The Apsara Matte Magic 2.0 pencil is pure fun. It hits all the buttons for me for an enjoyable pencil experience. First, the pencil is painted black. Black pencils are my jam and I always want more of them. The imprint is silver foil on black- classic and awesome. The end dips are colorful and have meaning to the inside of the pencil.
Review: Apsara Matte Magic 2.0 Pencil
Inside the wood of the pencil, it sharpens like bass wood, is dyed a variety of colors. Some pencils have one color of wood inside, others have two colors. The end dips correlate to the colors inside! The mechanical coordination this must’ve taken in a factory pumping out millions of pencils is kind of mind blowing.
The core is labeled as extra dark, which in Apsara terms means nicely dark with a firm core. The extra dark core is one of my favorites for writing for long periods of time. It glides smoothly over a page and leaves a deep dark line. Killer.
I sharpened mine up in my hacked Apsara Long Point housed in a RandomThinks 3D printed holder (a killer tool check out his insta to see if you can get one) and it sharpens up to a lovely point.
The 10 pencils arrive bundled with a long point sharpener ripe for hacking and a little plastic eraser. I’ve immediately started to use the tiny eraser. It’s perfect for pocket carry and mimics the pencils- the inside of mine is yellow and the outside is black. Cool.
I picked these up on the ‘zon for $6.99. At 58 cents a pencil this doesn’t reach into most folx premium range, and it’s about 20 cents cheaper than last week’s review. These are nice pencils that have a core that works really well for all my writing needs, especially long form writing. They glide on all my paper and I love them. They are fun and bring me joy.
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The Tombow IPPO! is a Japanese pencil targeted toward kids for working on their handwriting. The pencils have bright attractive colors with one of their six sides white. It makes for a really neat looking pencil. The end is capped off and neatly banded with a bright silver foil. The grade of the pencil is marked on 2 sides with the company name and dragonfly image on a third. I find these to be tidy and sharp (heh) looking pencils. That single white stripe reminds me of wide racing stripes on cars. Tough and serviceable but bright and fun. There are three different colors in each 12-pack. Mine had a bright lime green, a light blue, and dark blue. The pencils arrive in a nice hard plastic case that is reusable as a pencil case. It doesn’t clasp shut but overlap, so would need a rubber band to hold it shut, but is a great way to protect your pencils on the go.Inside, the soft B core is well centered in an unknown wood that sharpens with ease. I tested out a variety of sharpeners and was happy with all results, from long points to stubby points. Point retention with this B pencil was good but not great. It is a B pencil, so it is soft, but it’s also not the softest B pencils I’ve tried. It’s delightfully dark without using undue pressure, and is smooth. It’s not the silky smooth experience of a Pearl but has a touch more feedback. It’s fantastic.
I really enjoy this pencil for written journaling. My words are nice and dark, and it doesn’t smudge too much, but will. For sketching it does well, but for deep dark areas another pencil in a softer grade will be needed.
These were purchased from Jetpens. They ring in around $1 each. The bright colors are fantastic and are eye catching. I can’t help but to have one of each color sharpened and ready for use.