Regular readers will know the name “Colleen”. Formerly a major Japanese manufacturer, the firm folded a decade or so ago.
Yet the name lives on. A former manager is part of a new undertaking in Thailand, re-establishing the brand. We’ve seen some of their offerings for the Japanese market, especially their exquisite teak pencils.
What has remained less known are their offerings inside Thailand. The 3030 is one of them. Reviving a traditional Colleen model number, the 3030 is sold in boxes marked “Drawing Writing Computer”, with the phrase “Japan Lead” in bold.
The pencils are simply marked:
High Quality [logo] Colleen 3030 2B
Another side displays a bar code.
The pencils are blue with a black band and silver lettering. They are also slightly thicker than most modern pencils – a touch I like.
The pencils are factory sharpened, and re-sharpen easily. The wood appears to be pulai or jelutong.
The lettering and finish won’t win any awards, and are done to a much lower standard than modern Japanese pencils.
The lead is dark and rich, though somewhat crumbly. In a Mnemosyne notebook, the pencil lays down a fantastic line. From what I can tell, the 3030 is available in five grades – 2B through 6B.
Now I have a couple of other specimens of the 3030 – with a different cap. What is even more curious is that they appear to use a different species of wood – it looks like cedar – rather than pulai. I don’t have any further information on this subject.
While interesting, my sense is that the 3030 seems to be a lower end variant, and not part of the marketplace that the revitalized Colleen hopes to inhabit.
10 Replies to “Colleen 3030 pencil”
“Drawing Writing,” yes, but “Computer”? Might that suggest computation? Math? I’m baffled.
Maybe this refers to its suitability as a “mark sheet pencil” for filling out computer-readable forms.
They might mean use with old coding forms, but I doubt it!
Filling in bubbles on Scantron tests — that must be it. Thanks, Gunther! I was being way too literal.
Michael, I hope I was correct – this was just a guess.
I just acquired a box of HB.
pdub, this very pencil – the Colleen 3030? Are you sure? Colleen don’t acknowledge an HB version.
Indeed – each pencil is marked HB both in the black band as well as on the endcap. I picked them up at a stationer in Hong Kong. My box appears identical to your box except an ‘HB’ sticker has been placed over the large 2B marking (the pencil illustration still reads 2B). (Also the white sticker on the back is not written in Thai like yours.)
The numbers next to the bar code on each pencil read: 8 851316 005188.
Okay, thanks for sharing that, pdub. Most interesting.
this pencils are good when talking about the darkness of tones, the darkness of the 6b colleen 3030 can be compared to a med. charcoal…. i love this pencils:), yet it also deal a higher glare.