Ozark Outdoors

Dandelion Yellow will be retired by Crayola (no joke)

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A box of 24-count Crayolas is about to lose a shade of Dandelion Yellow, for reasons too gut-wrenching to explain here. Other shades of flaxen hues will remain, but this is a gardening web site, and other shades may not be the same.

In our never-ending quest to bring your the latest developments in all matters pertaining to gardening, it must be revealed that Crayola, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, is pulling one of its primary colors from the 24-count box of waxy crayons.

This all seems to be real news, and not the fake news or alternative truth variety. We should point out, however, that Saturday is April Fools Day. No doubt there will be alternative facts being thrown about like crisp $3 bills at the National Conference of Iranian Counterfeiters.

Dandelion Yellow is the latest color that will be “retired” from all Crayola products, the company confirmed in a tweet Thursday. Young and older colorists will presumably make due with other shades of flaxen shades, as there are several.  Crayola says the Dandelion color has been around for 27 years, and joined the 24-box 18 years ago. It joins numerous others in retirement, including Blizzard Blue, Magic Mint, Mulberry, and Teal Blue, which were dropped in 2003. Burnt Sienna got a reprieve that year after winning the “Save the Shade” contest held to celebrate the Crayola line’s 100th anniversary.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Crayola’s original eight colors, the U.S. Postal Service published a 32-cent first class stamp in 1998, five years ahead of time. In 1903, the eight-color box sold for 5 cents. Today, a similar eight pack runs about $1.20.

This isn’t the first time Crayola has retired a crayon color. In 1990, the company retired eight colors: maize, lemon yellow, blue gray, raw umber, green blue, orange red, orange yellow, and violet blue, and replaced by vivid tangerine, jungle green, cerulean, fuchsia, dandelion, teal blue, royal purple, and wild strawberry.

In 2003, as part of Crayola’s centennial celebration, the company retired blizzard blue, magic mint, mulberry, and teal blue. In a vote by consumers, burnt sienna was saved from retirement. The colors were replaced with inchworm, mango tango, wild blue yonder, and jazzberry jam.

These colors follow a pattern that extends from clothing colors (dust, fern, spruce, Scotch bonnet red) to trend house paint, the idea being to create more and more shades across the spectrum so that consumers have more “choices.” To name a few, there is shades such as Cove Point, Tibetan Jasmine, Picket Fence, White Dove and our favorite, Vladimir Putin Chernobyl Ashen Glow-in-the Dark Snowflake, although the decidedly thin quality of this white wash is always a concern.

This is what happens when the marketing people get their hands on the pallet. But perhaps we digress.

It seems Crayola wasn’t planning on revealing the color being cut until today, Friday, March 31, but made the announcement a day early after a Twitter user posted a photo of a 120-crayon box at a Target store with the words “Dandelion is retiring” on the side, according to the ever vigilant National Public Radio (NPR).

Crayola is still counting down to its National Crayon Day announcement today. The company will reveal a new addition to the box of 24 at an event in Times Square.

Crayola produces a broad range of products other than their famous crayons under the Crayola brand, including colored pencils, markers, inks and paints, modeling clays, coloring books and artists’ tools. They are all marketed as nontoxic and safe for use by children. Silly Putty, a bouncing silicone polymer used to entertain and amaze children of all ages, is also owned by Crayola. It was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2001, now located in Rochester, N.Y.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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