The Camel 36-Color Mini Pencil Set with Elastic Case ($40) is a tiny package full of cute, colorful sticks of fun. By fun, I mean colored pencils. These colored pencils are rounded square shaped and arrive in a paperboard box that closes with an elastic strap. The box, when closed, is about the same size as a standard Traveler’s Notebook, making it the perfect companion to your journal.
The exterior of the pencils are a soft matte black and the rounded square shape make them comfortable in the hand (even for being so small) and unlikely to roll off the table. Each pencil is numbered with the color and the inside of the box includes a list of color names that correspond with the number. I would have preferred that the ends of the pencils were color dipped for easier identification but I understand the aesthetic choice for all-black. It just makes for a lot of hunting to find the right color.
The pencils inside are diminutive in size (8.5cm or 3.34″).
Compared to a full-sized Prismacolor, it’s clear to see just how small the Camel pencils are.
The pencil core is visible from the unfinished end of the pencil. The core is much smaller than a Prismacolor core but that will make these pencils better for detail work.
The set of 36 colors includes approximately 3 purple/violets, 6 blues, 6 greens, 5 reds, 4 oranges, 3 yellows, 4 browns, black, white, neutral grey and a metallic gold and silver. The white is, like most colored pencils, best used as a blending tool rather than a highlight white as it is not very opaque.
When compared with Prismacolor for blending, the Camel pencils are not as soft and blendable, particularly on paper with any tooth or texture. However, because of the smaller core, it’s much easier to use the Camel pencils for small details or even to write.
I liked that the Camel pencils are about the same size as my travel watercolor tin making them extremely portable — with or without their box.
I was a little concerned about sharpening them but the square shape means that they fit into a standard-sized pencil sharpener. I used my Staedtler 2-hole sharpener and the Camel pencils sharpened just fine.
These are probably not artist-grade, fade-proof, top quality colored pencils but for everyday coloring, journaling, doodling fun, they are an adorable set. If you are looking for a last-minute gift for the artist or artist-at-heart, this set of colored pencils would make a delightful gift.
I originally received my set from the now-defunct Fresh Stock Japan but my dearest friends at Wonder Fair in Lawrence, KS (LFK!) are carrying them and would be delighted to ship them to you or your loved one ASAP.
DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Fresh Stock Japan for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.