Crayola’s classic crayon box is going to be a little less sunny.
The popular Pennsylvania-based coloring company says it will boot Dandelion from the company’s 24-count crayon box—the first time it has “retired” a color from that box in the brand’s 104-year history. The move is being made to mark “National Crayon Day,” which is on Friday March 31. And while other crayon colors have been swapped in and out of the 24-count box over the years, this is the first time Crayola is officially “retiring” one of the classic colors.
And Crayola is planning to milk this change for all its worth. The company says it is doing to send Dandelion out on a “retirement tour” across the U.S. where an actual crayon mascot will pop up at various locations. One stop that’s already planned: Dandelion will be in New York City’s Times Square on Friday to mark the colorful holiday (and his demise from the 24-pack box).
The marketing move by Crayola is a savvy one to generate interest in a legacy brand at a time when kids are spending increasingly more time in front of electronic gadgets. It is reminiscent of a similar ploy by Monopoly maker Hasbro (HAS), which has removed several classic tokens in recent years and added newer, trendier pieces to replace them. Earlier this month ahead of World Monopoly Day (yes, every brand gets a day), Hasbro said it would kick out the thimble, boot and wheelbarrow to make room for the T-Rex, rubber ducky, and penguin.
Dandelion seems to be taking the whole thing in stride. In a video produced by Crayola that announced his retirement, the crayon said he’s helped “inspire creativity wherever I’ve traveled.” But added, “I think retirement is going to be my wildest adventure yet.”