Prismacolor - Newell's or Sanford

I ordered 2 tins of Prismacolor from Amazon (1 for me, one to give as a gift) and noticed that one pack (apart from being hideously bashed) was marked with the ‘sanford’ brand, while the other had the ‘Newell’s’ brand. Everything I read on forums etc refer to Sanford Prismacolor, but google say that ‘Newell’s’ is the owner of Prismacolor.

My question is… is one tin old? or fake? or what?

Any help greatly appreciated…

by the way, Ramb

I was doing so random googling on colored pencils, and I ran into this very interesting post on prismacolor, specifically

this is from carrie lewis; whom is a very, very talented colored pencil artist

note this interesting passage;
"I started using Prismacolors back in the 1990s, when they were Berol Prismacolor. There was no better pencil so widely available (in the US at least) at reasonable prices. They were a high-quality pencil and problems like breaking leads, split casings, and off-center pigment cores were unheard of.

At least I never heard of them.

I had no problems with the pencils. They were perfect for the work I was doing, which was almost exclusively horse portraits.

Sometime since then, Prismacolor changed hands. Berol sold the brand to Sanford, which subsequently sold the brand to Newell-Rubbermaid. Manufacturing changed location and artists began having problems shortly afterward.

I used Prismacolor throughout all those changes, and to be honest, I had very few problems with them. One batch of Indigo Blue pencils were so gritty I couldn’t use them. Some pencils did break during sharpening or drawing, and there were a few that broke so much, they were useless.

I did discover (or maybe started noticing is a better way to say it) that quite a few pencils had off-center pigment cores, and I learned still later that sharpening problems often result from off-center cores.

More recently, I started finding pencils that were warped. Fortunately, I usually buy open stock from a local suppler, and learned how to check for warped pencils, so that problem was solved.

But overall, I’ve had relatively few problems with Prismacolor pencils.

Then came the spring of 2017."

she’s alluding to problems with lightfastness and I guess it has caused her to be pretty careful which colors she uses.

but I gather the takedown is that

  • there ARE some quality issues (sometimes)

  • changes in brand have often happened in this companies history and has made a difference in product quality

  • these colored pencils are widely used within the artistic community- but being less expansive, perhaps other products are better

for myself,I would make a fuss about the dented tin, I would.

I don’t think you should have to pay full price for a product is much more likely to have broken cores…

Thanks Jason - that actually answers a lot of the questions.

Prismacolor have a strange, almost cult type following within the artist community but, here in the UK, they’re certainly not ‘affordable’ - in fact they’re more expensive than Polychromos.

I’ve decided to return the tins based on the article and the fact I don’t want to accept a bashed tin of probably broken Sanford pencils, nor do I want a tin of Newell pencils based on the reported quality issues.

It’s a shame - I really want to try the Polychromos…

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