General Question

lilikoi's avatar

Has anyone noticed the change in crayons?

Asked by lilikoi (10028 points ) June 24th, 2010

Back in the 1980s and 90s, something about crayons were different. They were waxy, rich in color, and did not flake off paper. Today, the crayons I’ve seen lately in doctor’s offices or Macaroni Grill (their food is terrible, btw) flake terribly when you try to use them. The colors are not vibrant. The texture of the crayon is different. They don’t seem to give as much mileage as that of the previous decades. I assume the “active ingredient” of crayons has changed. Modern crayons would seem to be an inferior product. Can anyone shed some light on what has happened?

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23 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

It depends a great deal on the brand. Not every crayon is a Crayola (made by Binney and Smith). At restaurants, it is often cheaper, off-brands made available to the kids (or adults as the situation warrants).

dpworkin's avatar

Crayola claims on its website not to have changed the formula for 90 years.

Edit: Source

LuckyGuy's avatar

Your looking at the Made in China crayons.
Crayolas are still great.

keobooks's avatar

I grew up in the 1970s. The crayons in the restaurants have always been overwaxy and not very colorful. Crayola has a quality product—and after teaching elementary school a few years and buying crayons year after year, they look smell and feel the same as they always have.

Though I think they’ve gotten better with the metallics. (silver bronze gold) there are more metallics to choose from and they look better on the paper to me than they used to.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@keobooks “look, smell and feel the same”... how ‘bout the taste?

Buttonstc's avatar

Pigment costs more than wax so the cheapo ones won’t have the same color saturation.

The places you mentioned have very little incentive to use genuine Crayolas which cost more since that’s incidental to why folks patronize their busines.

I dont think anyone will switch Doctors because another one has better crayons in the waiting rooms, do you?

Oh Mommy, can we go to a different place to eat. These crayons suck.

I doubt you’ll be hearing that anytime soon :)

keobooks's avatar

@rpmpseudonym—Yeah that probably sounded weird, but I was used to opening HUGE boxes of crayons—like 48 boxes of 16 color crayons all at once. When you open up that many crayons, the crayon odor is pretty strong.

As for tasting.. as a kid, I preferred the cheap Chinese ones to the Crayolas. The waxy flavoring was too my liking. Now knowing there was probably a lot of lead in those crayons—well it may or may not explain a few things.. pfft!

mrentropy's avatar

The crayons in restaurants, doctors offices, etc, are also more likely to walk away with a kid, be broken, or be eaten. No sense spending money on them.

Jeruba's avatar

I adore Crayola crayons. There’s a fresh 96-color box standing on top of my filing cabinet right now. They are still excellent in quality and among the best things a person can own for little money, regardless of your age. I hope that when I am old and feeble I will still be allowed to draw with crayons. I’ve never understood why more serious art work isn’t done with them.

I’ve read that the smell of crayons is among the ten, or was it twenty, most recognizable scents for some huge percentage of the population. It’s something about the oil used to bind the pigments.

There have always been cheap imitations, too, and they have never come close to rivaling the quality of genuine Crayolas.

josie's avatar

Agree with above. Always go with Crayola. Everything else is a cheap imitation. @Jeruba I read the same thing about the scent of crayons. And, speaking for myself, everytime I smell Crayola crayons, I experience memories like fireworks.

zophu's avatar

they probably just found ways to fuck up petroleum molecules into every needed ingredient and didn’t want to bother with higher quality materials

lilikoi's avatar

I am gonna have to track down a box of Crayolas now, lol. Thanks everyone :)

keobooks's avatar

@josie “experience memories like fireworks” is my new favorite simile. That was beautiful. I tried to “Great Answer” it, but for some reason it didn’t take.

Jeruba's avatar

@keobooks, try again. You may not see the score go up until you refresh the page (as long as you haven’t maxed out for the person), but you should always see the GA field change in response to your click.

keobooks's avatar

@Jeruba Thank you! That worked. Refreshing the page let me click again.

Parrappa's avatar

Woah woah woah, Macaroni Grill is delicious.

Jeruba's avatar

And Prang watercolors.

jazmina88's avatar

mmm…..grilled crayons

stratman37's avatar

ya get what ya pay for!

zzc's avatar

I have purchased soy crayons. Vibrant colors. They’r little round shapes with indentations, so a child can easily hold them, yet, get used to the way they will eventually hold a pencil. Safe, if eaten, ecological, nonpetrolleum (a word?, but a good idea!). wwwgrammyandnonnastoys.com-an educational, eco friendly toy store, that I love. No batteries in the store! An alternative. I loved Crayolas too.

Biggermouth's avatar

I just bought a box of Crayola Crayons and they are HORRIBLE!! I told my hubby to make sure that he bought the Crayola brand and not some off-name brand. Well, to my surprise, the Crayola crayons were as bad as a generic off-brand. There is also no blue blue or red red and what happened to white, black or browns. I absolutely DO NOT like them at all and this is someone who has won as many as 5 coloring contest prizes – so I KNOW my crayons. AND THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN QUALITY BECAUSE I HAVE SOME OF THE ORIGINAL CRAYONS STILL IN MY HOME. I dont know what Crayola has done (or as someone suggested – maybe these are Made In China/Mexico/Guatemala brand), but Crayola needs to go back to the All America quality that I grew up with. There was no other superior crayon or colors back then – what a loss and insult for Crayola to even market such a horrible product or put their name on it. It is an embarassment to your business and to your loyal customers! I will not be passing the Crayola tradition on to my kids!

Sweetthangtx's avatar

I Bought a box of crayola brand crYons recently and when I tried to use them I wanted to cry, I read somewhere that they are proud that they use recycled plastic in them. I want
My old crayons back!

kathi3's avatar

Its not whats happened to our beloved crayon its what are we going to do about it?
I say lets write to Crayola and voice our disappointment..if we all join together maybe
they’d look into it??? Isnt everyone a child at heart???
thanks ahead!
Kathi3

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