Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The DMP's

Nobels, Oscars, Baftas, Logies, Tellys, Golden Globes, Geminis, Grammies…well in a fit of self aggrandisement, I’m inventing my own annual awards too - The DMP's. I think it’s helpful for me to review the year and think about the good and bad, what I enjoyed most, etc. Keep the blog enthusiasm up.

Any pencil or item featured on my blog in the relevant calendar year is eligible for an award. Awards will not be given if there are no suitable candidates. The awards are:-

The “Bonus Slice of Pav” and “Last Nights Left Over Warm Flat Stale Ale” - special awards for anything judged worthy of an award, good or bad, respectively.

The “Pencil of Shame” awarded for the worst pencil.

And the supreme award, the “Mordan-Hayakawa Legacy Trophy” for the best pencil of the year.

The judge offers no justification or defence of his decisions.

So, without further to-do, the envelopes please….

This year there was only one nominee for the “Pencil of Shame”, which is one too many, but the judge decided it was a worthy nomination and thus awarded the “Pencil of Shame” to the Papermate Write Bros. Mechanical Pencil.

In a similar vein, after some deliberation, the judge decided to give a “Last Nights Left Over Warm Flat Stale Ale” prize to Faber-Castell TK-Fine Executive Mechanical Pencil.

On a more positive note the judge was happy to consider several nominees for a “Bonus Slice of Pav”, and decided to dish out one slice (with extra cream) to The Cats Pyjamas.

Drumroll please….

For the supreme award, the “Morden-Hayakawa Legacy Trophy”, there were 5 nominees.
Parker Duofold
Pentel Accu Graph PG1505AD
Pentel Energize PL77
Staedtler 925 25
Uni Kuru Toga

And the winner of the inaugural 2008 Morden-Hayakawa Legacy Trophy, the Supreme DMP award is…the Uni Kuru Toga. For well and truly showing us that mechanical pencil design and innovation is alive and kicking.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I couldn't agree more - the Kuru Toga really deserves it. Like your style, we have the lead cup and now the "Morden-Hayakawa Legacy Trophy". I hope they will be returning events here?
keep it up
regards Henrik

Anonymous said...

The Kuru Toga is innovative - but we don't really know how it will (or won't) endure over time. Nor is it available in even 0.7mm, let alone 0.9mm. And finally - the bright colour housing (though there is that limited edition gold version) isn't to all tastes.

Imagine the engine in a classic housing like a Lamy 2000 - what a pencil that would be!

Yes, it is certainly "Rookie of the Year". But don't we need a while before declaring it a "Legacy Trophy" winner?

As always, keep up the good work!

Kiwi-d said...

Well I did state, “The judge offers no justification or defence of his decisions” but I will respond to Stephen's comment, and I did effectively state my reason for awarding top prize to the Kuru Toga, namely, “For well and truly showing us that mechanical pencil design and innovation is alive and kicking.”

I don’t think we need to see how the Kuru Toga endures. The prize was awarded on the basis of its concept, not its specific current physical embodiment. However, that's a good point about the name of the award including the word Legacy, and I will take some time to reflect on that. The Kuru Toga might be the first and last winner of the Mordan-Hayakawa Legacy Trophy as opposed to the Mordan-Hayakawa Trophy.

Germ said...

Excellent!!!! i wouold have voted the Pentel personally. The Kuru is plastic, and thus should not be considered, no matter how cool or revolutionary...so HA!!!
Next year, we need the "Germ" award.

Anonymous said...

Lately, I've been on the search for the perfect pencil that fits to all of my needs. I've currently been sticking to a BIC but this idea of automatically rotating the lead really appeals to me, since I rotate my pencils around a whole lot. Hmm, maybe I'll have to pick one up for the holidays... =)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, I agree with Henrik, I like your style! I think the idea of pencil awards is long overdue. I guess with your honorable mention (Slice Of Pav) and dishonorable mention (Last Nights Left Over Warm Flat Stale Ale)categories you won't be needing my suggestion of a Susan Lucci Always A Bridesmaid Award :>))). Obviously I agree the Papermate Wrong Bros. Mechanical Pencil was this year's worst, but I also agree that the Kuru Toga was the year's most fascinating entry and for the reason you cite--it's innovative ideas that matter. In execution I have not found the Kuru Toga to be really wanting although I have yet to achieve the perfect cone-shaped lead pictured in their brochure (more on this later). Here's to a very long run of DMP Awards!

Barrel Of A Pencil

despair said...

I just received a 0.3 Kuru Toga myself.. i've tried a few pencils, though obviously not as many as you, and i must agree that this one is really special. I approve of your decision! =P

Pawel Bartuzi said...

I tried Kuru Toga and must say it works as advertised but the downside is it is really scratchy all the time (I tried 0,3mm model with 2B lead). I prefer my pencils writing smooth. Also a more refined (aesthetically) version would be really nice.


Anonymous said...

@Stephen and Pawel. I had the same considerations about the bright plastic - but I found an aesthetically pleasing, conservative black version at JetPens.

Anonymous said...

Speaking about JetPens, I just checked their website yesterday and all of their Kuru Togas have sold out! =( Guess it's time to go hunting for that pencil now. Haha, by any chance, did a swarm of Dave's readers go to JetPens once they saw the supreme DMP award?

Matthew R said...

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools website published a review of the Kuru Toga the day after the DMP was announced. Coincidence probably; perhaps not.


despair said...

i got the black one and it's really nice aesthetically. I would say it's somewhat techno/retro ..
As for scratchiness, mine is also 0.3. It depends mostly on paper/lead type. I'm using a staedtler HB now. On normal paper i don't have any problem; on cheap one (thin, grainy, come-apart feeling..) yes it's scratchy.
One needs to keep in mind, however, that the lead is vey thin, and sharpened to a point.
Also in my experience Staedtler lead is harder than same grade of other brands.
In fact, the included leads weren't as scratchy, though i don't know which grade they are.
I would like to try it with other lead brands, need to find them first though.. around here i've only found staedtler in 0.3 diameter.

Anonymous said...


We just got some stock in at www.tokyopenshop.com so we have some in stock in pink, green, and black.

If you like japanese mechanical pencils check out the zebra color flight. It is one of my personal favorites. Dave? Care to review the stylish offering from Zebra?


2nd_Astronaut said...

I know, this is the Trophy from one year ago... Stephen complaint above about lacking 0.7mm Kuru Toga. Here one is constructed (at least the pictures indicate that): http://chair.blog4.fc2.com/blog-entry-82.html