Saturday, July 21, 2018

Mechanical Pencil Day Giveaway - Part 2

Ahhh… well... neither of the winners Gary F or Evander have contacted me and the week is up, so their pencils go to new possible winners.

This time I have chosen a small pool of potential winners - first in first served as they say, so the first two to contact me win.

The new potential winners are some chosen at random, and those kind hearted souls who took the time to congratulate the first two winners. They are

Alexandra Ferreira
Anonymous - Vasco from Portugal
Alana G.

So, new potential winners, please contact me to claim your prize. My email address is available from 'About Me - View my profile' in the sidebar. If you've got some problem using that then leave a comment here on this post.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mechanical Pencils for Learners

There is quite a range of writing instruments for learner writers. Many manufacturers have woodcase pencils, mechanical pencils and ballpoint pens that they market for children who are starting to learn to write. For the slightly older learner there are also fountain pens.

There are some common design features shared by most of these writing instruments such as oversize or wide grips and heavy duty construction. I want to restrict this post to mechanical pencils, talk a little about a few learner MPs, and ask you readers a few questions.

Here are the learner mechanical pencils that I am aware of. Large ergonomic rubber grips, short bodies and thick leads are the order of the day!

  • BIC Kids, with 1.3mm HB lead.
  • Faber-Castell Scribolino, with 1.4mm B lead. This is my personal favourite from an aesthetic standpoint, and as a mechanical pencil also usable by adults.
  • Lamy abc, with 1.4mm HB lead.
  • Pelikan Griffix, with 2.0mm lead, unknown grade.
  • Stabilo EASYergo in two lead options – 3.15mm HB and 1.4mm HB. The 1.4mm is marketed as suitable for 8+ year olds. EASYergo has left and right hand versions. Stabilo’s design criteria aimed for a minimum of parts to discourage disassembly by inquisitive children and the subsequent loss of parts or creation of choking hazards. I have come to appreciate this pencil and Stabilo’s concept more than when I first reviewed it. Also they got rid of that atrocious ‘s move bit 
  • There is also the Staedtler graphite 771 with 1.3mm HB lead, but this seems to be discontinued in much of the world, although for example is still on the Staedtler Australia website. I don’t think Staedtler really marketed the 771 as a learner pencil, but it has some of the attributes, hence my mentioning it here.
My Learners - Stabilo EASYergo, Faber-Castell Scribolino, plus Staedtler 771

Question – What other learner mechanical pencils are there?

Now, another feature of these learner pencils is where they are sold. Rightly or wrongly I am under the impression that learner pencils are very much a ‘Germany and nearby’ product. That is their stronghold. For example, the Lamy website states this about the abc, “This model is available in: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and United Kingdom”. The BIC Kids website states “Recommended by Teachers (89% out of french (sic) teachers interviewed by Eurosyn recommended BIC Kids for learning (July 2013))”. The English speaker in me can’t miss the opportunity to wonder about “french teachers”. Is that teachers in France, or teachers that teach French somewhere? Now, I know that learner mechanical pencils are available outside of Lamy’s list of countries, for example the BIC Kids is on the BIC Australia website, and I have seen Stabilo EASYergo in my part of the world, but I definitely wouldn’t say it was commonly available.

Question – In your part of the world are learner pencils commonly available, and are the commonly used?

I would appreciate your comments. Even a “Hey, I live in XYZ-Land and have never seen a learner pencil in any stores or heard of any local children using them” would be of interest.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Winners - Mechanical Pencil Day Giveaway

Okay, its 14 July in my time zone, so once again, a big thank you to Cult Pens, here are the winners.

The most popular pencil was clear, with about twice as many wanting to win the TWSBI as did the Lamy. So you Lamy lovers have twice the chance of winning !!

Right then, the winners are...

For the TWSBI Precision Fixed
  • Gary F
For the Lamy Al-star
  • Evander..... I guess this is a double surprise :)
So, winners, please contact me within a week, otherwise your pencil will go to a new random winner. My email address is available from 'About Me - View my profile' in the sidebar. If you've got some problem getting to that then leave a comment here on this post.

Boy, that Bleistift guy has really socked it to me this Mechanical Pencil Day, he's even got video for the winners! :) I'm going to have to up my game for Round 2.

Also, coming soon to a blog near you, another Giveaway!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Mechanical Pencil Day Giveaway

So, today is Mechanical Pencil Day over at Cult Pens, and as part of the celebrations they said "Hey Dave, choose a pencil or two from our range and give them away on your blog", so I did, and I am.

I wanted to try and be as inclusive as possible so decided to select a technical drafting type mechanical pencil for those who are into precision, and a general writing mechanical pencil for those who apply their graphite in a more relaxed manner. With that in mind I ended up selecting the Lamy AL-star 171 pencil black 0.7mm and the TWSBI Precision Fixed mechanical pencil silver 0.5mm. The very ones pictured below, that you now have a chance of owning. Thanks Cult Pens.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post  and say which one of the two you would like to win. If you comment anonymously then make sure to also include some identifier in your comment, e.g. "I'm Laura from SIU Carbondale", or "Call me PencilPaul". The winners will be selected at random on 14 July and announced on this blog. Winners have a week to then email me back and claim their prize.


Sunday, July 01, 2018

Mechanical Pencil Day

Cult Pens are having a Mechanical Pencil Day... well it will last longer than a day, but you get the idea. July 05. Specials, promos, blog posts and other stuff. So, head on over there to check it out.

Also, check back here on July 5 for a giveaway provided by Cult Pens.