currently lives in Paris, France.

Crayola, Animaux rigolos (Funny animals):

Illustrated by Brittany illustrator, Corinne LOemerle, this one came out in August, 2016.  Corinne is an accomplished illustrator who still lives and publishes from Brittany.

Here are a sample coloring page from it:

Crayola, A' la mer (At the sea):

Illustrated by French illustrator, Marianne Dupuy-Sauze, this one came out in April, 2016.  Marianne is an accomplished illustrator who still lives and publishes from France.

Crayola, Princes et princesses (Princes & Princesses):

Illustrated by French illustrator, Patricia Lucas (Miss Posca), this one came out in early 2017.  Patricia is an accomplished illustrator who still lives and publishes from Paris, France.

Here are a couple of sample coloring pages from it:

Crayola, La Jungle (The Jungle):

Illustrated by French illustrator, Melanie Grandgirard, this one came out in April 2016.  Melanie is an accomplished illustrator who still lives and publishes from France and work with Good Illustration Agency.

Here are a couple of sample coloring pages from it:

Yes, there are many interesting things going on in other countries if you are interested in collecting everything Crayola.  I have no doubt these will become rarer and rarer as time goes on.

Lot of New Boxes from Crayola thanks to the Retirement and Introduction of Colors

Well, with all the frenzy around 2017's announcement of the retirement of the color Dandelion and then the contest to name the new blue color and then the announcement of the new color Bluetiful and the introduction at the end of 2017 and into 2018, it has been a good time for crayon box collectors (and color collectors too).

First of all, we gained three new boxes for the contest.

Then we gained a whole bunch more boxes to introduce the new blue color.

Of course, the way they generate all of this publicity comes at the cost of losing a color from their catalog which to me seems a bit silly.  Really?  You have to get rid of a color to introduce a new color?  I guess only so many will fit in each container though so clearly they had to remove a color...but why remove it from the entire spectrum of boxes and bulk orders?

It is interesting to note that they chose only 3 boxes to use for the naming but 5 for the introduction and the 3 from Canada and then the Color Collection.  Of course, they skipped the No 48 box which should also have the new color.  Such are the mysteries of crayon collecting.

Once upon a time another crayon company stole Crayola's look and feel

It doesn't matter how advanced your collection gets, there is always something out there that you didn't know about and have never seen.  Case in point, even though my collection had over 60,000 crayons in it, I got an email from Phyllis Tompkins a fellow collector the other day who had found my website and wrote to share her own collection.  She had been collecting far longer than I had; nearly 30 years.  And although her collection was small in comparison to mine (I was aggressive and obsessive in my pursuit of crayons), it had a number of great boxes that I had never seen before.  I was impressed.

One of my favorite discoveries in her collection was a different crayon brand by Bliss Crayon & Color Works.  Other than also being headquartered in New York, I could never find out anything about this company.  Nothing other than the single crayon box I had in my collection.  But it was a great one.  The drawing on the back was terrific; something that most boxes don't have.  


For years I had what I believed to be the one surviving example of a crayon box by this company.  Still, having collected for a long time, I knew that usually doesn't stay that way forever.

Sure enough, she had a box of Crayobar crayons from the same company!  What I find especially interesting is that this box looks strikingly like the Crayola No 16 box that they put out from 1928 to 1932.

It makes for an interesting debate on whether or not they stole and capitalized on Crayola's success by using their look and feel without violating copyright laws.  Clearly Bliss Crayon & Color Works didn't steal Crayola's trademark name although their name is fairly similar.  Clearly their box has different features.  They have a window; Crayola didn't at this time in their history.  But the design around the "Crayobar" vs "Crayola", the opening tab design, the lined border and even the same color as Crayola sure shows that they were trying to capitalize on Crayola's look and feel.  At this point in Crayola's history they had already gained significant momentum in their quest for crayon domination.  Their branding efforts for a look and feel were instrumental in their success along with other factors (quality, price point, etc.).

If I saw this lying on a desk, at a quick glance I wouldn't necessarily have even noticed that it wasn't Crayola.  I wonder how much, if any, this tactic helped in their sales.

But even beyond this curiosity, this box helps provide a little more information on the crayon company.  The only thing I had going before the discovery of Phyllis's box was that based on the drawings and design of the box, it was clearly prior to 1950.  But with a patent pending on Crayobar and a trademark, now I could look those up.  Even if I couldn't find anything on them I do have the logical deduction that this would have been during the exact same time frame that Crayola put out this particular box design and that I had already clearly documented.

Alas, searching old trademarks and patents isn't easy.  Nothing came up under the Trademark database and there is no search capability in the patents for one that old.  I would have to go through an image of each on submitted within those years.  That is a bit too laborious for even me.  So, all I know now is that this company producted both Bliss crayons and Crayobar crayons and they were in business sometime from probably 1929 up to an unknown date.  This is how I help document the history of the crayon, one bit of information at a time.  Some mysteries are slower to solve than others.  But it still feels like you are a sort of private eye...

Crayola Name the New Blue Contest

Well, the naming of the new blue color for Crayola's replacement from the retiring Dandelion is one step closer.  The general naming ended early June and now people are voting on the five final color names. 

From almost 90,000 submissions, Crayola selected the following finalists for the new blue hue: Dreams Come Blue, Bluetiful, Blue Moon Bliss, Reach for the Stars and Star Spangled Blue.  People can vote until Aug 31, 2017 on the finalists.

Here's the process:

First, you have to go to the Crayola website and enter your Birthday.

After that, they show you the five final color names with mock ups of each color as it would look on the crayon wrapper.
Check the one you like and fill in your data for the contest and then they will show you where the current voting stands for each one.

As you will recall, Crayola introduced the change during National Crayon Day back in May 2017 and promptly started the Naming Contest for the new blue.  The new blue is based on a based on a pigment discovered in 2009 by a chemistry team at Oregon State University, believed to be the first new blue pigment discovered in 200 years. 

Crayola opted not to use the pigment's name of YInMn Blue, after its chemical makeup of yttrium, indium and manganese oxides and went with the naming contest as they have done in years past.
The final five blue colors were based on three categories: creativity, uniqueness, and capturing the innovation in the new blue pigment. 

The winner will be revealed in Sep 2017 with the new color showing up at the end of the year or by early 2018.

100 Years of Colour in the UK

This box came out in Europe last year. I'll bet no collector ever saw it either. It celebrates the 100th year Crayola has been in Europe

Crayola did a Crayola Bus Tour that stopped at various retailers around the UK, and invited kids and adults alike to celebrate ‘100 years of colour’ with games, themed play areas and performers.

It went from August 24th to September 3rd. The Crayola branded double-decker bus visited locations across the UK with dedicated play areas featuring the Crayola My First and Toy products.

The tour stopped off at a selection of Toys R Us, Smyths and Hobbycraft stores up and down the country, targeting key back to school buying periods over the end of the summer holidays.

Pip and Tip Crayola character performers were on hand to guide families through the various games and activities. And, they produced this commemorative box to mark to occasion.

Of course, the majority (if not all) of crayon collectors are in the USA or Canada and they likely didn't catch this event and acquire the box made for it.

But the good news? As of Jun 2017, there were still 10 boxes left on!

Dandelion Retires And A New Blue Color Is About To Be Named

Now that Crayola has formally announced the retirement of Dandelion, much to ire of die-hard color customers, they are in full swing promoting the naming of their new blue crayon that will replace Dandelion.  

Of course, the big announcement on of Dandelion on National Crayon Day didn't go as planned.  Those pesky retailers already had boxes of crayons with the printing of its retirement on the box out in the retail shelves a couple of days early despite Crayola trying to control that debut date.  The crayon collecting community had word of it immediately but we didn't spoil their surprise and just waited.  Apparently we weren't the only ones and Crayola was forced to announce it early.  Okay, fine, they rolled with it and did their celebration promotion on 5th Avenue anyway.

Meanwhile, you've got an uproar in your customer base by choosing Dandelion.  These days it is odd that they are still sticking with their old ways from the 1990s by retiring colors to make room for new colors.  Really, Crayola?  Your palette is so big that you can't add a new color?  Now, I guess any publicity is good publicity (well, unless you were United Airlines recently) so this will bolster awareness and crayon sales.

Still, why couldn't they have put Dandelion on the bench and simply removed it from the No 24, 64, 120 boxes without having to take it out of their entire color palette?  Then again, we crayon collectors know that it isn't truly gone.  Right now you can order special boxes of just Dandelion.  Crayola even promotes that.
You can also get a huge crayon of it if you don't want to run out.  Crayola has been selling 2lb crayons recently and the retirement of one color should sell a lot of Dandelion.
And now with the retirement tour over, Crayola has turned their attention to the renaming contest.  They've official revealed the new Blue color.  Here's the data on it:

When a new blue pigment called YInMn (yin-min) was discovered in 2009 by Mas Subramanian, a chemistry professor at Oregon State University, we (Crayola) were very excited. This discovery is the first new blue pigment in 200 years and is the inspiration for the new blue crayon color. Now, we need your help. The new blue crayon needs a name, so submit your Name Ideas and be entered for a chance to win!

Of course, the new color created a new uproar because many felt that Dandelion didn't have a lot of close colors from which to choose in the Yellow family where as the new blue, despite the fact that it may be a new blue color pigment, many simply couldn't tell much of a difference between it and other blues.  It wasn't worth the sacrifice for another blue even though polls told Crayola that the Blue family was what their customers wanted the most.

Nevertheless, Crayola is now in full swing of their repetitive ways of doing a public naming contest to decide the name of the new Blue.

Of course, let us not forget that they did another naming contest back in 1992 after officially retiring a bunch of colors in 1990.  Which ironically, Dandelion was one of the new colors introduced through a contest.  Yes, it is a bit odd that people are crying over a color that has only been around for 25 years where some colors are over 110 years old!

Still, even if the new blue isn't exactly that different from what they already offer, it won't be their worst color blunder.  That distinction goes to the introduction of the No 64 box back in 1958 when they did a major color overhaul and put both Light Blue and Sky Blue in the original boxes.  These too colors were so identical, they quickly removed Light Blue from their color line up and quickly replaced it with Turquoise Blue, making Light Blue one of the rarer crayons to get if you collect Crayola's crayons (which many people do).

Personally, if I were head of the Crayola Marketing department, I'd be getting together with the company's corporate historian and taking advantage of their complex color heritage by introducing back some of the original forgotten colors that they have never publicly acknowledged (English Vermilion, Van Dyke Brown, Chrome Green, Gamboge Yellow, etc. etc.)  At one time I understand, they didn't have much on their history.  They do now.  They bought my private collection back in 2014 and have the physical crayons to be able to re-engineer those colors.  They have my timeline history on this website (I shared my research with them).  They could be adding to their palette through a lot of different promotions based on their history.  Companies like Coca-Cola, Levis, Nike, Harley Davidson, Budweiser do this successfully all the time.  Nobody is going to complain about adding to the color palette.  So, Crayola, embrace some new ideas by embracing your old ones!

Crayola is Retiring another color on National Crayon Day 2017

In March 2017 Crayola has their consumers in a stir once again as their announcement to retire one of their colors from the No 24 box.  Now, whether they have said for the first time in history or whether they meant "for the first time on National Crayon Day", this is by no means the first time they have "retired" something from this box.  That is, if you take a color disappearing forever as a retirement.  Let's look at the history.

Way back before anyone can remember, the No 24 box evolved from the Rubens Crayola line.  That was a complimentary line from their Crayola line that targeted artists.  They put out their 24 color box in 1903/1904. It contained the following colors:

BLACK, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Chr. Green DK, Chr. Green L, Chr. Green M, Ch. Yellow Med, Cobalt Blue, Eng. Vermilion, Flesh Tint, Gold Ochre, Indian Red, Madder Lake, Magenta, Olive Green, ORANGE, Prussian Blue, Raw Umber, Rose Pink, Ven. Reds, Ult. Blue, VIOLET, WHITE, YELLOW (note that Chr. is short for "chrome", M is short for "medium", DK is short for "dark".

The majority of these original colors have been renamed or vanished without any publicity or public outrage.  I guess you could say they were "retired" if Crayola would only acknowledge those old colors in the first place.  As time went on, the Rubens box morphed into the regular Crayola line as the No. 24 box.  The year was 1935.  The transition was gradual as they kept Rubens (he was a master painter) face on the boxes but renamed the box.  Eventually they removed Rubens altogether.  The colors in that first No. 24 transition box with the new Crayola numbering were:


As you can see, they have already had colors disappear from either of these boxes.  Given that the current box as of 2014 (have they changed?) has the color assortment:
apricot, black, blue, blue green, blue violet, brown, carnation pink, cerulean, dandelion, gray, green, green yellow, indigo, orange, red, red orange, red violet, scarlet, violet (purple), violet red, white, yellow, yellow green, yellow orange

So in reality, we have only five colors that still have the same name in that No 24 box:  Black, Orange, Violet, White and Yellow.  Apricot didn't become an color until 1958, Blue has changed its original color twice.  Once in 1935 and once in 1949 so the blue you are coloring on today wasn't the blue people colored on back in 1903/1904.  Besides, the original box contained Ultramarine Blue anyway.  That color was discontinued back in 1958 when they redid many of their colors for the introduction of the 64-color box.  Blue Green has only been around since 1930 as that color name.  It originally came from a buyout of Munsell Color Corp. where they inherited the unique color back in 1926 as Middle Blue Green.  Blue Violet originated in 1930 but has changed its color back in 1958 and was called Violet Blue even.  Brown has been around since 1903 unchanged but they didn't use it in the original boxes under the Rubens line, instead choosing to include Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber instead (and Burnt Umber disappeared back in 1949).  Carnation Pink has only been around as a color name since 1958 but the actual color wass the same as Rose Pink which was in the original No 24 box so that color has been there under different names for the entire time.  Cerulean and Dandelion are  relatively new colors, having been introduction in 1990.  Obviously each time something gets added to the box, something goes away.  Gray wasn't introduced as a name until 1956 because it used to be called Nuetral Gray and that color was introduced in 1926 and didn't show up until the transitional No 24 box in 1935.  Green wasn't in the original box either as they were Chrome Green colors back then (light, middle and dark).  Those colors disappeared early (middle and dark in 1910 and light in 1935 during the transition box.  Even the original Green from 1903 changed color in 1930.  Green Yellow didn't come around until 1958.  Indigo is a very recent color, introducted in 1999.  Red wasn't in the original box.  They used English Vermilion and Indian Red in it originally.  It showed up during the transition box in 1935.  The color red has stayed consistent throughout.  Red Orange, Red Violet, Violet Red, Yellow Green and Yellow Orange were all introduced in 1930 back when Crayola used a color wheel approach.  Scarlet is also a more recent color coming in 1998 from the series of new color promotions they did back then.

As you can see, the No 24 has a long history and the colors have not been static at all.  Crayola's color history is also much more complex than simply a few retirements.  Renamings and disappearances were done throughout their history.  In today's world, yes, they "retire" colors but it is no different than the dropping colors of colors from before except that now there is a big promotional production around doing so.

And while you may be happy or sad on the color they choose to retire, understand it is merely a drop in the vast color ocean of changes that have been happening all along over their 110+ year history.