Review of Neon Ticonderogas.

This is more of a News Bulletin than a review — more of a Go Get Yours Now. At Target today, checking out their back-to-school offerings, I came across a pack of neon Dixon Ticonderoga pencils. These are made in Mexico and come pre-sharpened. They have the green and yellow ferrules and pink erasers we’ve come to expect. I paid $2.89 US for a pack of ten.
The package contains 10 pencils: two each of neon yellow, green, orange, pink and purple. Oddly, the yellow could fool one into thinking it’s a regular yellow pencil — and perhaps that something’s wrong with one’s eyes. Neon blue would have been nice instead, or even to make it an even dozen. But I suppose that no 80s throw-back product is really complete without neon yellow. In addition to stating that these are exclusive to Target, the label says that these pencils are made of “premium wood.” I have little idea of what this means. They look and sharpen like cedar but don’t smell like it. When I’m more awake, I’ll have to wear some down and do some sharpening and sniffing.
The cores are nice and smooth, yet firm. I haven’t gotten a chance to compare them to Chinese and Mexican stocks from recent runs since I wanted to get this up ASAP, before my daughter and her friends run off with all of these bright pencils and before Target sells out of them. But the leads seem to be as smooth as the Chinese Dixons I’ve encountered lately, which is a good thing — only less dark and smeary. They feel similar to the last American Ticonderogas to me, though I’ll have to try them more to confirm.
What’s perhaps most interesting, especially to Retro Grouch Comrades, is the recent addition/reintroduction of the word SOFT to the HB/#2 Ticonderoga pencils I’ve seen for sale this year. (I saw some yellow ones at Big Lots but left them there for some reason.) The printing is not as crisp as usual, but I like the reprise of the lead description.The simple graphics of today’s Dixon Ticondergas are nice, especially the lead number designation that is enclosed in the shape of the barrel’s cross-section. But the oddly…boastful printing of yore is missed, certainly.

Finally, an odd note: while Target sells a lot of Write Dudes pencils (most of the USA-made varieties), they do not sell those fat kids’ pencils I like. A lady we saw even checked with an employee. Bizarre. But if you like the Dixon Ticonderoga and very brightly colored pencils, these are a good catch. I have to squirrel away an orange one for camping/finding in my backpack.

12 thoughts on “Review of Neon Ticonderogas.”

  1. O. M. G. At first, I didn’t even read a thing. I just looked at the pictures. NEON. NEON. NEON. Then I went back and looked at the pictures again. I don’t even want to read. I just like the pictures. I’d buy them based on your pictures. So now I must go to Target, thank you!

  2. Aw man. These are rather garish (especially, I imagine, with the Ticonderoga ferrule factored in), but as a child of the 80s, I also find them strangely alluring and soothing, and I WANT SOME NOW.

    My travels yesterday evening took me by a Target, so I ran in, full of hope. I combed all the office supplies and back to school aisles. All in vain. They did have some silver metallic Write Bros. pencils which were tempting, but…no garish neon Ticonderogas. *snif*

  3. My problem with all Ticonderogas since they moved to Mexico and China is that the leads break very easily. I want to love this brand with the memories of school that it evokes but it just isn’t as good as it used to be. I do like some of these neon colors, though!

  4. Lead content in the neon colors coating the pencils would be my concern. Since they’re not made in the USA, bright colored items made in other countries can often have lead added to the mix to intensify the color. If there’s lead in the paint, it will be absorbed into the skin it is held, placed behind the ear or held in the mouth. Simple lead tests can be found at the hardware stores.

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