KOH-I-NOOR is a world leader in manufacturing quality art supplies, founded in 1790 by Joseph Hardmuth. The multi award-winning company works out of Czech Republic, producing their pens, pencils and office supplies in over 80 countries worldwide.
The Polycolor pencils are cheaper alternatives to brands like Polychromos and Prismacolor, and although they don't perform quite as well I would class Polycolor as a strong budget contender if you're not in a position to lay out a lot of cost.
The pencils are wax-based, despite confusion online that they are oil- apparently an error in translation. As far as I can work out, the cores are prepared in an oil bath to give water resistance, but they are made of and act like wax pencils. This makes them more akin to Prismacolor than Polychromos.
You can see this comparison on paper when you blend two colours, applying hard pressure, because the Polycolor pencils produce a similar dark speckle to Prismas when too many layers are used. Out of the three, they are the most difficult to blend.
The pencils have quite a soft lead yet don't need frequent sharpening. They retain a fine point, making them ideal for getting into small spaces, and feel like they are durable and made to last. I can't see them running out too quickly like Prismacolors do! They have a high calibre look about them physically, with the ends dipped in gold and each hexagonal barrel portaying an accurate colour of the lead within.
The pigment feels buttery to lay down and doesn't need a lot of pressure to produce deep colour. They're not as soft as Prismas, but I think they're better off for it. Extremely soft pencils may create lucious results but I find them a lot less value for money as they deplete so quickly. Polycolor pencils seem to be the happy medium between soft and hard, and for just over £20 for a tin of 24 they're relatively cheap without compromising on quality.
Here is a little picture I coloured with the Polycolors to show you some quick blends that can be done without too much effort.
I received these in exchange for an honest review. You can find a range of Polycolor pencils on Cult Pens.