Thursday, October 24, 2013

Apples and Oranges sure are hard to compare :: Prang Ticonderoga Product Review

Disclosure: Compensation was provided Dixon Ticonderoga company
Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative 
of the opinions or positions of Dixon Ticonderoga.

So, I might have hinted to much of what conclusions were drawn with this review simply by the very cliched title I selected but... well... here's the review. 

It's another Prang vs. Crayola showdown and I am impressed (yet again) that Prang opted to send me a Crayola brand product instead of Rose Art or something. I feel like this says a lot about Prang's confidence in their product and I really appreciate that. Upon initial inspection of the packaging it's almost like looking at some throwback (of just a couple days but still) pictures of the marker review. Everything I noted before of the packaging is about the same but this time Prang didn't trump Crayola's palette by more colors... or wait... does it actually?

It's kind of hard to tell but Prang actually does have two more colors than Crayola has because the Prang set has metallic pencils that they included. In the picture below you can only see the silver but they also included gold. Crayola also had a white pencil and Prang didn't have that but I could do without a white pencil if I can get TWO metallics instead.

The Prang pencils are obviously larger than the Crayola ones. I thought the larger size would bother me but I actually didn't mind it at all. It did make me feel like I was back in kindergarten writing with a "chubby" pencil though.

Something else interesting about the Prang pencils are that they are triangular in shape rather than being perfectly round. I mean, they are more like rounded and triangular but still? They have three sides (even though the picture below makes it hard to see that) and this design makes it less likely that they will roll around the table. I like this A LOT. Crayola, take notes from Prang because this is a very good idea!!

Another thing I noticed about both coloring pencils was the fact that while Prang had multiple languages/translations on their packaging, both companies had multiple languages stamped on their actual pencils indicating the color names.

Moving on, here are the pencil sets in action.  The color written indicates the color used from each palette. Prang is on the left and Crayola is on the right. If there is a color that seems to be missing (and corresponds with the opposing palette) it's not there because the set didn't include it.

Right off the bat I will note that the colored lead from Prang lays itself down on the paper almost like crayon does. This is a weird way to describe this but I don't know how else to say it. I guess perhaps the Prang lead is a little bit softer? That makes a little more sense in terms of me describing colored pencils, I guess. Care to see them in action more than just in writing? I thought so. Here is something more in order to see the colors and how they perform on paper...

Pardon the wonky-ness of the Crayola side. It was supposed to be symmetrical over the whole rainbow. 

While it's hard to see the colors for what they really look like, immediately it should be noticeable that the violets are very different from one another. The other colors? I feel like they look pretty close to the same. The greens and blues have a different sort of color tone to them and the marks that were made? Well, the Crayola seemed to lay out in a more smooth way but the Prang allowed for building of color to happen a lot more quickly and easily. Let's look at how they work when coloring colors over colors.

For this, I used red on the bottom layer and blue on the top layer for both. As you can see, the Prang seems to color over the red and still maintain it's original color better than the Crayola does. Prang's layer is also much more dense in person to the point where (again) it reminds me of a good quality crayon.

 I also tried out the pencil sharpener that came in the Prang pack. It's actually pretty decent little hand sharpener and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was a standard size/shape and I had no issue sharpening the triangular and larger Prang colored pencils. You can also see that I got a pretty impressive point on the Prang pencil without it breaking off in the sharpener - which is what Crayola's did which is why it looks so dull and short even though it was just sharpened.

One last thing that I did was to test out the gold and silver metallic pencils from the Prang set. I don't have anything from Crayola to compare it to otherwise I would have included them in this color off as well!

The gold is on the left and the silver is on the right. I couldn't get the image color corrected the way I wanted it but know that in person these metallics are pretty decent for all accounts and purposes. This alone makes me that much more of a fan of the Prang set over the Crayola set but if this is saying that Prang won? It was only barely I feel like.

If I were to pick a winner for this one, I would say that Prang would get it and for reasons that Crayola wasn't even able to "compete" with like the fact that the free sharpener from Prang was a pretty decent little hand sharpener or the pencils are triangular so they don't roll all around the table or Prang had metallics and Crayola didn't. In terms of everything else though - color and line/mark quality from the pencils themselves. *shrug* I guess it depends on what is more important to you to decide which one is better. I am ALL about the extra swag (can I say that?) which Prang brought. I mean even the extra colored pencils to make it an even more open palette of colors were METALLICS and I love metallics. Is it unfair to judge Crayola on elements that they didn't even have a way to compete? All's fair in love and art. 

And that's the end of the reviews! Tomorrow I'm doing a giveaway of one specific thing that I bought (and was not compensated with_ to share with YOU of Prang products and I only now love them because Dixon Ticonderoga (Prang) was so kind to send them to me to review in the first place. Come back tomorrow to see what's up for grabs and how to enter and win!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided Dixon Ticonderoga company
Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative 
of the opinions or positions of Dixon Ticonderoga.

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