From the Eyeball Pencil Co. in Japan comes a new pencil – the Hi-new.
To this observer, the name and appearance bring to mind the famous Mitsubishi Hi-uni. While not identical, the commonalities are extensive.
Sold in boxes of twelve with an accompanying “keep” brand eraser, the pencils are hexagonal with unfinished caps.
They sharpen easily, and like most pencils from Japanese producers, are of high quality.
Overall, the Hi-new is an excellent value. Still, I don’t like their similarity to Mitsubishi’s product.
7 Replies to “Eyeball Hi-new pencil”
The Eye Ball Hi-New is a very quality pencil in the likes of the Tombow and Mitsubishi high end pencils in terms of writing smoothness. And you are right it comes in a cool looking plastic box. For less then USD 7.50 a dozen from Bundoki.com it is a true bargain.
What is it with the Japanese and their fetish for (exceptional) packaging? I would buy their plastic pencil boxes with or without the excellent pencils they contain. FWIW I agree that the Eye Ball Hi-New cribs somewhat shamelessly from the Hi-Uni’s looks, right down to the debatable choice of color. I guess the important thing is that they got the lead and the price right. I did just acquire a dozen Mitsu-bishi Hi-Uni 3B’s from JetPens and without question the Hi-Uni can legitimately claim to be first among equals, but $25/dozen is steep. Yet, they are absolutely thrilling to own and use. No purchase in recent memory has given me so much pleasure.
Re the packaging in Japan: Unfortunately I am not familiar with Japanese culture but as far as I know their effort in packaging is based at least on two aspects, namely the importance of gifts and the wrapping as an appreciation for the one who receives the gift; maybe this affects also the relation between the one who manufactures something and the one who buys it. – I have also been fascinated by Japanese packaging several times.
Gunther. I think you are absolutely correct about the packaging. Really, it’s like getting two gifts in one when you receive a dozen Hi-Unis (i.e. Mitsu-bishi’s fabulous pencils, and their equally fabulous pencil case). I also think you’re onto something about how this special packaging affects the relationship between the consumer and the manufacturer. In many cases I think “brand loyalty” is an empty slogan, but as is often the case Japanese manufacturers go so far above and beyond the level of quality that is strictly necessary to sell their wares in terms of performance and presentation that they win instant diehard lifelong converts to their products. This has two salient effects, consumers who will gladly pay premium prices for premium products, and manufacturers who are less likely to be tempted by the lure of quick profits that comes from cheapening the quality of their offerings. Having said all this, I hope Mitsu-bishi’s business practices are sound and that they weather the financial storm beseiging the global economy. I want them to be around for the rest of my days so that I can replenish my supply of their outstanding pencils as I use them up.
Barrel, your words are very true and I agree with you. I would like to add that the packaging does not only affect the relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer but also enhances the value of the product. In other words: A sloppy packaging decreases the product’s value.
You said “so far above and beyond the level of quality that is strictly necessary”, and everytime I notice that I am flabbergasted. A few days I have received the small Mitsubishi lead pointer, and to me it is one of the countless examples for “excellence is its own reward” (as someone has put it in a comment here). That small lead pointer with an oval cross-section and a curved lid comes in a box of hard transparent plastic and is held by a piece of cardboard on which the instructions are printed. The swivel cap of the lead pointer is kept in the close position by a detent, and on the bottom of is a slider for emptying it. Almost unbelievable!
Those neatly packaged Eyeball Hi-new pencils and Mitsubishi lead pointer sure do look tempting, but can’t hardly justify a Bundoki order given that I probably already have enough graphite to last me a couple of lifetimes. On second thought, I might just want to go back to JetPens to stock up on another couple of boxes of Hi-Uni pencils just in case. I hate the possibility that I might not be able to replenish my Hi-Uni supply since they have become a permanent fixture in my sketching kit of late.
Glad they are working out. I see a lot of interesting new material on your blog!