Articles & Features
Crayon-by-Number Sets - a Subset Collectible all its own
So what does constitute a "crayon" collectible? Certainly the crayon boxes are easy enough. But there are many other items that could be considered "in" as a valid crayon collectible. These include art or color sets where some crayons are packaged with paints, etc. to provide a complete art solution for your child. I guess any of these with crayons technically should be included into the crayon collecting world. The same goes for sets with crayons and stencils, crayons and coloring books or pages, and another category: crayon-by-number sets.
These boxes make a nice subset of the crayon collecting world. Most are easily on the pocketbook but some top out on the high end of the dollar spectrum (Superman, to name one, consistently hits the $200-$300 range). I haven't been able to gather much history on when these items first appeared but they seem to go back at least as early as the 1950s and could perhaps go even earlier. They are a spin-off of the color-by-number or paint-by-number sets that go even further back to the turn of the century.
All of these sets contain a theme (usually licensed characters), some crayons (either a box or a set set fit into a cardboard holder), and some drawings that you can color by following the numbers to determine which color to use.
Some of the tougher boxes to obtain are certainly a decent Superman box from Transogram. THe Beverly Hillbillies boxes are highly desirable and have great graphics and use of windows to show the crayons. You wouldn't be able to pick up one of these for less than $100 on Ebay. The NASA Apollo box is another example of a nice older version. I suspect that there are lots more great examples that I haven't discovered as of this writing that I hope to at least capture on this web site in the future.
In any case, this is a neat collection if you feel overwhelmed in collecting crayon boxes.