Pros: 50 markers, stores nicely, portable, easy access, organized, lots of colors, crayola
Cons: upright storage does seem to dry them out
My 2 children, ages 8 and 4, love to color and draw. My son, especially is quite the artist with his sister following right behind him. I believe actually this set of markers belongs to my son but both my children use it on almost a daily basis.
Over the years I have bought many a pack of markers or "art set" for the kids. Eventually they dry out, the caps don't get put on, or they don't get put away - they need replacing. It becomes just a matter of what will happen first - they will get lost and misplaced, dry out from not having the cap put back on, or they run out of juice. The markers that my kids and I have always preferred are from Crayola. They are washable, have bright colors, the cap clicks onto the end of the marker when in use, and they tend to last. When I saw this set of 50 markers in a telecoping storage/carry-caddy I knew it would be great for the kids. I stuck it on my son's wishlist and sure enough one of the grandparents bought it for him. I believe it was under $10 - very affordable.
The markers in this set are Crayola Pipsqueaks. These are shorter versions of the classic crayola (Fat) marker but they have a pointed tip on them making them good for writing as well as coloring. The barrel has the same girth but is shorter though the cap size and marker tip is the same as the fullsize markers. The colors in this set range from muted to bright - with lots of choices and shades. They have names like "petal pink" and "seahorse green". My kids are OCD enough that they sort and store them within the tower by color family.
Because the markers are the shorter pipsqueaks I presume they have less juice in them, which means they will not last as long as the standard crayola marker. How long they will last really depends on how much your child colors and draws and the type of projects that they take on with these markers. We have had this set now for several months and it is going strong. I do plan on replacing it/adding another one this holiday season. I find that especially since the markers are stored in the upright poisition that they sometimes seem like they have dried up when you go to use them but after a few strokes the color comes back in full. This is clearly a design flaw of having markers stored upright.
The storage caddy that holds the 50 markers is made of clear plastic so you can see all the markers and the colors (as differentiated by the colored cap). The sides of the top of the caddy fold up into a carry handle and when lifted the caddy opens up into a 3 tier tower. The top/handle then can turn and click into place to keep the tower open. This sometimes doesn't lock into place and I find my daughter especially just uses the caddy next to her at the table with the top open instead of telescoping it.
These markers are an essential for my kids and our house. I love having them stored all neat and tidy in one spot and not having a big bin or box full of markers (that don't work) with missing or mismatched tops. For kids who like to color and draw - you can't go wrong with this set!