slammerkinbabe: (Default)
Man, people. I am not understanding this crayon situation at all.

But for those of you who suggested I go straight to the top? I think that might be necessary.

Here is where things stand at present.

You see, yesterday I was looking for retired crayons, and I found that, according to the Crayola website, there were twelve "retired" shades: the eight that are available in a special collector's tin on eBay, and the four that aren't. You know, the ones I was ranting about -- magic mint and teal and mulberry and that stuff. So this was of grave concern, obviously, because those are Important shades, and frankly I think it is Crayola's responsibility to make those available to the needy consumer.

However, there is something rotten in the state of Pennsylvania, where Crayola is based. I first got a whiff of it when I noted that the thistle crayon, although it is NOT a part of the 120- or 150-count boxes, is nevertheless not marked as "retired". Well, if it is not retired, then why is it not available? What is the distinction between “retired” and “unavailable”? Something is fishy here.

The plot thickens.

Because there is the issue of piggy pink. I had forgotten about piggy pink when I posted yesterday -- which is interesting, because it is an issue I have been well aware of in recent months. You see, for a long time I colored with a 120-count box of crayons, and one of the standout colors in it was piggy pink. Now, despite its awful name, this was a really useful crayon, because it’s very close to white, with just the slightest pink shading. This makes it very important in blending -- many’s the pink flower I’ve colored, deep pink in the center and almost white at the edges, for which piggy pink has been absolutely crucial in ensuring that the various shades of pink blend smoothly into one another. And so I deeply regret to tell you all that piggy pink is NOT PRESENT in the 150-count set of crayons. This has not bothered me too much of late, because I simply took the piggy pink crayon from my 120-count box of crayons and placed it in the 150-count box. But this is not a wholly satisfactory arrangement. For one thing, the piggy pink crayon is quite worn at this point, from all that blending; and for another, I took my 120-count box of crayons to my family’s summer cottage on Cape Cod, so I wouldn’t have to carry crayons back and forth with me, but now that box is missing a piggy pink crayon and I cannot color any pink flowers while on vacation.

But the piggy pink crayon is not listed as retired either. Moreover, Crayola’s website explicitly claims that the piggy pink crayon is part of the 150-count box.

Has Crayola been discontinuing crayons *without* officially retiring them? Without even *notifying the public of the change?* Because if so, I mean, this is very serious. By denying them an official retirement, they are erasing these crayons from Crayola history. Please alert the spirit of George Orwell. This is very disturbing.

And as any dystopian half worth his salt would tell you, when The Man starts changing history to suit his purposes, there is no way of knowing where he will stop. I have not done a systematic cross-comparison of the crayons from my 120-count box with the crayons from my 150-count box. What if there are more crayons missing from the 150-count box that I haven’t noticed have gone missing because they are of less prominent importance than the piggy pink shade? And what about the 100-count box? I don’t even have one of those, and even if I did, I could not be certain that it was the same 100-count box that was originally produced. What if they are silently phasing crayons out all the time, and nobody notices because there are just so many crayons now?

And there are even more things that are wrong here! I went to eBay just now looking for old crayon collections and found something called a Crayola State Crayon Collection. The crayons are all named after states, or something. What *are* these? The official Crayola History site makes no mention of them! Are they 50 wholly new shades of crayons? Are they old shades of crayons relabeled with state names? (And if there are 50 crayons, how does this square with the assertion that Puerto Rico is included?) And DO YOU KNOW ALSO that Crayola has just come out with eight NEW colors? These are apparently available in the 64-count box, but which eight crayons have they traded out? Their site does not tell us. We have no way of knowing.

I am deeply disturbed.

And so I think the time has come for me to write to the Crayola corporation and demand answers. Where have thistle and piggy pink disappeared to? Are there any other colors that have mysteriously disappeared, with no notification to the public and no acknowledgment, even, that they ever existed? They may deny everything. If so, I will have to take further steps. Perhaps diligent eBaying will find me enough old boxes of crayons that I can do my own independent cross-comparison of the contents and report to LJ with my findings. Perhaps there are other Crayola enthusiasts out there who own various boxes from various points in history and who could be induced, via email or blog comments, to provide an inventory of what their boxes contain -- and what they don’t.

But the truth must be brought to light.

ETA: Oh man, thanks so much to [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker for bringing this to light. Now I know that there are people out there as obsessive as I! The webpage does not fully answer all of my questions: for example, it lists piggy pink as being a current shade, and I know it isn't in my box. It lists several colors as having been renamed (Vivid Tangerine to Fun in the Sun? "Fun in the Sun" DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A COLOR! Unless it's bright pink from sunburn!) when I know they haven't. At least, not in the 150-count box I have. And there are 152 crayon shades listed, but my box of 150 crayons seems actually to have 150 crayons, and eight of them are glitter crayons (unlisted on that wiki) and eight others are metallic crayons (also unlisted on the wiki). And I love my glitter crayons and my metallic crayons... but which eighteen crayons are missing from the 150 box? And why do they not tell you about it? Why do they pretend that the only color that was ever removed from a purportedly full-line box of crayons in order to make the count even was the removal of thistle from the 120-count box? I am impressed by the work of the diligent original researchers (WIKIPEDIA SAYS THAT LIKE IT'S A BAD THING, BUT HOW ELSE ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET AT THE TRUTH, I WANT TO KNOW) who have provided me with so much information via Wikipedia. But I think I still must write to Crayola. This isn't over yet.
slammerkinbabe: (sad and lonely asparagus)
Why, oh, why, is there no venue in which I can buy retired shades of Crayola crayons?

I take my coloring very seriously. I don't post about it on here very often, which is shocking given that I blog to the point of exhaustion about every single other thing that I care about at all. But, yes, I color and it is very serious business to me. I search the Internet regularly for new and exciting coloring pages; and I will only color with crayons, because there are many people in this world who color with art supplies designed for serious artists, and all those people who color with those art supplies are better than me, but I am QUEEN of the crayons, man. Nobody is better at crayon-coloring technique than me. I can blend and overlay and just generally color the shit out of whatever coloring page you give me, as long as I've got my box of crayons by my side.

But they've got to be Crayola crayons. I will not color with anything else. This is actually an artistic preference, and I am not kidding about that: whatever formula they use in creating their crayon wax is the only one that I find suitable for optimal blending. If you give me a box of RoseArt crayons, I will scowl at it, and then use them strictly for doodling and grocery-list-making, because you just can't color properly with those. Thus it is that whenever Crayola comes out with a new, bigger 'n' better box of crayons*, I'm the first one in line to get it. And then, of course, my old box inevitably gets lost at some point, or someone asks to borrow it (CRAYONS ARE COOL, MAN, EVERYBODY WANTS MY CRAYONS) and never returns it.

I always assumed, you know, that there were other people out there who were as ardent fans of coloring in general and Crayola crayons in particular as I. I knew that Crayola had a habit of retiring certain crayons and having people vote in new colors, but I always thought that it was okay, because there were *sure* to be people selling collections of retired Crayolas on eBay. I figured there would be, like, Crayola dealers, people who would buy up a box of old crayons when they heard certain colors were to be retired, and then sell them at a profit down the line. I'm serious. I really thought this.

I was wrong.

eBay has precisely three boxes for sale containing retired crayons. Now, these retired crayons sound very nice: I am particularly attracted to the idea of having a blue gray crayon, because there just aren't enough crayons on the blue-gray spectrum, and both green blue and maize sound like they would be very useful to have as well. But all three of these boxes contain the *same* eight retired crayons. They are centennial boxes, and as such contain all the crayons retired before the year 2000.

They do not contain the four crayons retired in the year 2003.

I have no access to the four crayons retired in the year 2003.

Blizzard blue, magic mint, mulberry, and teal blue. They are PHENOMENAL COLORS! They are SO AWESOME. Seriously. OK, I could probably do without blizzard blue, which is probably exactly why I stumbled across that one lone crayon in a drawer the other day, lost remnant of a 100-crayon box long since lent to someone I haven't seen in six years. But magic mint? Mulberry? Teal blue? I DO NOT KNOW HOW I CAN GO ON COLORING KNOWING THAT THESE BEAUTIFUL SHADES ARE LOST TO ME. Mulberry would be amazing! There are, like, four dark-red crayons, and NO MORE. Seriously, it's maroon, brick red, and -- and then there's plain red, and THERE IS NOT EVEN A FOURTH ONE. Because they RETIRED MULBERRY. And magic mint would be lovely for cooling down the more intense shades of green that are pretty much your only recourse when you are coloring hills and things -- I have been using spring green for that, but not all hills require an undertone of yellow -- and teal blue is an important ocean-and-river color, people. I'm telling you, it is.

They retired these. All four of them. And do you know what they replaced them with? Inchworm and wild blue yonder, which are meh colors, and mango tango, which is worse... and JAZZBERRY JAM. Jazzberry jam is, bar none, my *least favorite* crayon in the *entire box of 150 Crayola crayons*. It's worse than, like, neon carrot. It's an abomination.

And for this I lost my mulberry.

Also they took thistle out of the 120 and 150 boxes, and the site seems to differentiate that from "retiring" it, but I don't know why, because it doesn't look like you can get that anymore either, and I want a thistle crayon.

Why is my life full of woe? My life is so full of woe.

ATTENTION WORLD: YOU HAVE DEFAULTED ON YOUR OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE ME AND OTHER OBSESSIVE COLORERS WITH CRAYON DEALERS WHO WOULD MAKE FINANCIAL PROFIT OUT OF OUR OBSESSION. PLEASE RECTIFY THIS SITUATION BEFORE I SHOW UP AT THE CRAYOLA FACTORY WITH A JAZZBERRY JAM CRAYON AND THREATEN TO HAMMER IT UP SOMEONE'S NOSE AND STRAIGHT INTO THEIR BRAIN, A LA HOMER SIMPSON, IF THEY DO NOT REISSUE 2003'S RETIRED COLORS TO ME IMMEDIATELY

*About nine, ten years ago it was 100 crayons; then it went up to 120, and finally, this year, to 150, PLUS a badly-needed spiraling display case so I can actually see all the colors I can select from! Huzzah! Also a box of 150 crayons costs like $16 or something, but NEVER MIND THAT, IT IS IMPORTANT. A piano costs like THOUSANDS of dollars, so WHATEVER.

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