A year ago, who would have predicted adults, mostly women, would start flocking to retail stores for their own coloring supplies? With the lure of “meditative,” “calming,” “nostalgic,” and even “healing,” it didn’t take long for the most well-known coloring books, The Secret Garden and The Enchanted Forest, to top Amazon’s best sellers and for popular colored pencil sets to be in demand.

As we head into the holidays, the market is still growing and there is an opportunity to go beyond the initial best-selling coloring books and colored pencils with new coloring books, mixed-media and pencil and pen sets with greater color variety.

Kim Liu, co-owner of Twirl Toy Shop, offers a a look at some vendors who shared their best-selling products and their plans for serving this market for 2016.

Faber Castell

Faber Castell saw a sudden uptake in sales this past summer in both their Premium Children’s Art Products and Creative Studio and Art & Graphic product lines, particularly in their Metallic Colored Pencils (set of 12 colors) and Art Grip Pencils (offering a greater spectrum of color). More recently, sales have increased in their Connector Pens (a bucket of 50 colors), Pitt Artist Pens (India Ink Pens), and Professional Set of 120 Colored Pencils.

Faber’s quality products are billed “your companion for life,” and known for their resistance to fading.  Look for new colored pencil sets with a greater variety of colors for both children and adults in 2016. And check out their website featuring free printable coloring pages and great tips on coloring products and techniques for all levels of coloring expertise!

International Arrivals
It’s been a banner year at International Arrivals with the highest increase in sales yet, largely attributed to their #1 best seller Yummy Yummy Scented Glitter Gel Pens, along with 2 of a Kind Colored Pencils, and Glitzy Glitter Markers. Not far behind: Razzle Dazzle Colored PencilsColor Core Colored Pencils and Precious Metals Metallic Markers.

International Arrivals positions itself as a good value, combining high quality with attractive prices, and customers are attracted to their colorful packaging. New, smaller coloring books targeted at commuters and in more adult-oriented themes will be available online Spring 2016.


Eeboo, known for their fun, aesthetic designs and fine quality for reasonable prices, saw phenomenal increases this year, particularly in
their sales of more feminine patterned colored pencil tins (Birds & Berries, Butterflies, Life on Earth), boxed metallic pencils (Robots, Birds) and Owl Fluorescent pencils – with sales increasing over three times.

Coming in 2016: more adult-appealing design variations of colored pencil tins, graphite pencils, new fluorescent pencils, better quality watercolors, and even a few new crafts aimed at this adult market, including complex folding papers that can be decorated.

Don’t Miss Out

With predictions of a continued trend through mid- to year-end 2016, if you haven’t already, create an “adult coloring display,” along with sample coloring sheets and tools, and see if you can take further advantage of this still-growing market. Social media has fueled this trend, so follow suit and have fun sharing your customers’ finished artwork and new products on Facebook and particularly Instagram. You might even consider hosting an adult coloring coffee or fun contest!

What’s Next?

In today’s fast-paced lives, “stressed-out” adults are turning to recreating childhood experiences for a bit of relaxation and rejuvenation. With adult summer camps and preschools popping up, and even adult birthday parties taking place at traditionally children’s venues, the coloring trend could be just the beginning of something really fun, and a path to exciting market expansion for our “children’s toy shops!”


13966ebKim is the co-owner of Twirl Toy Shop along with her partner, Susan Huber, bringing the most unique toys and gifts to shoppers and enjoying serving their community. Previously the pair worked together on one of the earliest lifestyle blogs before turning to a brick and mortar shop. Twirl Toy Shop is located at 10 N. Main Street in Pennington, New Jersey.