Easton, Pennsylvania’s Binney & Smith continues to inject new color into its Crayola brand with a couple of new proprietary patents hitting U.S. retail in late 2005 and early 2006.
First up is Crayola Color Explosion, which builds on the crayon-based scratch art that many of you may remember from your kindergarten days. But instead of scratching away at a top layer of crayon and leaving messy chunks of black wax in your wake, Color Explosion has multi-colored pages coated with black ink and a special marker that kids can use to unveil it without muss or fuss.
Global licensing manager Rick Goralnick says Color Explosion is slated for a late 2005 debut, and the line will consist of generic kits that come with an 8.5×10-inch spiral-bound book of paper and markers for between US$8.99 and US$12.99. Crayola also has a line of CE accessories in the works, including templates, stencils and other types of drawing aids that may lend themselves well to licenses.
Crayola’s Color Catcher brings the precision of velvet art (those fuzzy ‘velvet’ posters that kids colored in with markers) to painting. The new technology starts with black-and-white line art printed on a silk-like fabric and then adhered to a corrugated board. Kids dip a wet paintbrush into a watercolor paint palette and dab whatever area of the picture they want to color. The paint will then spread until it meets up with the lines of black ink on the print, which makes staying in the lines easier than ever – even for the unsteady hands of toddlers.
The product will launch in spring ’06 sporting Nickelodeon characters including SpongeBob, and each standard-sized print will come with a brush and an eight-color paint set for around US$5.99. There are plans to add additional sizes from postcard to giant poster to the mix as the line develops.
Goralnick is looking for licenses to apply to both new lines, and he typically favors preschool, evergreen and TV properties that could work across a range of Crayola products. However, he adds that executing a limited-window license for a single property and product is not out of the question, especially if the property appeals to a demo Crayola’s looking to boost business in. For example, the brand started adding superheroes such as Spider-Man and Batman to its mix in ’04 to better connect with boys.