Made in Asia PaperMate Mongol Pencils

Mongol pencils

A recent post mentioned finding new Mongol branded pencils at retailers in Panama. There are some surprises regarding these pencils. They were made in both China and Vietnam for PaperMate/Newell Rubbermaid, and exported to Latin America. Let’s take a look at them.

Mongol pencils

My first surprise is that the hexagonal pencil is made in China and the triangular pencil in Vietnam. I can speculate, but don’t really know why. The pencil packaging uses a majuscule H to indicate the hexagonal pencil and a T for the triangular pencil, but I found this confusing as H is also a pencil grade.

They definitely have the Mongol look with that copper coloured ferrule. The modern “PaperMate” name seems unexpected, but it’s an enduring brand name. Imprecise ferrule fixation (“tipping” in Tennessee parlance) has left some wood splinters sticking out and the pencil looking messy.

Mongol pencils

The writing and sharpening – for 26 cent brand name pencils – seem good to me. Not the summit of pencil making, but still completely fine.

Mongol pencils

And Newell Rubbermaid cancelled the Mongol trademark in the US in 2021, so there is a question about just what these pencils are. Mongol was and remains a global pencil brand, so I presume an ongoing demand for this brand was fulfilled through the corporate hierarchy.

Mongol pencils of course have been seen in Colombia, Venezuela, and particularly the Philipines, a country which has placed a Mongol pencil on a stamp. In fact I recall the former online store PencilThings offered imported Philippine Mongols. You can see that they are still very popular.

Newell Brands cancel Mongol pencil trademark

Mongol pencils

On October 15, 2021, the US Patent and Trademark Office published the news that Newell Brands had cancelled their trademark for one of the world’s most famous pencil brands, the Mongol.

Eberhard Faber IV was interviewed by Sean Malone, and Mr. Faber suggested that the name came from Purée Mongole soup. An update notes this story as being apocryphal.

(I’m really happy that Contrapuntalism remains online, though at a different address. It has a remarkable sixty posts that mention the Mongol pencil!)

I reached out to Newell, but did not hear back. They spoke to me last year about the Mirado, but I didn’t hear back about the Mongol.

So why the cancellation? I don’t know, but I’ll speculate that in 2021 Newell don’t want a trademark that can readily be interpreted as an ethnocultural or racial term.

There are still Mongol pencils in other countries – Colombia, the Philippines, and Venezuala.

Truly the end of an era, this pencil brand will not be quickly forgotten.

Mongol trademark

Mongol pencils from Eberhard Faber Colombia

Happy New Year to all readers!

Mongol pencils from Eberhard Faber Colombia

In the lazy days between Christmas and New Year, a very interesting package arrived, thanks to frequent pencil talk commenter futural.

Mongol pencils from Eberhard Faber Colombia

The former Eberhard Faber company had a complicated global footprint. We see that in the patchwork ownership of the name today. We also know the Mongol remains a popular pencil brand in the Phillipines.

Mongol pencils from Eberhard Faber Colombia

Some news – the Eberhard Faber Mongol 482 pencil also lives on in Colombia! Produced by “Eberhard Faber de Colombia” (no references to Sanford or Newell-Rubbermaid on the packaging), futural tells me that the bar code reveals a Peruvian origin. How interesting – Woodchuck from CalCedar has said the Mongol has been made in Venezuela, and more recently by Marco in China.

Mongol pencils from Eberhard Faber Colombia

Whatever the details, the Colombian Mongol definitely appears to be different than the modern Philippine Mongols.

The finish consists of a basic thin lacquer. The leads also seem somewhat smoother than the Amspec version. The eraser even works fairly well. All in all, a very acceptable pencil.

These aren’t the only Colombian pencils that arrived! Stay tuned for more.

See also:

Ninoy and Cory Aquino Mongol pencils (pencil talk: August, 2008)

The Mongol 482: New and Old (pencil talk: February, 2007)