Friday, February 19, 2010

Stationery From Thailand

I personally don’t trip across a lot of pens, mechanical pencils and stationery products in general from Thailand and so don’t really think of there being a particularly large or export orientated mechanical pencil and stationery industry in Thailand, but maybe there’s more going on there than I imagine?

Since Thailand has a lot of rubber trees it wouldn’t surprise me to see latex rubber erasers from there, even though I don’t recall ever seeing any. I have seen some plastic erasers from Thailand though, like this one.
Eraser Thailand

Personally I only have one mechanical pencil of Thai origin.
Staedtler 925 mechanical pencil

Actually strictly speaking the statement is “Assembled in Thailand”. I have seen some implications that the actual components are of Japanese origin.
Staedtler 925 mechanical pencil Thailand
I do though know one brand of mechanical pencils and writing instruments associated with Thailand, and that is ‘Niji’. Now that sounds Japanese to me and it is a brand of Yasutomo and Company, who also have housebrands of ‘Yasutomo’ and ‘Y&C’.

From the Yasutomo USA website “Yasutomo and Company was established in June, 1954 by Mr. Ben Yasutomo. A man of vision, Mr. Yasutomo believed that "global marketing" was possible back in the 1950’s because he recognized that consumers in both the USA and Japan wanted products from the other’s country. He decided to set up an office in San Francisco, strategically located to develop commerce between the two countries. The initial goal was to supply stationery and artist materials from Japan to the USA and to distribute American candy and snack food products to Japan.”

Various web searches quickly indicate that Yasutomo seem to source quite a bit of product from Thailand. I don’t currently have any Niji mechanical pencils, but I do have some Niji lead refills, courtesy of JiBi_AI from Thailand. She tells me that they used to be common but these days they are rather rare, perhaps discontinued.
Niji Grip lead refills
Yasutomo Niji Grip lead refills Thailand


JiBi_AI said...

o_O Wow!!!
I used Niji since I'm very yong and I never know that's fact :lol:

Many of Staedtler's and Faber-Castel's products produced in Thailand and other country in South East Asia [Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines]
Such as Steadtler's economy eraser, only 5 baht [0.15 US Dollar] However, quality goes along their prize. In fact, It's really worthwhile, if you want something a little better you have to pay more than 3 times expensive. [for example, pentel rubber about 15-25 baht, mono's 35-40 baht, mujirushi 25 baht, sakura 10-20 bath]

Another example is Steadtler's Pencil. Made-in-German products are rarely seen now. Most of them in Thailand are made in Malaysia. The pencil box say that graphite are imported from German but manufacturing in Malaysia.

and..... The most humourous thing is imported Stationery [I only check the things come from Japan] is cheaper than what they're sold in original country!!! pentel leads printed on the box 200 jpy. but it's only 40 bath[around 100 yen] mono rubber, mechanical pencils[pentel, uni, tombo, etc] are all cheaper than Japan.....and almost everything are made in Japan, except something like pentel eraser are made in Taiwan. [I don't really know why but that's very good!!!]

Anonymous said...

About imported products in Thailand. I kinda surprised when I saw Pentel Shaplet Fine0.5 being sell for 45 bath (equal 1xx yen which is a lot cheaper than how it is in Japan) ....only to noticed later that pencil's head are not the same as it is in Japan.(steel point removed)
Maybe that's why Imported products are cheaper...

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks for your comments. That pricing is interesting...I guess a fair bit of that price difference is peoples expectations. People are used to and expect to pay a certain price, and therefor they do.

Black Lead Nate said...

Dave, have you noticed that the lead advance mechanism of the 925 does not work when the pencil is upside down?

Germ said...

nifty lead tube, dude.

H3 said...

The Yasutomo Grip 500 is a fantastic pencil, although no longer made. I stocked up a couple years ago and am lucky enough to have 6 new ones in my pencil case.
Great blog! I stumbled upon it while doing a seach for the Pentel Technica-X.

Anonymous said...

Could anybody post a picture with a disassembled Staedtler 925 (Assembled in Thailand)mechanical pencil view? Thank you

Jewel Nguyen said...

I would like to buy a Yasutomo grip 500 and can't find any in any site or store. Any ideas?