Saturday, August 16, 2008

Magic House

A month or two ago a reader left a comment on this blog about liking the Magic House automatic pencil. A quick Google search found Magic House and their website. Here’s a copy of the full text from the Magic House webpage Why Auto Pencils.

The Auto Pencil is the world's most advanced & user-friendly pencil. It saves on the need to shave and the usual pressing of normal mechanical pencils. The design of the lead chamber allows even a child extraordinary ease of usage. The Auto Pencil is a revolutionary product, and it will gradually take the place of other pencils. When the tip moves, it means that the lead has to be replaced. Our product has been awarded many patents, it also enjoys stability in manufacturing and its quality is assured. Using our product benefits both the environment and human kind, since there is no cutting down of trees, thus safe guarding the well-being of the next generation.
Traditional wooden pencils are a waste of time and money, and there is also the issue of safety, particularly with regards to lead poisoning. (the coat on the pencil's exterior does contain traces of lead, given that children are prone to putting things in their mouths, there is a risk of lead poisoning which can result in damge to eyesight and brain development.)
Sharpened pencils face the effects of wear after prolonged usage, and this might indirectly affect your children's work and grades. None can deny that preparing your child for the future and giving him a good headstart are important. A quality pencil is the first step to a brighter future for your child. Your child will leave a lasting impression on teachers, and shine among his classmates.
Our company's pencil lead uses graphite instead of lead, and is the result of intricate worksmanship. Traditional pencil leads are made using lead & clay. Prolonged usage of such pencils by your child can lead to lead accumulation within his body. Since graphite is non-toxic, you can be assured that you will face no such problems when using our product. Our company has been awarded a certificate by SGS, an international company for inspection, verification, testing and certification. Your rights are guranteed when you make purchase of our product.

Crikey! At first you have to give them some benefit of the doubt, English is obviously not their native language. My friend Henrik from Denmark was equally surprised by their website, and sent them this short email

Dear Sir,
Much to my surprise, I read at your website that ordinary pencils are made from lead (and clay).

To the best of my knowledge it is not so. Check any manufacturer you like.
Consequently, there is no risk of lead poisoning using regular pencils. I therefore urge you to remove this information from your website.
I’m sure your pencils have many virtues and can sell without wrong information being used for promotion,
Good luck with your business
Sincerely

Over a month has gone by and no response or changes. Perhaps there are no rules about false or misleading advertising where they come from?

Traditional wooden pencils are a waste of time and money – Strong words, but everyone’s allowed their own opinion.

Using our product benefits both the environment and human kind, since there is no cutting down of trees, thus safe guarding the well-being of the next generation. – Excellent news. I guess their plastic is special stuff and good for us all, is not made from petrochemicals, doesn’t use any electricity from coal or oil fired power stations in any part of the manufacturing process, etc…an opinion is one thing, but the debate of wooden versus mechanical pencils is heavy stuff. I wonder what scholarly research they have to back up this opinion?


the coat on the pencil's exterior does contain traces of lead, given that children are prone to putting things in their mouths, there is a risk of lead poisoning which can result in damge to eyesight and brain development. – Actually this could be true of dodgy manufacturers, but reputable wooden pencil manufacturers use non-toxic paints. They conveniently seem to ignore how a disreputable manufacturer of mechanical pencils could use plastics that are not safe to chew on.

Our company's pencil lead uses graphite instead of lead, and is the result of intricate worksmanship. Traditional pencil leads are made using lead & clay. Prolonged usage of such pencils by your child can lead to lead accumulation within his body.– Pencil lead made from lead?!? Pencil leads leading to lead poisoning? They clearly know of graphite so it’s hard to claim any misunderstanding.

Finally, for a bit of humour, I know I’m stretching things a little, It saves on the need to shave – Well this would actually be great if it was true. Think of all those extra minutes every morning. Better sell those shares in Gillette and Wilkinson Sword because it’s a no-shaving future.

Maybe I'm just being mean, but sometimes you just can’t walk on by without taking a pot-shot.

For the record, I’ve never seen a Magic House pencil, although I suspect they are probably quite reasonable. Anyone out there got a Magic House pencil? Seriously, I’d love to hear from you. Even better, please send me a few words or photos or something. I’d love to balance the scales and say something good about Magic House.

13 comments:

Glen Mullaly said...

Crazee! I hope they respond so we can hear more of their wonderful logic and fact-free arguments!

Germ said...

I highly doubt you guys will hear anything from Magic House. Sad, but true.
No need to shave? That would be great, if I shaved. Well, my face that is. :evilGerm: mwuahahahahaha TMI, right? Seriously, skin is too sensitive, so I can only shave once a week or every 2. Lucky me.

Time Waster said...

Papermate had these out for years not sure if they still sell em.

If it's plastic it will break and need to be replaced.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love that! Actually I just picked up something of the sort, well maybe, but it is a Ticonderoga Sensematic automatic mechanical pencil in .7mm . Pretty neat too. Ive been jotting notes for a few days with it, and its odd not having to advance the lead. For the 2-3usd they cost, its pretty nice. Its even hexagonal shaped with the standard green and yellow Ticonderoga ferrul and black eraser. Pencil body is silver-ish.

Anonymous said...

Actually, here is the link to it.
https://www.dixonusa.com/index.cfm/fuseaction=shop.product/prdIndex=234

kiwi-d said...

Yep, the pictures on the Magic House site make the pencil look very similar to several other such auto-feed MPs styles to look like wooden pencils.

Mardiana said...

Hi there,

I've got the Magic House Auto Pencil 0.5mm. Am supplying it. Very impressive. My kids love it too.

kiwi-d said...

Hello Mardiana. Thanks for the comment. If you wanted to send a photo and / or a afew words on the Magic House pencil I would love to publish it.
Dave

mookxi said...

Great review ! I picked up about 20 of these up for me & my friends and we are all loving it. Great pencil that I'll be using for aeons !

Anonymous said...

I bought 3 magic house auto pencils in 2 traditional yellow (0.5mm) and 1 in black (0.7mm) in 2008 and i've never stopped using it. I like the yellow one better because it's triangular in shape so doesn't roll around on my desk. my desk is slightly uneven so i had to pick up the black pencil from the floor a lot until i lost it so i switched to the yellow one. i have used quite a bit of the other pencil's eraser butt. i wonder if they sell the refill for the erasers... anyway, i want to buy more of it but the guy that sold it to me wasn't there anymore when i went back. I should have bought more that time. :) -bon

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if its possible to get these magic house auto pencils in New Zealand?

My friend broke my one and ive been wanting one ever since
These pencils are great but i only had one until it broke...

Anonymous said...

I picked up 2 Magic House pencils too. And so far so good. Smooth writing and feels like a pencil that doesn't ever go blunt.

Anonymous said...

I just dumped my girl's Magic House pencil into the dustbin after trying for half an hour to fix the jam and refilling the lead. The lead doesn't magically drops down to the tip after you slot it in through the eraser end. After breaking 2 leads, I decided I've wasted enough time...Is there a special trick to refilling the lead? The pencil did not come with any instructions.