Today’s bold statement

By Mir
August 3, 2006

All of the stores near me are starting their back-to-school crazy specials, like spiral notebooks for a dime and such. While shopping yesterday for some other items, I took the kids to browse through school stuff and picked up a few things they’ll be needing.

I was feeling very good about myself, showing my daughter how to compare prices. (For example; she wanted the larger glue sticks which are twice the size of the others. But because the normal ones were on special and the large ones were not, I was able to make her understand that it was twice as much product for five times the price—not an acceptable ratio!)

We noticed that the Crayola crayons came in at a whopping twice the price of the generics. The generics were a dime a box, while the Crayolas run $.20. My daughter dutifully (and sadly) said that she supposed they would have to get the least expensive ones.

I thought about this for a moment, then grandly announced that she and her brother were certainly worth an extra dime apiece, because there really isn’t anything better than genuine Crayola crayons.

Moral of the story: Crayolas are the best, and my kids are worth at least $.20 apiece. Feel the love.


  1. I am delurking for a brief moment to say that there is no better crayon than a crayola crayon! The 20 cents is definitely worth it!!

  2. Sometimes you just gotta splurge. I wouldn’t go cheap on my coffee…so I can totally understand the need for real Crayola crayons.

  3. I did the same thing – had 2 boxes of the cheap crayons in my hand, then, after remembering how I felt when I was a kid and saw all the others with the Crayolas while I had the cheap ones, I put them back and spent the extra 10 cents each. Because, darn it, my kids are worth it too! (Then I bought them generic scissors. I can only go out of my comfort zone a little bit at a time.)

  4. That sounds just like me! Like I’m being so generous spending that extra dime!

  5. Good grief. I thought the point of all this deal hunting was to find good deals on stuff you actually WANTED. Crummy products at a good price aren’t bargains. Buy the Crayola crayons, the Fiskars scissors, the Big Chief tablets, the Elmer’s glue…all on sale…and feel GOOD sporting those big name labels. It’s Prada and Allen Edmonds for the little guy.

  6. My kids are older, who are pretty good at comparing prices – including unit costs. (Colour me a proud mama. With those nice Crayolas.) In order to teach them even MORE good money management, if they need something pricier – a scientific calculator, say – I’ll check out the flyers, etc., and give them enough cash for a good, no-frills, middle-of-the-road one. If they can find on that will do the job for less, they can keep the difference. If they simply MUST have the high-priced one with all the bells and whistles, they pay the difference.

    It’s amazing how optional some of those “essentials” become when the child is paying for them! 🙂

  7. Do kids really “get” that Crayola is “the” label? Fiskars and Elmers? At the age of five and six? If so, that makes me just a little sad… (No Prada in my closet, either. *This* does not make me sad.)

  8. As an expert in this field, I must say that there is no substitute for the delicious aroma of Crayola crayonz.

    I spent the extra money on the Crayolas at the store last week, but I went cheap and got the Rose Art coloring pencils. We’re good moms, aren’t we?

  9. Laura: In this case (not to say that my kids aren’t label-conscious about some other things, but then, my daughter is 1) a girl and 2) eight), it’s not about the label. We own a zillion crayons and the Crayola ones are clearly superior—they last longer, they color more evenly, they don’t shed little bits the way the others do.

    Though I do feel compelled to mention, now, that all the Crayola products this season are sporting “PREFERRED BY TEACHERS” labels which I think is an interesting and somewhat sleazy marketing tactic.

  10. There are certain times that buying the better brand is actually worth it. And with Crayola that is almost certainly the case. This time around (ESPECIALLY since the difference was so nominal), the adage, “You get what you pay for” actually applies.

    While, I agree somewhat with the “Preferred by Teachers” label may seem a bit sleezy, and perhaps it is because I am a bit biased towards Crayola over the cruddy other crayons, I think that if they have garnered the right (and I am assuming that there is at least one teachers union that is willing to back up that statement up) then they should be proud to be able to label the product as such.

  11. Speaking as a kindergarten teacher… the Crayolas are SO worth it! If nothing else, it will leave your teacher requesting one crayon replenishment throughout the year instead of two or maybe even three. So, in the end, you really did save money!! Good call!

  12. I’m with Yonzie–it’s all about the smell of those Crayolas. And they’re totally worth the extra money.

    When my sister and I were kids, my divorced mom didn’t have a lot of money. But we ALWAYS got the Crayolas–usually the 64-crayon box with the built-in sharpener. I’m sure there are “big” things that she did for us in the hopes that it would give us pleasant childhood memories. She probably never gave this a second thought, but it’s been 30 years and the smell of those crayons brings it all back in an instant.

  13. Me too! I bought the crayola crayons, they are better in the long run, I just cleaned out our art cabinet the other day and threw away all of the broken generics, we are left with tons of good crayolas that they are coloring with now 🙂 We are wonderful mommies!

  14. As a teacher (of much older kidlets) and a former little boy, let me say this – NOTHING melts as well as a Crayola on the window sill of a 1973 Ford Country Squire Gran Torino.

    I’ll kick in the extra $0.20 on our next date to make it up.

  15. Speaking as the mother of a 3-year-old and 10-month-old, it is definitely worth the premium to get Crayola *washable* crayons. Saves lots of work when the crayons get on the clothes, floors, carpet, etc. When my kids are a bit older, I may get past my determination that every crayon in my house MUST be a Crayola washable.

  16. I feel it.

  17. Crayola is the only brand I buy anymore. Sure, they cost a bit more, but they are far superior. Some things are worth the investment. After all, isn’t bargain shopping about getting more bang for your buck?

  18. For your extra money, Crayolas also provide additional entertainment value and vocabulary lessons. I didn’t realize that buying the big box of Crayolas would mean I’d have a kindergartener saying that his favorite color was “Copper. Last week it was orchid. The week before, my favorite was scarlet.” Not to mention wisteria, macaroni & cheese, burnt sienna, purple mountain majesty, and something I couldn’t figure out what he meant till he showed me the crayon (“Oh. That’s pronounced ‘cerulean’, honey.”).

  19. As a K teacher and mom of a soon to be K kid, I can assure any doubters that yes Crayola, Fiskers, and Elmers are the way to go! They are just so much better quality than the cheaper versions and will last much longer. Good choice Mir, that’s a smart shopper!

    Laura – no, the kids (or at least the age group I teach) don’t care in the slightest about the labels but it’s hard not to notice that by winter break the Crayolas (or at least the ones that haven’t been lost, broken, or stolen) are still going strong and the cheapie crayons have long since crumbled into a useless pile of wax shavings.

  20. I’ve been misunderstood. I only buy Crayola (and sometimes Prang), because they give better colour, and last longer. I have no idea what kind of scissors we have in my classroom, because they come in big, generic boxes. I could ask, if I wanted, because they too last forever. Or at least a year or more, which, in a class of 8-year-olds, is no mean feat.

    I was responding to the notion that we should buy the brands simply because they’re “brand labels” with no consideration of whether they’re, all marketing aside, truly worth the extra dollars. (But Crayolas ARE, I KNOW! I’m a BELIEVER!!)

  21. what _I_ want – no, NEED to know – is why on earth stores around HERE cannot run such crazy specials! Holy cow – I NEED CHEAP STUFF! and here? ha! there are no 10 or 20 cent ANYTHING TO BE FOUND….

    I’ma cry now.

  22. Sleazy marketing tactic? I’m going to join teh other teachers who responded. Quality counts! That cheap bottle of glue won’t seem like such a bargain when it clogs and the kid can’t use it. Look for the sales, buy a good quality now and stock up.

  23. The mysterious Otto is a teacher…more details leaked out. Soon he might even reveal his true identity?

    CRAYOLAS rule. From the forever-anal-retentive “Crayons must be sharp-pointed or thrown out” geek.

  24. Crayola crayons also work better when you want to take all those broken bits and melt them down to make new crayons. It’s something I love to do, and my kids love it as well. Neat shapes and colors to be had with broken bits! The generics simply don’t work. Only crayola! So, you get twice the usage out of them!!

  25. Amen on the Crayolas. Same for Crayola sidewalk chalk. No comparison.

  26. I bought both of the .10 and .20 cent boxes because we go thru crayons here like crazy. The .10 cent ones weren’t even worth .10! I picked one up to color with and it broke right in half on me! I hadn’t even gotten so much as a half inch line before, “Crack!”

    Crayola all the way!

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