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This box of 50 Sargent Art Colored Pencils (# 22-7251) is a well-above-average colored pencil product at a good price. As moods of colors go, the ones here are much more representative of the spectrum, its in-betweens and the neutrals, than the vivid kid-oriented brands like Cra-Z-Art, RoseArt or Crayola. All four of the above lines are physically of good quality, but the makeup of the leads ("color cores") in the Sargent Art colored pencils is a skosh closer to a real artist colored pencil (or "stick") than mass brands aimed at ages three and up. Here are some reasons why this pencil is so good, and why it may not be ideal for younger kids (ages 3 - 8, say):

PROS: -- Round barrels;
-- Accurate colors;
-- Solid wood barrels makes for good sharpening (but always use a handheld sharpener);
-- Pencils come pre-sharpened well, with hard conical points;
-- To get much "artier," more professional colored pencils cost a lot more than this set;
-- Adequate number of neutral and earth tones.

Yet there is a price to pay for pencils that have some of the temperament of adult or semi-pro colored pencils.
CONS: -- Some pencils will have different degrees of "drag" because in order to keep chromatic harmony among colors, the amount of clay and pigmentation must vary;
-- Therefore while the Sargents do not break easily, they will require varying degrees of pressure to lay down the same depth of color among colors;
-- They take a bit longer and require more caution to sharpen than brands like Cra-Z-Art, Crayola, RoseArt or Mercur, which makes it all the more important they be sharpened by hand;
-- Like most colored pencils, they don't have their own erasers. I have found mine erase best from art paper with an ovoid PaperMate Black Pearl eraser, gentle pressure, and some patience -- there are probably other erasers out there that perform well too.

SUMMARY: Don't give these to young children unless this specific brand is specified and the pencils are to be used under close supervision. While these Sargents require a bit more finesse and patience to use, they are a joy for representing the colors one would want four-dozen-plus pencils to represent (and are free of non-naturally-existing tones like "neon" or cute-sounding but vague names like "Mauvelous"). For tweens and older, including adults, these are a great pencil to pick up and just have fun with. These are nonetheless colored pencils and cannot be expected to blend well with each other. To get started on a higher standard, learn color-blending techniques (which usually require a separate blending pencil), and go for a deliberate trainer set like Prismacolor's "Scholars." If you want to jump higher, straight into semi-pro and pro territory, there are plenty of lines -- Prismacolor Prime, Derwint, and Faber-Castell, among others -- but novices will probably find these "art sticks" in pencil form crumbly and frustrating to use. They also get used up much more quickly and cost a great deal more.

Sargent is an old American art-equipment house headquartered in Hazelton, Pennsylvania. The colored pencils themselves were manufactured in Thailand.
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on July 27, 2012
Here's what you get:

Light Yellow, Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Golden Yellow, Gold, Tan, Maize, Peach, Yellow Orange, Orange, Salmon, Red Orange, Burnt Orange, Cherry Red, Mahogany, Red, Rose, Pink, Red Violet, Magenta, Light Violet, Deep Violet, Violet, Deep Blue, Blue, Dark Blue, Marine Blue, Light Blue, Sky Blue, Sea Green, Ocean Blue, Yellow Green, Light Green, Sap Green, Olive Green, Barrack Green, Leaf Green, Aqua Green, Apple Green, Dark Green, Blue Green, Gray, Silver, Burnt Sienna, Brown, Dark Brown, White (2) and Black (2).

Note that this includes all the colors found in the eight-pencil "Colors of My Friends" box except the 'light brown,' which might be the same as the 'tan' included in the 50-pencil box.

Sargent Art Colors of My Friends Colored Pencils - Multicultural Colored Pencils, Set of 8
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on June 27, 2011
I wanted to find a good set of colored pencils for my 3 and 2 year old. We originally tried a set of Crayola pencils and were so disappointed. The color was great, but the quality was horrible. They constantly broke and once we sharpened them, the colored lead would slip out of the pencil completely. I originally looked to replace them with Prismacolor pencils, but I just couldn't justify the price for preschoolers and toddlers. I still wanted quality and a wide selection of colors, just at a lower price point. My kids love that there are so many colors and so far not a single tip has broken, which is huge since my kids can be pretty rough with their art supplies! I had read on some Prismacolor reviews that its best to stay away from plastic sharpeners and opt for a heavy duty metal sharpener. I think we might get one in an effort to keep these pencils in the best shape possible. They are definitely a great alternative to the high end pencils, especially for younger children.

UPDATE (November 2011) These pencils have been used nearly everyday by my 4 and 2 year old. They've held up nicely, but they do wear down fairly quickly. I started off sharpening them with a cheap sharpener with mixed results. Some of the colors sharpen easily and quickly, while others (especially the silver and gold) break quite a bit and it's difficult to get a nice sharp point. Until you've used them awhile its hard to tell which colors are going to act up when sharpening, so it becomes trial and error as you sharpen. With that said, I still think the quality and color selection is superior to Crayola.
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on March 14, 2011
These are great pencils, however, they wear down rapidly (used to color mandalas) and sharpening is EASY but again, they shorten quickly. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for better than Crayola but not as pricey as Prismacolor...they are a great medium between the two in both quality and price :)
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on February 28, 2012
I have tried every brand of colored pencil from prismacolor to crayola and these are my favorite! They have a great variety of colors, come at a n amazing price, ( I suggest you stock up and do the 4 for 3 promotion). Im an art student and these pencils aren't too soft or hard and blend really well. They also take a long time to wear down so they will last you a while :) they are great quality whether you are a child using a coloring page or a professional artist, then again it's all about personal preference and personally I prefer the Sargent art colored pencil 50 pack :) and recommend them to every artist out there :)
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on January 8, 2016
Meh. Spend the $$ on nice pencils if this isn't for kids. Lots of pencils, not a lot of color differentiation. You have to press rather hard to get a bold color.
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on June 24, 2015
For people like me who were looking for a decent set of colored pencils for an affordable price I would suggest not buying these. As an artist I was hoping for a set of vibrant colors with a smooth texture. This set doesn't even contain the main colors that usually appear in any other pencil sets such as Crayola. That being said, the main issue I have with this set is that the colors don't even sink in the page. The texture is ruff and takes a lot of effort to really get the color to grasp vibrantly into the page. This set may be good for someone who just wants to mindlessly color in something without expectations of professional vibrant colors. I wouldn't yet consider myself to be a professional artist, however the quality of materials for my artistic needs are set for higher standards than this. Anyway as an honest opinion I would like to suggest that if anyone is looking for a good set of professional high quality vibrant colored pencils to save up some cash and buy a set of PrismColor pencils.(They're worth it in my opinion). Check out the picture I drew using mostly crayola colored pencils since Sargent Art miserably failed at providing its main purpose. The only color used from Sargent Art was on Crash Bandicoot's tan colored stomach.(Vibrancy was induced using photoshop...so results may vary)
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on October 20, 2009
These are a great buy for the price. Quality is adequate for children and adults. Professional artists may want to look elsewhere, but for the rest of us....these are just fine.
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on June 19, 2015
The reason for my low starred review is because, while this a 50 pack of colored pencils, 9 of the pencils are a variety of green and there is only 1 shade of red. It's called "cherry red", and it's actually orange. A lot of the purples and pinks barely have a color difference, if any variation at all. I purchased this with the hopes of avoiding the costly, yet obviously better quality pencils, but seems like it just isn't worth it for the price. Would return if I could.
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on January 1, 2014
Purchased this because I wanted something nicer than the crayola set I got at target. However, the colors were so bad that I ended up going back to my crayolas.

Shared both sets of pencils with multiple people and everyone preferred the other set.
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