ccheader.tif

homesmall.tifcrayolasmall.tifcompaniessmall.tifarticlessmall.tif

Craft House Corporation
Toledo, OH
1951 - Current

Aliases

 

Palmer Paint Co. 1951-1953
Craft Master 1953-1955
Craft Master (subsidiary of Donfrio Bros.) 1955-1965

Craft Master (subsidiary of General Mills Fun Group Inc.) 1965-1985

Craft Master (subsidiary of Kenner Parker Toys Inc,) 1985-1987

Craft Master (subsidiary of Tonka Corporation), 1987-1991
Craft Master (subsidiary of Hasbro), 1991-1994
Craft House Corporation, (subsidiary of International Assemblix) 1994-1996

Craft House Corporation (subsidiary of RPM Inc.) 1996 - 1997

Craft House Corporation (subsidiary of Brynwood Partners LP) 1997 - 2006

Craft House Corporation (subsidiary of Chartpak Inc.), 2006-Current

 

Locations                                                                                         

 

Detroit, MI

Toledo, OH

 

History

 

The story of Craft Master that morphed into Craft House is a long one of multiple ownerships.  But through it all, the familiar logo can be found on countless products.  And whether that logo says Craft Master or Craft House just determines the age of the product as it went through its metamorphosis.  The original idea of Craft Master came from Dan Robbins who was employed at Palmer Paint Co. out of Detroit, MI.  Dan remembered that even Michelangelo pre-assigned colors for his students to color on specific paintings and he wondered if that could be adapted into an art product to sell.

 

Pitching it to Palmer Paint Co. took some time.  It wasn’t until 1951 that the first paint-by-number showed at the New York Toy Show.  The first prototype was not the famous “boat in the water” one most of us are familiar with (called “The Fisherman”).  The first one was rejected by Palmer Paint as “not only not sellable but ugly as well.”

 

https://www.paintbynumbermuseum.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/29y.jpg?itok=4brfZl6n
  

 

The kits weren’t an immediate success though.  It took them two years to go from not being able to give them away to being the era’s equivalent of a viral product.  At first it was Palmer Paint Co. itself that created problems by mixing up the paints for various kits causing a bad quality reputation.  Eventually Dan Robbins resolved the issues and morphed the business into Craft House.  Their first turning point was a successful demonstration at the New York Toy Fair in 1951 and getting Macy’s on board at the same time.  They even paid people to buy the sets at the fair to ensure a success!

 

Their only competitor was a company called Picture Craft, who sold similar kits even before they started with their idea.  However, the end result was a surprise with the Picture Craft product and by 1953 they were out of business giving sole focus to Craft House.  There were still problems though.  They didn’t price the kits high enough and took a financial hit during their first two years.  By 1955 though, they had converted from canvas kits to their more familiar board containing light blue outlines.  They switched from oil paint to acrylic paint and brought their cost of production down.  Even though they were selling a lot of kits, the financial woes of the previous few years put them in so much debt that they ended up having to sell out to the Donofrio brothers of Toledo, Ohio, whose company had been supplying the containers for Palmer paints and the Craft Master kits.  As they didn’t want the kits to go away and impact their own business, they just bought the company.

 

By 1965 General Mills convinced them to sell out the business and run it under their new General Mills Fun Group nonfood company they were forming.  General Mills climb to the top of U.S. toy production began in a short span. General Mills went on a buying spree from 1961 to 1969, purchasing 37 companies – mostly nonfood companies.  Its formidable toy business began in 1965 with the acquisition of Rainbow Crafts, makers of Play-Doh modeling compound.  They bought Kenner Products in 1967, and Parker Brothers, makers of the board game Monopoly, in 1968.  That created a bit of an ongoing problem though in that they spent the better of 9 years in court for Parker Brothers against the Anti-Monopoly game.  It went all the way to the Supreme Court who ultimately said they did not have a “monopoly” on the word monopoly!  Craft Master was run under their Fundimensions subsidiary company.

 

Ultimately, General Mills divested their toy division in 1985 which then created Kenner Parker Toys Inc. as a separate company.  This was the start of a succession of buyouts.  Tonka Corporation bought them out in 1987 and then Hasbro bought them in 1991.  Craft Master ended up with International Assemblix, now called Craft House.  Craft House is currently run by Chartpak, Inc., and doesn’t use the Craft Master name anymore.  Instead, they use the Craft House with the old Craft Master logo.

 

Along the way with all of these owners, many crayon products were produced under the Craft Master and Craft House names.  Everything from crayon boxes to crayon-by-number set to various art kits got made.  The Hot Wheels figure crayon sets are a particularly difficult line to document.  They offered up eight different cars.  There were two different configurations on what cars were in the package and then there were six different colors that any one of the cars can have.  They didn’t use any uniformity to which cars were in which positions either.  If a collector wanted, they could identify dozens of configurations between all these attributes.  What I have done here is to include sets that offer up a unique color of the cars and a unique set.   I don’t have all possible color combinations for each set documented yet but I am only missing two car colors.  Perhaps over time they will all surface.  For now, here is a breakdown of documented colors:

 

Sol-Aire CX4:  Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Red, Purple (missing yellow)

Shadow Jet:  Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow

Fangster:  Black, Blue, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow (missing green)

Sharkruiser:  Black, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Purple, Yellow

Camaro:  Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow

Classic Cobra:  Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow

Corvette:  Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow

Bywayman:  Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow

Known Crayon Boxes

 

Product Name

ID

Box

Colors

Crayons

Box Color

Design

Variation

Years

Rarity

Value

Barbie

CH0005

HPP

6

6

Red

Barbie logo angled

Fanned shaped crayon, car shaped below

1990

4

$5

Barbie Crayon By Number

CH0002

TBH

8

8

Pink

6 overlapping cards

Big hair Barbie upper right

1991

7

$7

Barbie Crayon By Number

CH0028

TBH

8

8

Pink

6 overlapping cards

Barbie in Circle upper right

1992

7

$7

Batman

CH0006

HPP

6

6

Red

Batman logo angled

Fanned shaped crayon, car shaped below

1990

7

$7

Batman Crayon By Number

CH0023

TT

8

8

Red

6 overlapping cards

Batman wing logo

1989

5

$7

Batman Crayon By Number

CH0024

TBH

8

8

Yellow

6 cards

Batman

1990

8

$12

Batman Forever Crayon By Number

CH0026

TBH

8

8

Black

6 sets of cards

Batman logo

1995

5

$7

Batman the Animated Series Crayon By Number

CH0025

TBH

8

8

Blue

6 sets of cards

Batman

1992

6

$7

Cabbage Patch Kids

CH0004

HPP

5

5

Cream,Green

Arched Cabbage Patch logo

Five character shaped crayons

1984

5

$5

Color Me Super Powers Coloring Set

CH0015

HPP

6

6

Blue

Large crayon shaped tube

Contents at left

1985

5

$5

<The> Dukes of Hazzard Coloring Posters

CH0013

HPP

8

8

Orange

The General Car

Circle with stars, posters below

1981

7

$50

Empire Strikes Back Color n’ Clean Machine

CH0020

LID

4

4

Black/Blue

Empire Strikes Back logo

Boy with machine

1980

7

$30

Flintstones Crayon By Number

CH0061

TBH

8

8

Purple

6 sets overlapping cards

Flintstones on cards

1990s

7

$10

Godzilla Crayon By Number

CH0008

TBH

8

8

Purple

Godzilla head

6 sets of colorings

1995

6

$5

Hook Crayon By Number

CH0022

TBH

8

8

Brown

6 overlapping cards

Hook

1991

7

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0034

HPP

4

4

Yellow,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Black, Cobra Blue, Corvette Purple, Camaro Orange

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0035

HPP

4

4

Blue,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Yellow, Sol-AIre Black, Sharkruiser Green, Shadow Jet Red

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0036

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Purple, Cobra Black, Corvette Orange, Camaro Blue

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0037

HPP

4

4

Blue,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Blue, Cobra Orange, Corvette Black, Camaro Purple

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0038

HPP

4

4

Blue,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Black, Sol-AIre Red, Sharkruiser Yellow, Shadow Jet Green

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0039

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Blue, Sol-AIre Black, Sharkruiser Orange, Shadow Jet Purple

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0040

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Black, Cobra Yellow, Corvette Red, Camaro Green

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0041

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Purple, Sol-AIre Orange, Sharkruiser Black, Shadow Jet Blue

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0042

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Yellow, Sol-AIre Black, Sharkruiser Green, Shadow Jet Red

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0043

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Orange, Sol-AIre Blue, Sharkruiser Purple, Shadow Jet Black

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0044

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Black, Sol-AIre Purple, Sharkruiser Blue, Shadow Jet Orange

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0045

HPP

4

4

Blue,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Red, Sol-AIre Green, Sharkruiser Black, Shadow Jet Yellow

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0046

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Orange, Cobra Purple, Corvette Blue, Camaro Black

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0047

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Green, Cobra Red, Corvette Yellow, Camaro Black

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0048

HPP

4

4

White,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Yellow, Cobra Green, Corvette Black, Camaro Orange

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0049

HPP

4

4

Blue,Black

Bywayman Set

Bywayman Red, Cobra Black, Corvette Green, Camaro Yellow

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels

CH0050

HPP

4

4

Blue,Black

Fangster Set

Fangster Black, Sol-AIre Purple, Sharkruiser Blue, Shadow Jet Orange

1990s

4

$7

Hot Wheels Crayon By Number

CH0057

TBH

8

8

Blue

Hot Wheels Logo

5 crayon cars, 6 overlapping cards

1990s

5

$7

Hot Wheels Poster Crayon Set

CH0051

HPP

5

5

Blue

Visible Crayon Cars in Row

2 Posters, Drawing

1990s

6

$15

Lambchop Crayon By Number

CH0058

TBH

8

8

Purple

Lambchop Banner

Lambchop with sun

1990s

6

$7

Little Mermaid

CH0001

HPP

5

5

Blue,Green

Arial upper left

Five character shaped crayons

1989

5

$7

Little Mermaid Crayon By Number

CH0055

TBH

8

8

Blue

Red Angled Banner

6 overlapping cards

1989

5

$7

Little Mermaid Crayon By Number

CH0056

TBH

8

8

Blue

Ariel

4 overlapping cards

1989

5

$7

Looney Tunes Crayon By Number

CH0009

TT

9

9

Green,Red

Scene

Characters in disc, overlapping drawings

1990s

6

$7

Marsupilami Crayon By Number

CH0012

TBH

8

8

Orange

Scene

Marsupilami laughing, 2 crayon pics

1990s

5

$7

Mickey’s Crayon By Number

CH0027

TBH

8

8

Red

6 overlapping card

Mickey’s Stuff logo

1990s

6

$7

Mickey's Gallery

CH0003

HPP

5

5

White

Mickey

Mock window, number lower left

1984

6

$5

Mickey’s Gallery Crayon By Number

CH0054

TBH

8

8

White

Red Border

2 sets of 4 overlapping cards, Mickey

1980s

6

$7

Minnie ‘n Me Crayon By Number

CH0053

TBH

8

8

White

Blue Border

6 overlapping cards, Minnie

1980s

7

$10

NASA Apollo Crayon by Number

CH0028

TBH

8

8

Blue

6 Overlapping cards

Stars, astronaught

1990s

5

$5

NASA Pathfinder Crayon by Number

CH0011

TBH

8

8

Red,Blue

Craft House Logo

Pathfinder launching, overlapping drawings

1990s

5

$5

NASA Space Shuttle Crayon by Number

CH0052

TBH

8

8

Blue

8 Overlapping cards

Space Shuttle launching

1990s

5

$5

<The> Peril of Mickey Double Pop-Out Crayon By Number

CH0030

TT

8

8

Green,Blue

Mickey’s Stuff Logo

2 posters, Mickey swinging

1990s

8

$10

Return of the Jedi Clip-A-Long Crayon Holder

CH0016

HPP

1

1

Gray

Visible Product

R2D2

1983

6

$7

Rub ‘n Color

CH0033

HPP

8

8

Blue,Purple

Visible Product

Blue & Green tablet

1990s

7

$5

Spider-Man Crayon By Number

CH0060

TBH

8

8

Black

6 sets overlapping cards

Spider-Man top

1990s

6

$7

Star Wars Poster Art

CH0007

HPP

8

8

Black

2 Posters

Yoda

1980

7

$20

Strawberry Shortcake Clip-A-Long Crayon Holder

CH0017

HPP

1

1

Red,Green

Red border

Outdoor path, visible product

1980

7

$5

Strawberry Shortcake Color n’ Clean Machine

CH0021

LID

4

4

Red

Arched text

Girl with machine

1980

7

$15

Strawberry Shortcake Fun Maker Activity Set

CH0018

LID

4

4

Red

Arched text

Contents of kit

1980

7

$20

Strawberry Shortcake Coloring Posters

CH0019

TT

8

8

Red

Strawberry

2 posters

1981

7

$7

Terminator 2 Crayon By Number

CH0031

TBH

8

8

Blue,Gray

Terminator

Try Me Window

1991

6

$7

Terminator 2 Crayon By Number

CH0032

TBH

8

8

Blue

6 Overlapping cards

Terminator

1991

5

$7

Willow Crayon By Number Set

CH0014

TT

8

8

Black

6 overlapping cards

Willow above

1988

5

$7

WCW Wrestling

CH0059

TBH

8

8

Blue

6 overlapping cards

2 Wrestlers

1990s

4

$5

World Wrestling Federation Crayon By Number

CH0010

TBH

8

8

Black

Blue Line Border

Wrestler above overlapping drawings

1990

5

$5

 

Photos

 

 

 

Mickey's Gallery - 5 characters.jpg

Cabbage Patch Kids - 5 characters.jpg

CH0001

CH0002

CH0003

CH0004

 

 

Barbie - 6 characters.jpg

 

Batman - 6 character colors.jpg

CH0005

CH0006

CH0007

CH0008

 

 

 

CH0009

CH0010

CH0011

CH0012

 

 

 

CH0013

CH0014

CH0015

CH0016

 

 

 

CH0017

CH0018

CH00019

 

 

 

CH0020

CH0021

 

 

 

CH0022

CH0023

CH0024

CH0025

 

 

 

CH0026

CH0027

CH0028

CH0029

 

 

 

CH0030

CH0031

CH0032

 

 

 

CH0033

CH0034

CH0035

CH0036

 

 

Hot Wheels (w orance etc.) - 4 cars.jpg

 

Hot Wheels (w red etc) - 4 cars.jpg

CH0037

CH0038

CH0039

CH0040

 

 

 

CH0041

CH0042

CH0043

CH0044

 

 

 

CH0045

CH0046

CH0047

CH0048

 

 

 

CH0049

CH0050

CH0051

CH0052

 

 

 

CH0053

CH0054

CH0055

CH0056

 

 

 

CH0057

CH0058

CH0059

CH0060

 

 

 

CH0061