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 them 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. 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.
I have mentioned the Lego erasers in two previous posts: The first Lego erasers where made by Senator in Germany. When they moved production to China the erasers got much more expensive, rising from €1.49 for two to £7.95 for four They were more very expensive in the UK, I’m not sure about the situation in other countries. They got cheaper now (£2.99 for four), but the Chinese made Lego erasers are still more expensive than the German made ones were – unless you get lucky, like I did, and get them on offer. In my case it was on offer because the supermarket wants to get rid of their stock. I paid £1.49 (~$2.22; €2.06) for a pack of four.
The version I got is being sold as part of the Lego Movie franchise – but as far as I can tell there’s no difference between the normal Lego erasers and the Logo Movie erasers, except the colours.
To compare the erasers I used Banditapple 3G paper and a Simbalion pencil. Performance wise the Lego Movie erasers are pretty good. You might have read in previous blog posts that I prefer dust free erasers. The Lego erasers performed as well as or even a bit better than a Mono dust free eraser (a dust free eraser, but not one of the best dust free erasers).
This eraser has much stronger sprue and flow marks than the Senator eraser did. Unfortunately I can’t take a comparison photo as I have given my Senator erasers away (I think to Hen from Rad and Hungry).
For the price I have paid these are excellent erasers. Performance for a not dust free eraser is excellent.
I was excited when I saw these Lego erasers in John Lewis. The excitement subsided when I saw the price: £7.95 (~$12.15; €9.60) for a pack of four – much more expensive than the ones from Senator. On closer inspection the rubber seems to have more ‘swirls’ on the surface …which makes them look worse than the Senator ones, but as I didn’t compare them side by side my impression might be wrong. As far as I can tell these new(?), expensive erasers are not made by Senator. I wonder whether the Senator ones are still being made. Maybe different companies make Lego erasers. Suffice to say that I didn’t buy them for this price.
When I went to Germany over the Easter holidays I saw many pencils, erasers and sharpeners that are difficult to find in the UK. One of these difficult to get ones are the Lego erasers. I have actually seen them in the UK, at Selfridges, but they were very expensive. In Germany they were fairly cheap: usually a pack of two sells for € 1.49 (~£ 1.30, ~$ 2.00), but I bought mine in the first shop where I saw them ..for €1.99 (~£ 1.75, ~$ 2.68). There is also a version with three erasers available (red, blue and green).
The Lego erasers are manufactured under license by Senator, a company established 1920 and well known for their promotional ballpoint pens. They are one of the biggest manufacturers of ballpoint pens, producing about one million ballpoint pens each day, and their range includes unusual pens as well, e.g. biodegradable pens or the “only antibacterial pen approved to British standards”. Before I saw the Lego eraser I was not aware that Senator made erasers, except maybe the erasers used in their multifunctional pens.
The eraser is actually performing very well. I compared it to the Staedtler Mars plastic pen and the fantastic Faber Castell 18 71 20 on Bloc Rhodia No 13 paper, using a Faber-Castell 9008 Steno 2B pencil which in my opinion is in some respects quite similar to the Tombow Mono 100 HB. The performance of the Lego / Senator is as good as the performance of the other two, maybe a tiny bit worse, but that might just be my subjective impression. Compared to the Staedtler eraser pen you need to apply fewer pressure when using the Lego / Senator eraser.