And now for something different…
Tonight’s blog post is my review of two items sent to me by the lovely people at www.thepencompany.com.
Fisher Space Pen (RRP £26.96 with free delivery)
I’m on various writing lists dotted around the internet so am used to getting random emails and on the 23rd March I received one such from Anna Rainbow (a wonderful name for a character – Anna watch out!), Marketing Assistant at The Pen Company, letting me know about their writing competition (which is on http://www.thepencompany.com/blog/competitions/spring-poetry-competition by the way and I listed on my competitions page: https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/competitions-calendar but unfortunately finished yesterday :() then during emails backwards and forwards, Anna invited me to review one of the pens and of course I said “yes” so she sent me off shopping through their electronic shelves (my kind of shopping, sorry Mr Corner Shop).
It turns out that that type of stylus pens were being phased out because they’re not compatible with certain types of touch screens aka my iPad2. So after more lovely email tennis, James directed me to the hot-off-the-press (arrived with them on Tuesday, I received it yesterday, Wednesday) Fisher Space Pen.
The pen comes in a pass-the-parcel-get-anywhere-in-perfect-condition packaging and I remember a while back reading that packaging is the number one bugbear in a reader’s poll so I tested that out too. One end was tough to open (the sort that has cuts into the ends with a middle flap into the end of the box) so I tried the other and it opened quite easily. Part 1 passed.
Part 2: the inner case. Solid, durable black plastic with ‘fisher SPACEPEN®’ in silver lettering (and what looks like a single-ring Saturn – astronomers will probably correct me here) on the top. The opening is a click-shut-push-the-bottom-in snug fit. The pen rests on a silver velveteen-style (pen experts – James? – will know the word for it) hollow plastic mould which is super-snug. No chance of this baby escaping. Removing (easier said than done) the grey moulded tray reveals a pamphlet with Paul C Fisher’s picture and signature on the front. Opening that up, concertina-style, reveals on one side the History of the Company (more about that on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_C._Fisher) in English, German, Spanish, Italian and French (I can converse, just about, in all but Italian, so some bedtime reading perhaps). Then on the other side, in the same languages, is headed ‘Technology’ – that’s me! –
- Ultra-hard tungsten carbide ball
- Stainless steel precision-machined socket prevent leaks and oozing, yet delivers instant uniform in ink flow.
- Visco-elastic thixotropic ink in the hermetically-sealed and pressurised cartridge writes three times longer.
- Sliding float separates ink from pressurised gas.
- Gas plug seals in almost 50psi when full.
I only understand about half of that but it sounds impressive. I recognise psi from tyres so perhaps the car mechanics reading this can explain that bit to me.
There is actually an explanation on the leaflet and picking up that it won’t run out for at least 100 years (depending upon how much I write!) and I can use it in temperatures from -30oF to +250oF (no danger there).
Part 3: the important bit – the pen. The first thing that surprised me about the pen (or rather the pen via the packaging) was how small it is. I thought that perhaps it came in two pieces but no, sure enough, it is dinky.
Housed in a shiny silver metallic casing, it opens smoothly, has the stress-ball-type-feel stylus on the top, so no switching of refills etc. and I played WordDrop (on the aforementioned iPad2) with it seamlessly.
The pen itself is reassuringly weighty and the cap fits neatly on to its rear end (ooh er missus). When the cap it replaced, it does so with a nostalgic Rice Krispies Snap, Crackle and Pop “pop”.
The pen, when in use, fits comfortably in the fingers, made all the more so by a soft black rubber ribbed (minds out the gutter please!) inch-wide band just back from the tapered pen end. The refill is accessed by a smooth central screw-thread fitting. Everything about the pen is solid and firm, a feel of quality.
James also kindly (because I ‘wowed’ about it) sent me a Faber-Castell 4gb memory stick which arrived separately today (the top item on http://www.thepencompany.com/special-offer-pens and free with any Faber-Castell pen). I’ve only just used it to copy a couple of folders across (on my MacBook Air) but it looks so cute, and me being a girl, that’s what we like (the first thing we ask about a car is the colour – even me being a techie nerd).
It also arrived in a stylish silver box, this time with a window with the Faber-Castell logo showing. The memory stick is safely stored in grey foam and comes complete with a long black cotton lanyard (with detachable clip). It took me a couple of attempts to get the lanyard on (it’s a push loop through hook on end of stick then feed the lanyard through) but I did it when the stick was in my computer, with the curtains close at 7pm, so not the best test environment.
I did mention that I’m a techie nerd, didn’t I. One thing I loved about this (which I only found out when I ejected the stick – which you should always do (or ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ on a PC)) – is that the cap, which felt a little too loose, reunites with the stick magnetically. Added sexiness. I could be really picky and say that the hexagonal sides aren’t flush but the magnetism beats that hands proverbially down.
You can never have too many backups of documents, pictures etc. and what could be more endearing to any writer than a memory stick in the shape of a pencil.
The pen’s catchphrase is ‘Goes anywhere, writes everywhere’ and it certainly will be going everywhere with me… including off to my writing group in about… oops, minus three minutes.
Finally, why is it called the Space Pen? Because NASA have approved it and if it’s good enough for them… 🙂
The Pen Company can be found at
- 01438 880758
- www.twitter.com/ThePenCompany @ThePenCompany
and my thanks go again to them for giving me this opportunity and two lovely new pieces of kit. 🙂
This is where I’d normally put the guest author’s biography so here’s a little about me… 🙂
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition and creative writing tutor for her local council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page).
She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog. Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List and she has six others (mostly crime) in the works.
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