HOLT, Fla., March 31—It’s official. Dandelion is leaving the box.
Crayola used March 31, National Crayon Day, to announce it is retiring its dandelion-colored crayon from all its crayon boxes.
But the retirement won’t happen overnight. The company is sending the yellow stick of wax on a four-week retirement tour, including the cities of Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.
Dandelion was introduced in 1990 as one of eight new colors to replace the retirement of eight older colors. Retired were maize, lemon yellow, blue gray, raw umber, green blue, orange red, orange yellow and violet blue. The eight new colors were dandelion, vivid tangerine, jungle green, cerulean, fuchsia, teal blue, royal purple and wild strawberry.
In 2003, more colors were retired as part of the company’s centennial celebration—blizzard blue, magic mint, mulberry and teal blue, a color that only lasted 13 years before falling out of favor. Four new colors were added: inchworm, mango tango, wild blue yonder and jazzberry jam.
Consumers rallied behind the burnt sienna color to save it from retirement. As an aside, the color flesh was changed to peach in 1962, for obvious reasons.
In the beginning
First marketed in 1903 by Binney & Smith Co., Crayola Crayons have been a staple in schoolrooms all over the country.
“Our company has inspired artistic creativity in children since the first box of Crayola crayons rolled off the assembly line in 1903,” according to a statement on the company’s website.
The wax coloring stick was developed by Edwin Binney and his wife Alice, who also named the new creation. Crayola comes from the French word “craie,” meaning chalk, and “ola” meaning oil.
The 64-box of crayons appeared on the scene in 1958 with a crayon sharpener included as part of the box. The most common retail crayon packs sold today are in multiples of eight, from eight to 120.
In 1998, Crayola Crayons were introduced into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester N.Y.
Based in Lehigh Valley, Penn, the company became a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards in 1984. In 2007, Binney & Smith Co. changed its name to Crayola, further branding its popular product.
Dandelion had a good run—27 years—and although the color is retiring, there’s still 120 colors in the box to choose from.