Kaweco’s Valentine’s Special

Recently, my wife told me about the following Valentine’s Special from Kaweco China. As I haven’t seen anything about this set yet in the West I thought I share the details with you.

It includes a pen for her (in the Strawberry Pink colour) and one for him either blue or green.

Kaweco’s Valentine Set for China (Image © Kaweco)

Her pen comes can be used as a clutch pencil or you can insert the included ‘ballpoint pen lead’ to make it into a ballpoint. His is a fountain pen and you can pick from two colours, which look like the Retro Blue and Industrial Green I have shown in a previous blog post about Kaweco’s special colours for China, Taiwan, Macao and HongKong.

Early orders will get some additional postcards from America’s Rifle Paper Co.

The set also comes with a leather case and costs ¥520 (~$80; €65; £58).


Price and exchange rates: January 2018

I believe that the use of Kaweco’s image shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Copic Copies (and Lego Notebooks)

Another one of those ‘there’s a good offer in the UK’ blog posts, so the following might be of limited interest if you are not in the UK.

My first (and only) set of Copic markers is from the Nineties. Back then a friend told me about them and after hearing about their miraculous properties I really wanted to try them out. Back then, like today, they were not cheap. As far as I remember I paid around 20 Deutschmarks for each of them1. Well, they did and still do a nice job, but they usually bleed through the paper, maybe because they are alcohol based, so the reverse of the sheet of paper will look nearly as ‘stained’ as the front.

They certainly keep well over the years, my Copics all still work well. Just one of them had some of the ‘ink’ leak a bit into the cap, but that can be cleaned easily. If they ever dry out you can refill them.

Why did I mentioned them?

When we went grocery shopping this weekend I saw that Aldi in the UK sells a whole pack of what looks like Copic copies for less than the price of one real Copic marker. It seems a good offer, but I can’t comment on the quality of the pens.

✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎

..and here a little bonus I found in the local Lego shop: Lego notebooks, reduced from £10 to £6. I assume the offers are similar in different Lego shops, but I can’t be sure.

In case you wonder, I bought neither the Copic copies, not the Lego notebook.

  1. As a comparison, as far as I remember a casual job paid around 10 DM/h at the time and video and computer games were around 60 DM at the time []

Stationery Shopping in Germany 3

After several blog posts and videos about stationery shopping in Shanghai today’s post is about stationery shopping in Germany.

The video shows one of Müller’s branches’ stationery selection. Originally a pharmacy, Müller are now a chain selling all sorts of items.

The video is in 4K, so you’ll see more details if you open it in YouTube instead of watching it embedded in this blog post.

✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎

On a different note: a former colleague1 sent me a link to this article from The New York Times Magazine today:

Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories

The pictures are droolworthily excellent. Have a look.

  1. Thanks, Mark. []

Noblesse De Mine

Sabine Syfuss-Arnaud published another pencil-related article in the leading French business magazine Challenges. I didn’t know what kind of article this one would become, but it looks great.

The magazine is out now.

I can’t resist writing this: Faber-Castell has a silver pocket pencil from 1890. A photo of that pocket pencil would have fitted so well with this article.


A Stationery Christmas 6

Now that the holiday period is coming to an end and things are returning to normal I thought I share my Stationery Christmas with you.

Hobonichi Techo

I mentioned previously that I would like to try the bigger A5 sized Hobonichi Techo this year, the Cousin. I ordered the A6 version, again, but changed my mind and it was too late to change the order. Luckily I was able to sell my A6 Techo on eBay without losing too much money. Even more lucky, my wife was looking for a Christmas gift for me and The Journal Shop had a Black Friday event, so the Cousin was available for a good price. Not cheaper than when ordering from Japan, but this way was saving time and hassle with customs. For a little bit extra you could even get a cover with the Techo. I picked the Hazelnut cover, not only because it looked good on the photos, also (to a smaller extent) because I really like hazelnuts. The Blue Gingham cover would have been my next choice.

One complaint I have is that the Hobonichi should have been packed a bit better. The corners of the diary look as if it fell down at some stage. They look worse than the corners of by Avec from previous years which all have been used for six months each.

The cover itself looks good but more shiny than expected. It is still fairly gender-neutral, less than expected. It reminds me a bit of the stationery that chains like Paperchase use to target female customers.

First impression:

With the Hazelnut cover, the Cousin isn’t much bigger than the A6 version with a zipped cover. The big zipped cover was one of the reasons why I often took my A6 Techo out of the cover when I took it to a meeting at work – the cover was just so bulky compared to the diary.

The Techo usually spends most of the time on my desk at home or at work, so the size itself is not a problem. The Cousin comes with additional weekly pages: One week per double pages. So far I found this a useful addition. I will see how the A5 Cousin holds up. My hope is that I can write down more useful, work-related information during the day as there is more space. Whether I can then easily find what I have written down is another matter, we will see.

In case you wonder why I don’t use my new Staedtler 925 15 with the Hobonichi: the rubber grip is too difficult to put through the cover’s closing loops.

Funnily enough Brad Dowdy seems to have switched to a Cousin, too, this year. You can hear his first impression in The Pen Addict Podcast #289, around 44 minutes in.

 

Surprise

We also got a surprise parcel with Christmas gifts from friends from Singapore.

Fun fact: In the Nineties and earlier Noughties these friends and I were running the biggest Gameboy web site on the planet: EAGB.net. At that time, I had several limited edition Gameboys and accessories the day after they were released in Japan (at least when the postal service was quick, which it often was).

The gift they sent to my wife was a Japanese magazine that came with a Pikachu case. The magazine itself is described as a “trend magazine for business person” and includes information about stationery. I thought I share some of the stationery items shown there with you.

The zeit Vektor folder seems interesting. I assume it can be stored vertically in your drawer for easy access, but you can also just take it with you.

Orgel On, the tape measure that seems to play a melody is probably more of a gimmick, but the masking tape for closing and opening envelopes seems like a good idea. There have been many pencils as dice products, so they don’t get me too excited, the novelty has worn off, but the colourful Rhodia cases look beautiful.

Non Stationery

Other, unrelated, things I found out during the holidays and found very exciting:

The Dutch have caffeine free Coke Zero. How cool is that‽

..and Munich’s Develey brand is selling a sauce in Germany that tastes very similar to McDonald’s sauce on  the Big Tasty. I am quite sure that when I was still living in Germany the McDonald’s sauces there were made by Develey, so this one might even be made in the same factory as the real one.


The images from Dime magazine have been taken from the September 2017 issue. I believe that their use falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.