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Colorforms
Norwood, NJ
1951 - 1997

Alternative Names

 

Toy Biz - 1997 to 1998

University Games - 1998 to current

 

History

 

The Colorforms company began in 1951 when Harry and Patricia Kislevitz began experimenting with a new flexible vinyl like material that ultimately got molded into many licensed characters and other things with a brand that continues to this day.  But Colorforms did more than just their trademark product.  They also, in their own words, “woke up a sleeping giant” in Crayola when in 1974 they introduced their Color n’ Play sets.  They didn’t want the usual cheap low quality crayons in their sets and so the used the gold standard, an actual 8-color Crayola box in their sets.  The initial designs were the familiar Crayola chevron designs and that was the beginning of Crayola’s (then Binney & Smith) move towards trademarking their chevron design and also waking up from just selling their brand crayons to actually doing more things with their crayons.  Crayola Craft showed up shortly after Colorform’s rollout and eventually Colorforms had to first design a non-chevron box and then later remove the Crayola crayons entirely and source their own crayons.  The Color n’ Play sets from 1974 morphed into a redesign that they renamed Color and Re-color in 1977.  They kept the Color n’ Play line but with completely new designs from even the original ones they redesigned.  Not everything early on contained Crayola crayons though.  They had a couple of boxes that they used in the late 1950s with a couple of their coloring sets.  They also did a few crayon-by-number sets as well.  And in 1979 they did a Mickey Mouse Colorola set.  Colorola was a brand from Norstar Corp. that went out of business in 1971.  Perhaps Colorform acquired the brand at or after their demise.

 

Ultimately Colorforms was bought by Toy Biz in 1997 and then University Games bought them from Toy Biz the very next year in 1998.  Since their inception, more than a billion Colorforms play sets have been sold.  Their coloring sets are rarer.

 

Known Crayon Boxes

 

Product Name

ID

Box

Colors

Crayons

Box Color

Design

Variation

Years

Rarity

Value

Barbie Color and Play

CFM0019

LID

8

8

White

Pink Line Border

Girl with Barbies

1977

6

$15

Barbie Color and Re-color

CFM0010

LID

8

8

White

Pink Line Border

Girl with Barbies

1977

6

$15

Barbie Color n’ Play

CFM0020

LID

8

8

Yellow

Pink Line Border

Crayola chevron design, girl

1974

7

$20

Bozo the Clown Color n’ Play

CFM0015

LID

8

8

Yellow

Red Line Border

Crayola chevron design

1977

7

$20

Cabbage Patch Kids Color n’ Play

CFM0013

TT

6

6

Yellow

Yellow Oval

Cabbage Patch Kid holding set

1985

5

$10

Colorforms

CFM0021

TT

6

6

Yellow

Double lines

Colorforms logo, used in art sets

1986

7

$10

Crayons

CFM0004

TFT

4

4

Green

Girl with Crayon

From the Girls, Girls, Girls set

1958

7

$5

Crayons

CFM0017

TFT

4

4

Purple

Sheriff’s Badge

3 crayons, from GGBG set

1958

7

$5

Famous Heroes Color and Re-color

CFM0005

LID

8

8

White

Red Line Border

Boy at table with Super heroes

1977

7

$20

Famous Heroes Color and Play

CFM0018

LID

8

8

White

Red Line Border

Boy at table

1977

7

$20

Famous Heroes Color n’ Play

CFM0006

LID

8

8

White

Blue Line Border

Crayola chevron design, boy

1974

7

$20

Girls, Girls, Girls Coloring Set

CFM0007

LID

4

4

Red,White

Split colors

Girl with balloons, girl drawing

1958

8

$20

Good Guys and Bad Guys Crayon Coloring Set

CFM0001

LID

6

6

Orange,Cream

Mock crayons

Old West town, gun fight

1958

8

$15

Holly Hobbie Color n’ Play

CFM0002

TT

8

8

Multicolor

Patterned

Frame of Holly coloring

1977

8

$10

Holly Hobbie Color and Re-color

CFM0009

LID

8

8

White

Brown Line Border

Holly Hobbie with dolls

1977

6

$10

Lambchop Color By Number

CFM0016

TBH

8

8

Blue

Red Oval

Lambchop

Unknown

6

$10

Mickey Mouse Colorola

CFM0008

LID

8

8

Blue

White Line Border

Mickey with set

1979

7

$25

Pound Puppies Color n’ Play

CFM0011

TT

6

6

White

Fence background

Puppy coloring on set

1986

5

$10

Pound Puppies Color n’ Play

CFM0014

TT

6

6

Yellow

Red Line Border

Puppy coloring on set

1987

5

$10

Wuzzles Color n’ Play

CFM0012

TT

6

6

White

Yellow oval

Elephant

1985

5

$10

X-Men Crayon by Number

CFM0003

TBH

8

8

White

Comic Book

X-Men lower left

Unknown

5

$7

 

Photos

 

 

 

CFM0001

CFM0002

CFM0003

CFM0004


 

 

CFM0005

CFM0006

CFM0007


 

 

CFM0008

CFM0009

CFM0010

CFM0011

CFM0012


 

 

CFM0013

CFM0014

CFM0015

CFM0016

CFM0017


 

 

CFM0018

CFM0019

CFM0020

CFM0021