Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils Review

Review Summary
2.6/5 Our Score
• Good quality if you stick to
the intended theme
• Great as a gift
• Expensive
• Limited color options
• Pale colors
• Limited utility

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More of a collector's item than an art tool, the Tombow Irojiten colored pencils perform well, but only for a novice-grade colored pencil.
Color Intensity


Tombow is a Japanese company that makes a very unique set of colored pencils, the Tombow Irojiten line. A little quirky and not entirely premium-grade due to their paler-than-average colors and themed packs, these are best used as a gifting set.

Tombow Irojiten colored pencils are a specialty set of artist-grade colored pencils designed in “themes” such as “woodland colors” or “rainforest colors”. Available in sets ranging from singles to 30-pack sets, these colored pencils are only available in their theme packs if purchased in larger sets.

What They’re Good For

This set has a very specific use and it all depends on the theme of the pack you purchase. Limited to the colors within a certain subject theme, Tombow’s Irojiten line is quite impractical to buy as a general use colored pencil set. What they are good for is gift-giving. Each set comes in a gorgeously wrapped package with the most beautiful colored pencil encasing you’ve probably ever seen. Coated in a unique white lining with a colored base, they are a collectable item any artist would love to have.

Ratings Breakdown

This is not a premium, or even an artist-grade colored pencil. Because of their better than average performance and quality formula, we’re going to say they’re somewhere above a novice-grade colored pencil, but a technical definition would disqualify them from that category. Let’s see how they hold up against a quality check.

Lightfastness 2/5

Since these are not technically artist grade colored pencils, they do not have a very good lightfast rating. While the pigment is still of very good quality, the application is quite light and with poor lightfastness rating, a finished project is not bound to last.

Sturdiness/ Durability 2/5

Despite their limited use, these colored pencils are made with a hard wax core and encased in a round, wooden barrel and then coated in a protective lacquer. They are quite durable and will physically endure a long shelf-life.

Binder/ Quality 3/5

Made with high quality pigment and a wax-based core, these colored pencils are a little hard to blend and layer, but are still serviceable with some dedication.

Color Intensity 2/5

Compared with colored pencils with an equivalent price tag, these are very pale. They are not a specialized color pencil and their hard core makes rich application impossible. While you can layer to produce a more intense finish, these are markedly less vivid than other brands of colored pencils, even novice grade brands like Crayola.

Value 2/5

The cost for value in this case seems quite unfair as you cannot get a general range of use out of these colors. Even though they make a good gift because they are gorgeous looking colored pencils and come wrapped in an elegant box, their performance as an art tool is quite poor.

Final Verdict

More of a collector’s item than an art tool, the Tombow Irojiten colored pencils perform well, but only for a novice-grade colored pencil. The price tag is their most displeasing quality since it seems unreasonable to pay premium price for novice performance.

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