Saturday, May 10, 2008

MGM A Plus 200 Mechanical Pencil

A quick look at this one from Malaysian stationery distributor MGM. Actually I previously thought MGM were Korean, but now I’m just confused. This pencil has two features of interest – the first is that the cross-section of the body is elliptical, and the second is that the lead is rectangular. Below is a selection of photos trying to show the elliptical body, with eraser on top, and the rectangular lead. Lamy Scribble with 0.7mm lead is the other pencil in the photos to give some idea of size and shape. The rectangular lead is about 0.9 x 1.8mm.
It's an ordinary push top ratchet lead advance mechanism. The lead grade is 2B, and the pencil is noted as “Exam Grade” suitable for Examination, Musical Notes and Jawi Writing. Other statements are “Thick learner’s pencil, Unique non-slip surface and easy to erase”. I’m rather unconvinced about the uniqueness of the surface, but it is reasonably non-slip. You learn something every day. I had not previously heard of jawi writing, but it’s an Arabic script used to represent the Malay language. I did a bit of non-Jawi writing to check out what it’s like to write with such a lead. Kind of interesting really. It’s a bit more precise than I expected.

23 comments:

JiBi_AI said...

"suitable for Examination"

This is really interested me :3
The rectangular shape might help me painting on the answer sheet

kiwi-d said...

Hello JiBi_AI
They aren't clear exactly what they mean by exam grade, but with the 2B thick lead I assumed they meant it was suitable for filling in those multi-choice bubble test sheets. But then the instructions always demand HB for those tests, even though generally anything dark will really do.

Javier said...

My buddy just brought me back a similar "Tomato Computer Pencil" (square 1.8mm exam grade lead) from Taiwan. The back of the packaging has 2 examples of people filling in those bubble sheets tests. It doesn't look as cool as the MGM you have and so I haven't opened up its blister pack yet, but now after this post, I'm curious to try out the square lead myself :-)

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the Jawi script is rather like Western style calligraphy in appearance and that the rectangular shape of the lead promotes the varying line width that such script seeks to achieve, much like the effect of a music or other stubby nib on a fountain pen. It certainly has improved the looks of your handwriting Dave :>))).

Barrel Of A Pencil

kiwi-d said...

Actually I didn’t say so, but for a plain black pencil it does look kind of cool. They have done well with the tones of black, general shape and symmetry, etc. On the down side, the elliptical body is not particularly comfortable – well they way I hold it anyway.

1.8mm square – that sounds interesting. Almost as interesting as a Tomato Computer Pencil 

BOAP – you can see Jawi script on Wikipedia and other places. The varying line width is a desirable feature. Funnily enough, I too thought it improved my handwriting! I used to have extremely neat handwriting as a child, and it just gets worse as time goes by. Pure laziness and a sloppy attitude. Every time I put a picture of my handwriting on this blog I always think, “Damn, I should have written that neatly.” But I can’t be bothered re-shooting the photo, and next time I just forget to use my best handwriting and the cycle starts again! I do not learn the lesson of history.

Javier said...

Ugghhh... I mistyped, the lead is identical to the one you reviewed (1.8MM rectangular lead). I'm not really sure why it's called a "computer pencil", but it's really cheap looking for sure :(

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Would the elliptical barrel be designed to force you to hold it at a certain angle, so the thick and thin strokes are in the right orientation? Or just somebody's trendy design brainstorm?

kiwi-d said...

Hi Anonymous
Well that thought did cross my mind as well. There's no mention of it on the packaging so I don't really know, but I'm tempted to think it was a just a brainstorm.

Emotional Landmines said...

Your blog is amazing! I'm from Mar del Plata, Argentina and I love mechanical pencils, pencils and pens. I also collect them, but I'm pretty sure my collection is not as big and interesting as yours!

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - I had another play with the MGM last night and there is a grip style that is more confortable so perhaps that was part of the design. But I'm still tepmted to think not.

Emotional Landmines - thanks for your kind words. I don't think I have too many visitors from the land of Los Pumas, so a double welcome. So, whose mech. pencils rule the market in Argentina? Germans, Americans, Japanese...?

Germ said...

neat pencil david. not sure i would like a square, or rectangular lead, but have never tried.

Emotional Landmines - welcome!!!! David has a great blog, and great pencils. I, too, am interested in who rules the pencil market in Argentina...

check out my blog as well.

Anonymous said...

I think wood-case pencils with rectangular lead used to be recommended in the UK for carpenters to mark out their work. Maybe they had a fixation with chisels?

Wilson said...

Anonymous:

1) Rectangular pencils don't roll
2) Cutting two slats with non-rounded slots should be easier
3) The much larger core should prevent almost all breakage
4) Using a knife to sharpen a small core requires more care/skill than if the core is large

Anonymous said...

Dave where would i buy this pencil plz answer

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - Sorry, no idea where to get one from. I got mine from a person who had been to SE Asia.

Stephen said...

http://www.zebrapen.com/pencil-mlp.html

The Zebra pencil looks identical to the MGM.

Andrew said...

Why that Zebra does look like the MGM... with the exception of a cool black eraser. =)

me said...

Hi Anonymous, I live in Singapore and came across similar pencils retailing in Daiso, a Japanese dollar-shop.

Daiso has stores in many countries. You might want to take a look here:
http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/english/storeinfo/storeinfo02.html
Hope you'll manage to find it. =)

I guess I'll be getting one to see if it really saves time when marking optical answer sheets. I'm still a student and have this (bad?) habit of marking my MCQs answers in one shot as opposed to marking them the moment I get the answer.

Hi Dave, informative blog you have about mechanical pencils. I never knew they sold MP eraser refills and so have refrained from using them all my life. I'm not a MP fan but it's tempting. Heh, I'm partial to side button clickers (is that what you call it?). =P

Lorena Di said...

Hi, I found this site while looking for replacement rectangular 0.9 leads. I have a three pack of those pencils, the brand is Foray and they look exactly the same as the one presented here. So if anyone is interested in buying them I bought them at Office Depot. Office Max should have them too.

So that brings me to the question. Does anybody know where to find replacement leads for these pencils? They are nowhere to be found.

Matthew R said...

Isn't "Foray" the Office Depot house brand?

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is probably old news but you can get this pencil at: http://www.instawares.com/zebra-mlp2-mechanical-pencil.zeb55301.0.7.htm#gallery

Its the same pencil, diffrent branding.

Anonymous said...

Foray™ Super Size Lead Mechanical Pencils, 0.9 mm, Assorted Colors, Pack Of 3
Item # 789208

Sold at Office Depot

george said...

http://www.enasco.com/ carries the Zebra MLP2 mechanical pencil .9 x 1.08 Includes extra eraser and lead. Ordered 12 at $1.19 each plus shipping. Tried office depot for the Foray version and they are out of stock

George, Pasadena MD