Crayola has helped color the world for more than a century, and they’ll soon be announcing at least one new crayon color. To honor National Crayon Day, Crayola made the shocking decision to retire an old favorite. They haven’t disclosed exactly when they’ll reveal their new crayon color, but coloring book addicts around the world are impatiently waiting for a news update.
Say Goodbye to Dandelion
Dandelion yellow has been part of the classic 24 pack of Crayola crayons since 1990. Therefore, the announcement that dandelion was chosen for retirement was met with a lot of surprise and dismay. In fact, #RIPDandelion quickly became a popular hashtag on Twitter. It didn’t take long for creative people worldwide to begin speculating about the new crayon color that’s waiting in the wings, which led to the trending hashtag #newcrayoncolors.
Twitter is filling up with everything from humorous complaints to political references, and there are thousands of people tweeting about what they want the new color to be. Additionally, a Philly.com poll conducted before the announcement showed that white was the top choice for retirement. As anyone who has ever colored knows, the white Crayola crayon is one of the least utilized and least useful options in any box, but it has now survived the cut 13 times.
Previous Crayon Color Retirements
Dandelion is Crayola’s 13th retirement since 1990. Previous casualties have included green-blue, maize, raw umber and mulberry. Each retiree has been replaced with a new crayon color. Interestingly, the first wave of retirements in 1990 was what led to dandelion’s debut. It’s not surprising that each new crayon color change has caused controversy, but the ever-expanding reach of Twitter and other social media options is definitely making it easier for people to speak out about their disappointment.
When will a New Crayon Color be Announced?
One very exciting thing about each retirement is that it means a new crayon color will soon be announced. Unfortunately, the company is only teasing their fans right now by saying that the 24 pack’s latest addition will be from the blue family. Nothing more is slated to be revealed until May when the world will finally see which shade was selected.
A contest is being held to name the new crayon color. Due to this and the delay in showcasing the color, it will be several months until anyone can actually start using dandelion’s replacement. This gives Crayola time to phase out their remaining dandelion stock and make enough of their newly manufactured blue crayons to deliver new sets to stores worldwide.
The Business Impact of a New Crayon Color
Crayola is a privately held company that doesn’t release their financial information. Despite this, industry estimates place their annual revenue at $250.2 million. The company was founded in 1885 and began selling crayons in 1903. This type of longevity makes one thing abundantly clear: selling crayons is profitable.
Most well-established companies take risks from time-to-time in order to shake up the market and boost sales. Sometimes, these gambles don’t pay off such as New Coke or the first release of Crystal Pepsi. However, despite these failures, Coca-Cola and Pepsi rebounded quite nicely and received a lot of free publicity.
Retiring dandelion in order to announce a new crayon color is a similar tactic, and Crayola could probably make a ton of money off of eventually releasing a limited edition retiree pack. For right now, though, the company is banking on all of the attention to get children and adults interested in purchasing a replacement set of crayons. After all, the only way to get the new crayon color will be to buy a box of at least 24 Crayons when they’re released before the start of the next school year.
[Featured Image by Dan Loh/AP Images]