While red and blue pencils are a sublime and beautiful example of the pencil maker’s art, other colour leads can be combined though the same process for an amazing result.
Colleen is a company we’ve mentioned many times. With leadership from a former manager of Japan’s now defunct Colleen Pencil Co., the revived company in Thailand seems to have separate lines – aimed at first, the Thai and international market, and second, the Japanese market. This particular set is for the Thai and international market. Twenty-four double ended pencils, with combinations such as “Warm Gray & Royal Purple” or “Cream Yellow & Russet Brown”.
The unsharpened pencils come in a modest yet pleasing carboard box. But I think it is a set of 24, not 48! Am I wrong?
They are a fantastic visual treat:
For the price, I think it is a very innovative product that would delight both children and adults.
There are others on the market. Here are double ended sets from Bruynzeel and Laurentien:
Bruynzeel is a Netherlands brand now owned by Sakura of Japan. Their ColorExpress 12 Twinpoints are hexagonal and factory sharpened.
Laurentien is a Canadian brand in the Sanford empire. Take a look at the brand website, which shows quite a bit of the brand history, including the product rename from the anglicized “Laurentian”. See also this article from the Canadian Design Resource website.
The round factory sharpened pencils have an interesting twist – a “regular” colour, and a metallic version at the other end.
They also have some specific sharpening recommendations:
Agreed, handheld sharpeners are not as useful as they should be! I am curious about the cosmetic sharpener recommendation – are those blades made to a higher standard? I suppose it’s possible, with cosmetic pencils costing magnitudes more than writing or drawing pencils.
Just as the pencils have more than one identity, so do the manufacturers. Colleen is an originally Japanese brand, now located and manufacturing in Thailand, and noting that “Japan Lead” is used. Laurentian is a Canadian brand, owned by a US company, with the product made in Indonesia. Bruynzeel is a Dutch brand with a Japanese owner, with the product made in China.
As befits products immensely appealing to children, all the pencils do have safety badges – the Colleen bears the CE EN71 logo, the Laurentien the ASTM logo, and Bruynzeel bears both.
My thanks for Gunther from Lexikaliker for kindly sending me the Bruynzeel pencils.
See also: The Lyra Super Ferby Duo (July, 2008)