Friday, April 11, 2008


"All the news that fits, we print."
MAD Magazine, c.1964

As befitting 'anything can happen' Friday, and Hank's role as reporter, here's some interesting stuff you might not have heard:

This news release arrived from the crayon people! I was transported, remembering the fragrance of a new box of crayons, how careful we were to keep the points perfect, and save our favorite colors (burnt sienna and black, surprise surprise) And it looks like they have come out with some new super-sharpener . Wonder if it makes those points with a little ledge around the edge. Remember? I'll spare you all the details, but here's the best parts:

Crayola 64 Box Turns 50
To Celebrate, Eight New "Kids Choice Colors" Debut in Iconic Box
An American classic, the Crayola 64 Box is turning the big 5-0 and Crayola has gone a bit "radical red" to mark the golden moment. That famous box with the built-in sharpener that debuted in 1958 and became home to colors like burnt sienna and cornflower has undergone an extreme color makeover for its fiftieth, to reflect the color preferences of today’s kids.

Just like professional color experts who predict the year’s hot hues; kids across the country had the chance to voice their own opinion and pick the colors they felt were "in" for 2008...
they ...zoomed in on the shade within each color family (red, blue, green, yellow, brown, pink, orange and purple) that they felt was the coolest. The result? A collection of eight colors was created that draw on everything from kids wanting to play their part in protecting the planet to believing that they can become famous just like the everyday people who achieve stardom on reality shows.

The 2008 "Kids Choice Colors" include:
"super happy" -- kids don’t want to worry, they just want to be happy -- "super happy" -- as their color says and they wish the same for others, too;
"fun in the sun" -- riding bikes, playing soccer, skateboarding, and gymnastics – kids said this color means exercise and keeping fit are important … and fun!;
"giving tree" -- it’s a colorful truth that kids are thinking green, too, and want to play a part in protecting the Earth;
"bear hug" -- a hue of harmony as kids want their homes to feel warm and loving just like a great big bear hug;
"awesome" -- means kids think school is cool and getting good grades feels awesome;
"happy ever after" -- kids want to make a difference and create Cinderella moments for others, so everyone’s story has a happy ending;
"famous" -- American Idol and shows like it inspired this hue, as kids believe they can become celebrities just like everyday people who become stars;
"best friends" -- this shade of purple reveals who kids’ real BFFs are – their parents – and spending time with them is what they enjoy most.
(Hank interrupting: Hang on a second here. Imagine the conversation:
Mother: "What color do you want to make the sun, Billy?
Billy: Oh, Mummy, lets make it awesome.
Mummy: Of course, honey, it is awesome! And it's 93 million miles from the earth. But here's a drawing of it in your coloring book, sweetheart. What color shall we make it?
Billy: I said, awesome.
Mother: But, sweetheart, awesome is not a color. How about a nice sunny yellow?
Mother: I agree, Billy, and here it is.
Billy: NO! I said AWESOME.
(throws box of crayons)
Mother: Billy! You need a time out!
Billy: What color is that?
Okay, back to the press release.)

Each of these new hues introduced to celebrate 50 years of the Crayola 64 Box can be found inside the limited-edition 50th Birthday box, which features the new "perfect tip sharpener" that puts a perfect point on any worn down crayon so that it looks just like the original.
CRAYON QUIZ!!! (There was a whole paragraph of crayon lore in the release, but let's just see how much you know:)

An American cultural icon, the Crayola 64 Box made its debut in (what year??) on the "(What TV SHOW?)"
The 12.8 billion crayons inside would circle the earth HOW MANY times.
The most popular color inside the Crayola 64 Box is : WHAT COLOR?
Where else but Jungle Red could you hear this stuff?


  1. I think the '64'-color box came in just before I was born (in 1959) --like, the year before or early in 1959? I certainly grew up with the big box. Got a new one every birthday!

    My favorite color in the box was always the wine colored red-violet (?), though that is by no means a favorite color in life. I don't have a single red-violet thing in the house, nor do I wear it.* I just liked coloring with it. And I think I remember wrestling other kids for it. So that's my guess. Red-violet.
    But I'll bet green got used the most.

    *Now ...these days I'd be more likely to wrestle over cornflower blue or a butter yellow or a heart-lifting new leaf green. Or some dynamite coral.

  2. I only color I even remember form the bog box was burnt sienna. I remember thinking..what does that mean? I'm still not sure what it means.
    As a typical New Yorker, black is my favorite color..but in the last few years I seem to be buying things that are celery/lime green, purple, and orange. Crazy lady? Visions of my own mortality? Who can say? But if I had the big box of crayons today I think I'd be leaning toward big, bright and beautiful colors. Awesome!

  3. Yikes! The only color from the big box.....
    no more red bull this late in the day.

  4. I loved everything about those crayons that came in the big box, lined up like soldiers in a reviewing stand. The smell. The thick layer of color you got when you presed hard, or the way you could unwrap the side and rub it on the paper to get a sort of color-wash effect. Remember the little crayon sharpener in box? Favorite color: magenta (I'll bet that's what Susannah means...and I DO wear that color, a lot). Remember the politically incorrect "flesh" color?

    Crayons are one of those memories like M&Ms...I mourn the demise of those light brown ones. And now there are blue M&Ms? What were they thinking (or maybe smoking)??

    - Hallie

  5. Burnt sienna -- now it's funny how well I remember that color, too. It's a name that sticks from childhood, like Nancy Drew's titian hair.

    Magenta! That's the ticket! You're right,Hallie.

    Deep Thoughts: But did Magenta, in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, have burnt-sienna-colored hair?

    Deep Thoughts (2): What exactly was the effect on the child who ate crayons and paste almost every day of his waking kindergarten life in the seat next to mine? Is he a colorful character these days? Or profoundly constipated? Did the left nostril suffer permanent damage after he shoved a perfectly good orange crayon up his nose?

  6. Was there anything better than opening up a new box of Crayolas (any size) and smelling them? And there they were, all lined up neatly, all pristine and perfect, just waiting for you.

    My daughter in elementary school took a tour of the Crayola factory in Pennsylvania--I was jealous.

    And does anyone remember when they had a "flesh" color?