Monthly Archives: May 2012

Why are fountain pen sales rising? 1


Nick Hewer (Image © BBC)

Today an interesting article appeared on the BBC News web site: “Why are fountain pen sales rising?“. You might remember that Nick Hewer from the Apprentice is using Lamy fountain pens (see my blog post from last summer where you can see him using a Lamy Joy). He is being mentioned, too, and there are also links to other fountain pen related articles.

Nick Hewer (Image © BBC)

The photos of Nick Hewer using a Lamy Safari have been taken from series 8 episode 2 and 6 of The Apprentice UK. I believe that the use of these images falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

Phthalate-free 8

I bought these erasers when I was in Germany over Easter.

The manufacturers of both erasers like to emphasise that the erasers are phthalate-free. A while ago plasticisers were a big topic in the news in Germany. I think there might have been a scandal regarding plasticisers in toys – or maybe this started another way. Both erasers were €0.79 (~ $1; £0.63).

Prices: April 2012

Exchange rates: May 2012

Two Guys From Andromeda

Screenshot taken from The Two Guys From Andromeda SpaceVenture Prototype (Image © Q42)

Two Guys From Andromeda

One of my favourite type of computer games were always adventure games. Even though I knew about the adventure games from Sierra On-Line, I played the games from Lucasfilm Games much earlier, as I didn’t have a 16-bit machine at the time1. When finally did have a 16-bit machine (an Amiga) I played all their games I could get my hands on, including the remakes – and I then did the same again when I switched to a PC (which was quite late, in 1996).

The Two Guys From Andromeda, the creators of the Space Quest series, recently started a Kickstarter project and the first prototype they released shows the Staedtler Mars technico (see picture) next to a sheet of paper within which the protoype is running. Nice to know that they, or someone from Q42, is using this lead holder.

Print Ad of the Week

Speaking of Staedtler, an advertising magazine made one of Staedtler’s ads their “Print Ad of the Week” this week. Here’s a link where you can see the photos as part of a critical article (in German). The criticism is that Leo Burnett, Hong Kong, who is behind this ad copied the idea from Dalton M. Ghetti. There has also been a reply to the criticism (in English) where you can see both,  Ghetti’s and Burnett’s, pencils.



You can find a review of the Staedtler Mars technico at Lung Sketching Scrolls and some nice, vintage technico photos at Lexikaliker.

The screenshot of the Staedtler Mars technico has been taken from the The Two Guys From Andromeda SpaceVenture Prototype. I believe that the use of this image falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. There were of course also other companies making great adventure games, e.g. ICOM, Infogrames, Software 2000, … []

KUM Correc-Combi 10

Today I want to show you KUM’s Correc-Combi, a sharpener in an eraser case, which I bought this April for €2.79 (~$3.65; £2.25) in Müller in Volkach, Germany.

KUM's Correc-Combi opened

The eraser

The blade of the sharpener is fixed to a plastic body which in turn is encase by (quite a large) eraser. I am sure it will take quite a long time to use this eraser up.

KUM's Correc-Combi and Staedtler's norica

The sharpener

The performance of the sharpener is quite good, certainly much better than the performance of KUM’s 400-1K. The sharpener produces thin shavings with an average thickness of 0.2 mm1.


KUM's Correc-Combi and Staedtler's norica

I also saw a set square from Globus by KUM for 49c (~ 65¢; 40p) in the same shop and couldn’t resist buying it. You might remember the list of sharpening angles of the different sharpeners in the KUM 400-1K blog post. When I figured these angles out, two years ago, I didn’t have a set square – so this time figuring the angle out was much easier. With about 22° the sharpening angle of the KUM Correc-Combi is very similar to the sharpening angle of Möbius+Ruppert’s grenade.

Globus by KUM's set square


A very good sharpener/eraser combination. The lid fits well, despite being a ‘click in’ lid (no screw thread) . The performance of the eraser is similar to that of KUM’s Correc Stick. It could be better, but is by no means bad. The performance of the sharpener is quite good and overall this eraser/sharpener combo offers very good value for money.

KUM's Correc Stick, KUM's Correc-Combi and Staedtler's norica


Prices: April 2012
Exchange rates: May 2012

I would like to thank Hen Chung from RAH for the Staedtler norica 132 46 HB you can see on the photos. It’s the less purple version with blind stamped “SRP”2.

The Correc-Combi is part of KUM’s Blue Ocean series. You can read a review of KUM’s Blue Ocean pencil set at pencil talk. You can also read a review of Staedtler’s norica at pencil talk.

In a previous blog post I wrote about Faber-Castell’s sharpener-eraser pen.

  1. I recently bought a calliper in Lidl, so I thought the thickness of the shavings would be a good thing to measure, especially since Lexikaliker mentions the thickness of shavings in his blog. []
  2. My more purple version is blind stamped “SRL”. []