Back-to-School sales are upon us, and this stationery lover is in heaven. A great side of the BTSS is that this is a time when companies like Staples push out their knock-off versions of more expensive well loved stationery items, in this case, I believe these are a challenge to Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel pens.
I’ve mentioned that the Inkjoy looks like an adult “toy” and in comparison the QDGP is Spencer’s gifts version. It reminds me strongly of the Papermate gray FlexGrip pen we used to get in the 90s. With the exception of the incised lines of the FlexGrip, this pen is nearly identical to the 90s version of the capped pen. His school me loved the rubberized barrel and fiddling with the incised lines in the grip.
Adult me took one look at the pen and thought, “Basic.” Then I wondered what the hell the design team was thinking. Shiny silver nose, matte rubberized body, colored translucent clip and knock section, then finish it off with a shiny silver knock. The diameter of the pen is thick and about the same as the Inkjoy. They are incredibly lightweight you can barely feel them in hand. The clip is next to useless. The nock delivers a satisfying click and is nicely springy feeling.
The colors are lovely, saturated and sharp on all the paper used. The color of the ink doesn’t match the body of the pen. Particularly the light blue pen body- the ink is closer to teal. The purple is very dark. The red is dark red and not pink. The orange is the only one that is the right shade. The experience of writing is a little less positive. The tip is a tad scratchy on several of the pens in my package. In particular the bright green and the blue were quite scratchy. The colors are water soluble even after drying for an extended period of time. I doubt that they are lightfast.
Inside the body of the pen are standard gel refills. I noticed that the scratchy pens had air bubbles near the tips and no amount of shaking and flicking of the pen moved that air bubble. We’ll see if use moves it and if the pen gets better after the bubble is moved.
Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about these pens. I really like the orange and red color, and the light blue pen’s teal color is great, but if 2 out of 5 pens are meh is the package worth the cost at $5? When these pens work these are great basic gel pens that would work well for bullet journaling on a budget. (They are ugly though.) Continue reading