Seeing Red: Retirement of "Classic" Crayola Colors Upset Many

Air Date: 07/13/1990
Source:
NBC Today Show
Creator:
Katie Couric
Air/Publish Date:
07/13/1990
Event Date:
07/13/1990
Resource Type:
News Report
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
1990
Clip Length:
00:02:53

Crayola Crayons retires 8 "classic" colors, replacing them with 8 new, trendier colors. While some protest, children on factory tours are still captivated to see liquid (of whatever color) turn into solid crayons.

Seeing Red: Retirement of “Classic” Crayola Colors Upset Many

KATIE COURIC, co-host:

It isn't as divisive as the flag-burning issue, or as compelling as the baseball pennant races, but the news out of Easton, Pennsylvania, does strike at something basic in the memory of all Americans.

Unidentified Woman #1: It's pretty exciting to be caught up in something that's going on like this, something history making.

COURIC: More like a revolution.

Unidentified Woman #2: In response to what children have asked for, the company has developed the eight new shades.

Unidentified Man #1: That's one-eighth of the whole box, just gone. And I wasn't asked. I don't know anybody else that was asked, either.

COURIC: Things are abuzz in Crayola's normally peaceful color kingdom. For the first time in history, eight colors have been retired. Put away. Replaced by young, hot, fashionable ones with trendy names.

Unidentified Woman #3: Royal purple, we have teal blue, we have fuchsia, we have dandelion.

EMERSON MOSER (Crayon Maker): That makes me think of dandelion salad my mother used to make when I was a kid. It's new and it’s interesting.

COURIC: Controversy is being stirred up over the likes of cerulean and wild strawberry.

MONICA MIGLIAZZA (Consumer Representative): We have had people call and say, if it's not broke, why fix it? And this is just like what Coke did. And are you going to bring back the old colors? Are you going to have classic colors?

COURIC: Robert E. Pagani was so overcome by the loss of his old favorites that he formed the Committee to Re-establish All Your Old Norms, or CRAYON, and petitioned the company.

ROBERT PAGANI (Color Change Opponent): Growing up I can remember how much I wanted my folks to buy me the 64-color box. I may not have known what maize and raw umber were, but I wanted them. If I had children, I'd want them to want them, too.

DON CHEGWIDDEN (Color Chemist): If you look at kids' swimming suits, and you look at just colors more in vogue now, brighter, more intense colors. The customers are getting more value with these colors than they were with the old ones. But you take a case like raw umber and maize, even the blue-gray, this is basically refined dirt.

COURIC: Emerson Moser has been mixing, molding, and crafting crayons for 37 years

MOSER: What we got to bear in mind is what the children are going to feel about it. But I like when the tours come through and the little kids see the crayon. It looks liquid when it goes in, then it comes out solid. And their eyes get so big. I mean, it's really--makes you realize that there's more to it than just taking a crayon and coloring with it.

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