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Yikes! Pencils - Failure Museum

Released in 1993 since kids liked to customize their pencils with stickers or even their own inscriptions applied via thumbnail. The designer suspected wooden pencils that didn’t look like wood might have an appeal. They offered Yikes! pencils in a range of inventive colors though they were limited to black, orange, and pink at launch. The company also included a range of similarly themed erasers and a see through pencil sharpener so you could see the crazy pencil shavings.

However, the pencils were discontinued in 1996 since it was objectively terrible to write with a Yikes! pencil. The graphite smeared with a touch and the nifty polyurethane erasers didn’t erase. They just spread the graphite into a black blob. Yikes! pencils were a nightmare for homework worksheets in an era before digital copies.

 

Sean Jacobsohn

Sean Jacobsohn

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