Articles & Features
2004 Review - The year in crayons
What can I say about 2004 but, wow! It brought the crayon collectors club together and 2004 had more impact for Crayola collectors than it did for other crayon collectors and might go down as the “golden age” of Crayola crayon collecting. While Binney & Smith items showed up in the top 20 more than ever this year, not a lot of really unique older items surfaced. Still, it had been a few years since a Rubens Crayola 12ct box had surfaced and given the $234.50 auction price, you could really see that the demand was pent up on that one. But the Colors of Binney & Smith tins were still commanding a high price and there were a couple of items that made it on the list due to overzealous bidding. There is no way a mint Crayola No 480 is worth $223! I think you call it the year of the Binney & Smith connections. What started out as my experiment to contact all the sellers of the “Colors of Binney & Smith” employee tin, turned into a windfall of new collectors and crayons boxes from the 1980s and later to surface. Where there were no Gem Tones boxes showing up before, suddenly there would be half a dozen showing up this year. Same with Silver Swirls, Retro’s and a host of other obscure but more recent Crayola boxes. Beyond the top 20, we found that the wooden figures from Brodhaven Mfg and others have really skyrocketed in price. While only one made this year’s list, virtually every other one sold this year went for between $50 and $150. Two years earlier you could get them for $15-$50.
The top 20 crayon auctions for 2004 were:
1. $621.01, Toonerville Trolley Crayon Box, 3/17/04
2. $300.00, Superman Crayon by Number, 4/8/04
3. $256.06, My Scotty (rockered box), 9/28/04
4. $255.00, Colors of Binney & Smith Tin, 5/2/04
5. $234.50, Rubens Crayola No 12, 11/7/04
6. $223.75, Crayola No 480 (the arched text one), 1/23/04
7. $207.50, Crayola wooden box (marketing promo) 7/26/04
8. $202.49, Alice's Crayons, 10/24/04
9. $177.50, Munsell Crayola No 22M, 6/24/04
10. $169.00, Crayola No 72 Drawing Crayons (white box sealed), 1/22/04
11. $164.03, Crayla No 82 (the holster), 2/25/04
12. $150.00, Colors of Binney & Smith Tin, 1/8/04
13. $149.50, Brodhaven Horse (wooden figure), 3/31/04
14. $148.49, Creston Giant No 76, 8/23/04
15. $142.50, Crayola Jungle Cigar Box, 12/8/04
16. $138.50, Colors of Binney & Smith Tin, 1/1/04
17. $132.49, Penguin No 308, 8/15/04 (bummer for this guy as it eventually got down to $15 for other ones)
18. $115.01, Crayola No 72 Drawing Crayons (white box sealed), 5/22/04
19. $112.50, Munsell Crayola No 12M, 5/29/04
20. $105.83, Crayola Kindergarten Outfit No 50, 11/15/04
Some comments about the top 20:
- Interestingly, another Toonerville box came up shortly after the record price (which is the highest for crayons this decade) but didn't hit reserve at $206
- Superman's have been on the list every year and usually about the same price. I got an empty box for $15 and later got the crayons for another $15. That’s one way to save several hundred and still get this.
- Don't know what happened with the My Scotty...I got one for $50 just two years earlier. You just don’t see a lot of these rocker type boxes, I think I only know of about 6 different ones that exist.
- Still three of those Binney & Smith employee tins made the list. I bet you don't even see one on the list this year. Can you say over rated?!
- The Creston seemed to be a bidding war. I picked up a similar box for $26 earlier in the year….which is around the price these should go for.
- The Alice’s Crayons box was a spectacular box that has never surfaced before. I’m afraid I ran it up to that amount but in the end didn’t win it…probably went to an Alice in Wonderland collector.
- The Wooden promo box of 48 crayons from Binney & Smith is a real odd one. Nobody with B&S connections had ever seen or heard of it even though on the box it claimed to be x number of 1000. It just looked too fishy for me to invest that much money into. It didn’t seem very “Binney & Smithish” if there is such a phrase. Still, if it is legit, it probably won’t be surfacing anytime soon.
- One of the bigger surprised was the Crayola No 82 which was shaped like a holster. This 1960s item is the first time it has surfaced, which is amazing because it’s not that old of an item and the reusable Crayola containers show up from time to time. Secondly, the condition of this item was amazing…not even used. It truly deserved to be in the top 20, which is something I can only say about 8 of the top 20.
- The Crayola Jungle Cigar Box shouldn’t have ever made it this high…it was another bidding war.
- Personally, I think that the prices of the white No 72 Drawing crayon boxes are too high. Yes, they are mint and sealed but still, we’ve had probably 4 of them surface now in this condition and that’s too high a price for something not that old and that available.
- I still think the Munsell boxes deserve to make the list. They just don’t show up that much and rarely are they in good condition.
And here are some items that came out of 2004 that I thought deserved another look even though the price didn’t get them in the top 20: