Sunday, March 27, 2016

Target Art Supply Series: Miscellaneous Supplies

This post was sponsored by me.  All materials featured in this post were purchased out of my own pocket.  If you enjoy content like this, please consider pledging to my Patreon to help fund the future of Nattosoup Studio Art and Process Blog.  Backers can unlock community goodies like more reviews and tutorials, as well as personal goodies, like Backer Exclusive Request Livestreams, comic downloads, and even physical rewards like stickers and charms.  Your financial support not only compensates me for the time spent working on this blog (which is significant), but also goes towards purchasing more products to review and test.  If a monthly contribution isn't really in your future, a one time donation via the Paypal link in my sidebar is also much appreciated.  While your contributions are never mandatory, I would sincerely appreciate if you checked out my art supply review/ art tutorial focused YouTube channel for even more great content, and sat through at least thirty seconds of the ads on the videos you watch.  Every ad adds up towards a sustainable lifestyle.

In the course of the Target Review Series, we've looked at Up and Up washable markers, Up and Up's Drawing Book, mechanical pencils from Target, ek tool's Journaling and Calligraphy pensUp and Up washable paintbrush markers,  and even Up and Up's washable watercolors.  The vast majority of these products are aimed at school children, but my pickings were pretty slim at the Kenner Target- I bought the best they had, unless I'd covered the same product in the Walmart Art Supply Review Series.  What remains are miscellanea- supplies that are important, but don't require a full post to review.

Of course, I cannot review all supplies sold at Target, so if there's a supply you're particularly curious about, or think my readers would be interested in, you can always either donate the product directly to me, donate a Target gift card, or you can make a donation via my Paypal link in the sidebar.  Make sure you earmark what the donation should be purchasing (I can't read your mind, no matter how hard we try), and I'll get to it as soon as I can.

These products are all by Yoobi, a children's school supply manufacturer whose motto is 'one for you.  one for me'.  Their supplies are color coordinated in bright colors- hot pink, lime green, neon blue, vibrant purple, and they make all sorts of stationary for school or for home.  Right now, their supplies seem to be the most prevalent (after Crayola), so it was difficult to NOT buy Yoobi supplies.  While they do offer markers, crayons, and color pencils, and I've been given a donation to purchase those for review, I'm saving those for another date, as the Target review is already fairly extensive.


How Yoobi Works


Yoobi, pronounced “you-be,” means “one for you, one for me.” For every Yoobi item you purchase, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. It’s that simple!

Yoobi promises that when you purchase an item, Yoobi donates an item to their classroom packs, working with the Kids in Need Foundation

Kids in Need Foundation

Kids in Need provides free school supplies to children in need via Resource Centers within their national network.  These supplies are donated by companies like Yoobi and retailers, and Kids in Need Foundation does not have a warehouse where supplies are stored, so they cannot donate directly to schools, individuals, or families.  You can learn more about the Kids in Need Foundation's mission here

If you're interested in helping kids have fair access to school and art supplies, please consider donating to Kids in Need Foundation. Those of you who can afford to donate to Kids in Need Foundation should strongly consider doing so.  I've donated $25, and if you can afford to match my donation, think about all the kids we can help together.  $25 can provide a child with a backpack full of fresh supplies, levelling the playing field just a bit.  You can also donate products, but they need to be new and in good condition.  

Yoobi also donates supplies to the Starlight Childrens Foundation, which ensures that over 200 hospital schools have the supplies they need for their students to receive a good education.

Where to Buy Yoobi

The reason Yoobi is so prevelant at Target is not because it's a Target store brand (like the Up and Up products I've reviewed), but because it's a Target exclusive outside of the web.  You can also purchase Yoobi supplies off their website, and will have access to a wider variety of goods than may be offered at your local Target.  Yoobi's arts section has all sorts of goodies ranging from crayons to markers (to bundles!) in a tantalizing array of rainbow colors.

Yoobi doesn't just offer supplies for kids, they also offer colorful, fun office supplies to help you get organized.  For those of you who are familiar with Poppin, Yoobi offers many similar products at a lower price point, and also does one to one donation with the abovementioned programs, so if you have a love of office supplies and a need for organization, you may want to consider Yoobi the next time you're decking out your desk.  The Yoobi site has a free shipping option, so if you're looking to stock up on cute, well designed student grade art goodies or witty desktop organization, you should definitely check out the Yoobi site.

I have no affiliate program with Yoobi, but if you're interested in their products, you should definitely buy from their site or from your local Target, especially since they have a one for one donation program in place.  I receive no compensation from this post, but if you enjoy my content, and would like to help fund more free to the public content like this, please consider backing my Patreon.  Even a small pledge of $2 a month really helps provide the financial support necessary to keep this blog going.

Yoobi Mini Highlighters


I have artist friends who regularly use highlighters with their markers, so a young artist using highlighters to augment their marker collection isn't much of a stretch.  These Yoobi highlighters were just so cute, and came in a rainbow of colors, I knew any artist looking to augment their collection wouldn't be able to resist giving them a shot.  I sure couldn't, and into my cart they went.




The packaging is fairly sturdy plastic, and an interior sleeve securely held my highlighters in place.  These highlighters fit inside my Yoobi pencil case almost perfectly, but took up a lot of room in the spacious case.


Some of the colors aren't exactly 'highlighters' the raspberry pink and purple are both a little dark to grab attention, but the numerous colors are perfect if you're into color coordinating your planner.

Although the packaging lists the color names, the markers themselves do not.





These highlighters are really cute, but difficult to handle, even with the caps posted to the back.  They're more a novelty than a useful tool.


These mini highlighters have a tiny, stiff chisel nib.

I tested these markers for water solubility, and while they do dissolve in water, they quickly lose their brightness and fluorescent qualities.

Mini Field Test


This field test was sketched in my Blick sketchbook with a Prismacolor Fine Line Marker, which are alcohol marker proof and waterproof, and was allowed to cure for one hour before I attempted to apply color.





Despite allowing my Prismacolor Fine Line Marker to dry for an hour, the highlighters still smeared and reactivated the ink.  I'm not sure if it was the abbreviated dry time (I usually allow inks to dry 24 hours before testing) or the highlighters themselves- I may have to test a few inks with these highlighters to figure it out.  A highlighter that reactivates ink isn't good for artists or students- highlighters are intended to glide over ink without smearing what's underneath.








The inks don't really layer well, and repeated applications start to tear up the paper.  These are waterbased markers, so if you DO want to use them for coloring, you need to allow the paper to dry thoroughly before applying the next layer.

The Verdict

These highlighters are really cute, and are fine for quickly highlighting small areas of text, but are difficult to handle as fluorescent markers.  If you plan on using highlighters in your art, buy full size ones.


Yoobi Eraser

This being a big box store, of course everything comes blister packed, lest one item walk away from the whole.  The Yoobi erasers were no different.



The packaging says almost nothing about the erasers themselves- with student grade supplies, the materials used in production are rarely mentioned- and a lot about Yoobi.

The Fieldtest


For this test, I'm using my Write Dudes Gorilla Lead pencil as well as the Up and Up Mechanical pencil reviewed earlier in the Target Art Supply Review Series.   The Write Dudes pencil has a darker, larger lead (a B, but maybe even a 2B) and the Up and Up Mechanical Pencil has a lighter lead, either an HB or an F.


First I attempted to erase normal writing.



  The Yoobi eraser couldn't cleanly erase the darker lead from my Write Dudes Gorilla Lead pencil, and had difficulty even erasing the HB .5 lead in my Up and Up mechanical pencils.


Next I tried to erase dense graphite coverage from both pencils.

Gorilla Lead



HB lead



Neither leads erased cleanly with the Yoobi eraser.

I recognize that this is a student grade eraser, but I am concerned that if it can't even erase cleanly in these tests, it would not be able to erase cleanly enough for a student to rework a drawing, or for a Scantron machine to accurately register marks made on a test.  Even as a student grade supply, this particular eraser fails the test.

The Verdict

These Yoobi erasers are pretty awful compared to even the cheapest white vinyl eraser.  They are rubbery and prone to smearing graphite.   They leave a lot of eraser dust, and can't cleanly erase either the  HB or B leads tested.   I recommend skipping these particular erasers, and I generally recommend skipping out on colored or novelty erasers for art.  I will be revisiting Yoobi erasers in a future post, as I have some coming in the mail.


Yoobi Pencil Case











The elastic on this pencil bag is a little flimsy, but it is adjustable via a clip, so you can attach your pencil case to sketchbooks larger than my 8.5"x11" Up and Up Drawing Book, although I don't really recommend going much smaller, as the pencil case might overwhelm your book.

The interior is coated with white plastic, and the interior seams have seam binding, so this pencil case may be water resistant.  The zippers have large, textured rubberized grips to help little (or big) fingers pull.  The loop on the top of the pouch is made out of the same fabric as the seam binding, and feels a little cheap compared to the elastic.






The zippers are a little sticky and difficult to get going, and the cute little pouch on the front is a little too small to really be useful.  I found it difficult to pull out my erasers and extra leads from this pouch.

This case holds A LOT of stuff, so you may be tempted to overstuff it.  This is great if you're a highschooler with a lot of things to carry- pencils, a variety of pens, erasers, mini rulers, a compass, highlighters, ect, but not necessary if you're an artist with a curated collection of everyday carry.

The Verdict

This pencil case has loads of room, and if you're still toting around a 15 pack of Crayola colored pencils and a 24 pack of crayons, you can shove those in here too.  This is a fine pencil case, although you may find it more useful just to snip off the elastic as it tends to catch on things if not attached to a sketchbook.

Yoobi Pencil Sharpener












This particular Yoobi pencil sharpener is pretty awful- it snapped Prismacolor leads every time I used it.  To be fair, Prismacolors are notorious for snapping off in hand sharpeners, especially if the pencils have been dropped in the past, and I usually use a KUM magnesium hand sharpener with no issue.  It's a dual hole pencil sharpener, so if you have jumbo pencils in your collection, you should be able to sharpen them.  The lead in those pencils tends to be thicker than that used in regular pencils, so it should be less prone to snapping.

The Verdict 

Skip this sharpener.  My absolutely favorite sharpeners don't tend to come with a compartment for shavings, I usually just use a box slated for the garbage as a bin in the meantime.

Overall Verdict

So far, I would recommend being very picky about your Yoobi purchases, as some work well and some do not.  I'm revisiting Yoobi supplies in the future thanks to a donation from Heidi Black, so keep an eye out if you're interested in cheap art supply challenges or student grade supplies.