Made in Germany


Wonderful World of Wopex – The Neon Line 4

Welcome to a new series of blog posts about Staedtler’s Wopex pencils.

The idea is to collect information about Wopex pencils while details are still available. By now several bloggers, including me, had to find out that stationery manufacturers don’t always store information about their products and in my opinion it would be a shame to lose the existing knowledge about these products.

Wopex -> 180

A quick introduction:
As explained in the past Staedtler has changed the way it’s using the term Wopex. Instead of calling the pencils Wopex the term is now only used to describe the material these pencils are made from. This started in 2015 and by now you won’t find any Wopex labelled pencils anymore on the German Staedtler web site. Instead these pencils are sold as the Noris eco or as the Staedtler 1801. In other markets, mainly South Africa, you can also get the Tradition eco, a Wopex based version of the Tradition, similar to the Noris eco.

Outside Germany you can however still find pencils with the Wopex label printed on them. In the UK there are quite a few of those sets left. I assume this means that for now they are still made – I can’t imagine all of them to be old stock from before 2015 – but who knows…

Neon Line

Staedtler’s Neon Line was introduced at Frankfurt’s Paperworld in January 2013. Neon refers to the fluoresent body of these pencils. The pencils themselves contain normal Wopex graphite leads.

Back then the pencils were still Wopex labelled, but the latest Neon Line pencils are sold without Wopex or even 180 printed on the front of the cover.

The different pencils

The Neon Line includes the following pencils

  • neon yellow – article number: 180 HB-F1
  • neon orange – article number: 180 HB-F4
  • neon pink – article number: 180 HB-F20
  • neon purple – article number: 180 HB-F61
  • neon green – article number: 180 HB-F50
  • neon blue – article number: 180 HB-F30

The different sets

There are different versions of this set, including sets with erasers and sharpeners. The current Staedtler UK web site lists different sets:

  • Article number: 180F BK3-1 a blistercard containing one HB pencil each in neon yellow, neon pink, neon purple
  • Article number: 180FSBK3-1 as above, but with a black eraser and a black sharpener
  • Article number: 180F BK3-2 a blistercard containing one HB pencil each in neon green, neon orange, neon blue
  • Article number: 180FSBK3-2 as above, but with a black eraser and a black sharpener
  • Article number: 180F BK6 a blistercard with all six colours
  • Article number: 180F BK12 a blistercard with twelve pencils (all six colours)

 


This information has also been added to the Stationery Wiki.

I would like to thank Benedikt Schindler for the historic information found in this blog post

  1. From the beginning ‘180’ were the first digits of the Wopex article numbers. []

Lamy’s Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean pens 4

Sticking to the Lamy theme from the recent blog post about blue Lamy Safari fountain pens from the 1990s and now we’ve got another Lamy blog post today: Their special edition pens you normally don’t see in the West: the Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell no Tales) and the Star Wars pens.

Lamy’s Special Editions

Lady’s special editions follow a similar recipe: Take Lamy’s Line Friends Safari, for example. It’s a Safari with a different colour and a clip attachment. The colour of the special editions isn’t always different and the main difference of these special editions to their ‘normal’ counterparts is the clip attachment. They also often have extras (converter, special packaging) and a higher price.

I’ve shown a few different Lamy shops in Shanghai. Here’s one I haven’t shown yet: The one in the Jing An Kerry Centre1.

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Carribean themed pen looks like a Safari in the current Petrol colour with clip attachement in the shape of a jolly roger skull. You also get a converter and a leather roll as part of your set.

The Pirates pen on the left and the leather roll in the background. Excuse the reflections in the photo. The pen was behind glass.

Star Wars

The Star Wars themed pens are Lamy joy2 fountain pens. If you are not familiar with the joy: the front section is the same as the Safari’s, but the main body is much longer. It is kind of a desk only version of the Safari. Desk only because the long body makes it unsuitable for easy transport3.

The Star Wars joys have ‘normal’ nibs. I mention this because the joy is also available as a calligraphy set with italic nibs of different widths.

The black joy comes with a Vader clip attachment. The white joy comes with a Stormtrooper themed clip attachment.

The price is only slightly higher than the price of a normal Lamy joy in Shanghai: A normal joy is ¥380 (~$56; £44; €50). The Star Wars set is ¥4184 (~$$62; £48; €55). It comes with a converter.

 

You pay more, you get more

The price of the Lamy pens in Shanghai is a bit higher than in the West, but you also get more. The pens I’ve seen in Shanghai often come in nice boxes I haven’t seen in Europe. They also often seem to include converters that would be charged extra in the West.

The special edition pens are only slightly more expensive than the normal editions5.

The Safari Petrol. I believe this version is also available in the West. Excuse the reflections in the photo. The pen was behind glass.

Not in the West

I assume the reason why you normally don’t see these special editions in the West has more to do with licensing than with demand, especially since they are not much more expensive than the normal versions of these pens, so they should sell well anywhere – but that’s just a guess.

As I know most of the readers of my blog I might as well write this publicly: If you want one of these pens let me know and I’ll try to get one for you.

 


Prices and exchange rates: June 2017

If you want to know more about Shanghai’s Lamy stores have a look at this blog post about the store in Raffles City, the stores in this comment or  the one in this blog post.

  1. Fun fact: many years ago Jing An was the only place in Shanghai with a Burger King, but now Burger King is ubiquitous. []
  2. Lamy spells joy lower-case so I’ll stick to that in this this blog post []
  3. You can see one in this Bleistift blog post from 2011. []
  4. This number sounds good in Chinese, a bit like ‘will be fortunate, for sure’. []
  5. Exactly 10% in the case of the Star Wars joy. []

The Lamy Safari – Then and Now 1

Today: a quick look at two blue Lamy Safari fountain pens – one from the early 1990s and one from the mid-2010s.

…and just because people prefer to watch my videos showing normal stuff (like refilling mechanical pencils) I added something about…

  • how to screw the pen body together so that the Lamy logo is at the top
  • how the ‘low ink warning system’ works


Epic fail: Using a Faber-Castell Converter in a Super5 Fountain Pen 2

I’m currently using my Super5 with the 0.7 nib a lot, but I made one mistake: I filled a Faber-Castell converter with the Aurora Blue-Black ink without checking first whether it fits. Well, the converter is too long to fit, but luckily you can remove the end caps of the new Super5 fountain pens1 ..so I have been using the Super5 without the end cap for the last weeks.

The new Super5 without the end cap

Somehow the Super5’s 0.7 nib makes me write quite differently: the writing is a bit bigger with letters being more condensed, not as tall. Well, it makes for an interesting change.

I can’t complain about the paper I’m using either. It’s from one of Rad and Hungry’s old subscription boxes, the Swedish one from maybe five years ago. Excellent paper!

  1. The purpose of this: So that you can create different colour combinations, e.g. a white pen with a red end cap, etc. []

The Lamy Horror Picture Show 4

Think of a random number between 1 and 1000.

No, really. Please do.

Ok, now multiply this number by 3 and remember it.

Well, imagine the shock I got when I recently had a closer look at my Lamy 2000.

Lamy 2000 exploded view

Cleaning my Lamy in expectance of the new ink

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is ‘Not shocked at all’ and ’10’ is censored because of the expletives uttered, the number representing my shock was slightly higher than the number I just asked you to remember.

It all started with me happily going about my daily business and cleaning my Lamy 2000 (with an EF nib) in expectance of a Robert Oster ink from Kirit Dal, one of Robert Oster’s UK resellers.

When an ink ‘stain’ at the front of the Lamy’s grip section didn’t want to disappear I had a closer look and after moving the end of my fingernail over the ‘stain’ I started to have an ominous suspicion. Not much later the aforementioned shock happened1.

You’d think I’m a broken man now, looking back at the excitement and fun I once experienced when using fountain pens, but not able to have any joy anymore going forward from now on. The reality is different. I’ve come to stoically accept that mark on the grip section as something that makes this Lamy 2000 different to all its anonymous siblings that left Lamy’s conveyor belt since 1966. It is something, together with a dent on its body, that makes this Lamy mine. Who knows, maybe deep down, in some illogical part of the brain, I might even be a tiny bit ‘proud’ that I have my own unique Lamy 2000 now…


I am sorry for showing you all these gory details, especially after just showing you horrific pencil mutilations in the previous blog post. I guess you might be more careful form now on, avoiding to look at my blog anymore while eating food.

In case you’ve been sick over your pen collection while looking at these gory photos: I’ve heard that baking soda might eliminate the odour, but I haven’t tried it myself yet.

I thought of combining this blog post with a look at the ink I was expecting, but I didn’t do it because I thought someone who doesn’t read carefully and only looks at the pictures might that the ink I was expecting caused the issue. To avoid this the Oster ink I was expecting (cleaning the pen to be ready for this ink) will be covered in a separate blog post.

I have a suspicion which previously used ink might have caused the issue, but as I am not sure it was really that ink I don’t want to mention the brand in this blog post.

  1. Well, where are the smelling salts and the defibrillator when you need them. []