This was a post I wrote in 2014 coming back from SoonerCon. Today I’m exhausted – I have herded all the cats I can herd today. There’s a bunch of moving parts plans happening this evening — however, I’m trying to be better about pretty much everything, so I’m going to keep on schedule even if it is this “Flash from the Past”. New content soon. But SoonerCon was AWESOME (as always). You should go if you haven’t been or if you’ve been away for a while. I meant to get their SoonerCon “office pack” thingie (notebook, pen, tote, and hand sanitizer) but I just didn’t pull the pin on that plan. Maybe next year…
In order to help keep Jimmy company when we were both exhausted yesterday, I pretty much “live Facebooked” the drive home from Oklahoma City to Dallas/Fort Worth from SoonerCon. Sorry, Feed. I pretty much said that this week’s blogs would be all about SoonerCon… well, you’ve been warned…even the pen blog is SoonerCon related. This year, in the packet with our schedules and name tents and program book was a nifty (and not-inexpensive) promotional pen from SoonerCon, and I’m going to tell you about it.
This pen is both adorable and functional, if a bit on the short side. These pens are the kind companies and people like me buy, get some kind of personalization engraved on them, and hand out to unsuspecting passersby. But this one is pretty cool. It’s a bit on the short side if you have a larger hand. It’s 5″ long with the point retracted and about 5.25″ long with the point extended. Though a bit top heavy to accommodate the flashlight, it’s actually comfortable.
The pen barrel is slightly tapered for a nod to ergonomics. It’s that sweet spot between too wide a barrel diameter and… well, not. The mechanisms for both the pen retraction and the flashlight are on the side of the barrel parallel to each other to give room for the personalization. The tip and the barrel transitioning to the flashlight are translucent colored (in this case blue) plastic accenting the bright white. The sliders are textured for a good grip and work well.
The pen has black ballpoint ink. The flow is smooth with little to no clumps or skips – there’s a bit of smearing on good paper, but minimal. I’m not sure what the point is, but it feels kinda like a 0.7mm or slightly bigger – it could be a 1.0mm but without feeling big and gloppy – which I like. It’s a “mini” ball point refill that looks pretty standard, so you could probably refill it. The LED flashlight is bright but not blinding. Unfortunately, it’s all glued together, so once those batteries run dead, that part of the pen is done. But those should last a goodly while.
Why I like this design? My day job has me examining and describing jewelry. Sometimes I need more light on the stones than my lamp gives me to determine color. And (shocking, I know) I occasionally drop stuff on the brown carpet under my desk where the lamp does not reach. This will let me find stuff faster and easier… and let’s be honest, sometimes we just wanna play with flashlights and laser pointers.
1. How does it work? – 1 – It works well. The flashlight works – it shines light, and though it might not be blinding light, it gets the job done. The pen writes smoothly and the mechanism is solid.
2. Grip and feel – 0.5 – I’m am knocking this a bit because it is short. If it were about a half-inch longer, I would be more comfortable with it. It’s also, as I mentioned, a bit top heavy . But still nice.
3. Material – 1 – It’s a “gimme” pen, so it is what it is. It’s plastic. But it’s decent plastic. It feels solid and sturdy.
4. Overall Design – 1 – I like this pen. It’s functional. It’s smooth, and though it’s a bit on the short side, it’s still very functional with the added bonus of making you giggle like a 10 year-old because it’s also a freakin’ TOY.
5. Price Point – 0.5 – It’s not cheap, but it is useful. I don’t know where SoonerCon ordered theirs, but I found them on the site where I buy all my promotional pens – Amsterdam Printing. These are the “higher end” promotional pens – but you do have the flashlight portion. They’re not outrageous but you have to budget for them, and there setup charges. But if you have the budget for them, you’ll get good response. THANK YOU SOONERCON!
That’s 4 of 5 bronze pencils.