I have a problem. Back-to-School displays are my weakness. I went into Walgreens and discovered a new line of BIC Cristal stick pens – Xtra Precision multi-pack with “fun and colorful caps”. Neither cap nor color drew me to these pens. The “Xtra” and the “Fine” point did. I had to give them an “Xtra” look. (But come on, how much does leaving of the “E” actually save you?)
Given that BIC tends to the 1.0mm and higher points (BOLD!) I was pleasantly surprised to find these were a 0.7mm ball point. Haven’t seen anything like that in the US in a very, very long time. So for a $1.99 at Walgreens, I had to try them. Because, um, yeah… Hello, impulse buy!
I have to admit I was even more pleasantly surprised when I dug into the package. These are better than I expected. They are a needle point tip – which I’m coming around to liking. I admit my initial hesitation for needle tips are from early days when they were flimsy and bent easily. These days, whoever designs these things has made them a lot sturdier. The pen is long to me ~5.75” capped and 6.5” with the cap posted. After using a bunch of retractables, that’s LONG. The barrel is the classic hex pattern in translucent plastic matching the ink color. The plastic cap is white with ink-matching accents. So they pretty much are fun and colorful.
The ink impressed me more than it should’ve. The light blue and greens are, indeed, light – but the rest are rich and smooth. With some other Bics I would notice if you used them for a while, the ink would kind of fade out – especially with fashion colors or the finer the point. I see none of that with this batch. The ballpoint is smooth and wrote on the first stroke. I see no signs of skipping or ink blobs.
There’s nothing fancy about this pen. It’s simple, plastic, with no bells or whistles. The hexagonal barrel has no padding or ergonomic grip – which does lead to fatigue if you’re do a tight grip on pens like I do. But for a simple pen, it’s quite handy and nice. And at $1.99 for an 8 pack, I’m going to try to pick up more – especially if I can get the classic colors.
1. How does it work? – 1 It’s decent. No frills. No padding. Ink is smooth and dark. Wrote the first time, every pen.
2. Grip and feel – 1 – It’s an inexpensive, plastic, no frills pen. The grip and feel is hard plastic. But you’re not buying this pen for the grip, let’s be honest.
3. Material – 1 For an inexpensive plastic pen, it’s solidly built. The cap and barrel are secure. The logo doesn’t wear off easily.
4. Overall Design – 0.5 -It’s a classic BIC pen with a needle point tip. That’s always going to be a weak point in my book. The length might be an issue with some.
5. Price Point – 1 – I got these at a local Walgreens. Still having to find them elsewhere easily – though online, you might be able to get them from Target or Amazon. I got the 8 pack at Walgreens for $1.99. Target seems to have a 15 count for $2.96 online. That’s stunningly cheap, really.
4.5 out of 5 Bronze Pencils