A Collection: ACME Crayon Rollerballs

My pen collection can certainly be called “random.” I sometimes joke that its theme is “no theme.” I’m simply drawn to shiny things— rich acrylics with mesmerizing depth (chatoyancy! a word I just learned), stealthy black pens, transparent demonstrators, and cool colors. I have a little bit of a lot of pens. Pen A.D.D., I guess. EXCEPT in the case of the ACME Crayon rollerballs by ACME Studio.


I started out with one pen, either the red or the blue one. That seemed fine for awhile. But then I found that a local Scandinavian Designs store carried them and one led to two which led to three which led to owning the whole collection. Oops.

ACME Crayon rollerballs

I’m such a faithful customer, and ACME Crayon “completionist,” that the shop owner sends me an email when new colors are announced— like the latest purple and teal offerings. What’s also cool is that the shop has (or had) the retired colors— black, white, and silver. Shop local as you never know what lucky surprises you may find!

ACME Crayon rollerballs

The refill is the same as the one for the Retro 51 rollerballs so I usually swap in a Schmidt (or ACME) P8126 as that tip size is the sweet spot for me.  The pens are lacquered brass so they feel substantial and look remarkably like the crayons we had fun with as kids. The colors are so addictive, and not overwhelming in number (just eleven at this time), so owning the entire collection was certainly doable and desirable.

ACME Crayon rollerballs

One thing I don’t quite get is why the green pen has a yellow tip and end cap. Why isn’t it ALL green, like the color of the body? Weird choice by ACME, in my opinion.

In the top photo, you’ll notice my “mutt” pen on the far right side of the photo— a white pen with an orange tip. Sadly, I dropped my white pen on a counter at work and sheared off the brass tip. ARRRRGGGHHH! White is, of course, a discontinued color. I immediately contacted my local dealer…ummm, shop…and found that she still had a few in stock so I quickly purchased a new one. I also contacted ACME to try to get a replacement tip for the damaged pen. Turns out that wasn’t possible, but they did eventually swap in a tip from an orange pen, so it’s usable, but a bit of a hybrid. Lesson learned: Be extremely careful with discontinued pens. DO NOT DROP THEM ON HARD SURFACES. Pro tip.

So while my pen collection is all over the place, my ACME Crayon rollerball collection is currently COMPLETE. I’ve got a Crayon for each and every mood. For some reason, this feels like an accomplishment. For this pen collector, with the attention span of a gnat, I guess it is.

ACME Crayon rollerballs

The ACME Crayon rollerballs remind me of long ago, uncomplicated kid days when I could spend hours lying on the living room rug coloring in a new coloring book. How could I possibly resist buying more of those carefree and happy memories?

Does your pen collection have a theme? I’d love to hear about it.

16 thoughts on “A Collection: ACME Crayon Rollerballs

  1. I have an ACME “#2”, made to look like a #2 pencil, and it’s wonderful to write with – as are all ACMEs – and really does look like a pencil, with eraser. Several years ago, it disappeared from the desk where I’d been using it at work, and I found it later that day on top of a keyboard. Apparently, someone looking for a pencil had borrowed it – I’m just relieved they didn’t try to sharpen it, or leave toothmarks on it…

    My other ACME story: more than any of their pens, I really wanted the Roy Rogers one. How can anyone who’s seen his movies not love Roy Rogers? At the time, I could only find it for sale at much higher prices than I wanted to pay, since it was a hard one to get; then I looked online at the Roy Rogers Museum (out of business now) and found it there for about $40. Amazing. And the receipt it came with was signed by Roy Rogers Jr. Wow.

    Love your posting about the crayon pens! Happy Trails!

    • Your Roy Rogers pen story is so cool!! What a great find!

      I have the #2 pencil, too. I can see how it could trick someone. They were probably really confused by it! Hah!

  2. Only just now seriously thinking about the theme of my collection. First of all, I always tell the non-pen-people at work (those who tend to have a little interest) that I do have pen love, but don’t have money. I do love my fountain pens, so the theme would be not too high priced fountain pens that still look decent and write (far) better than average.

  3. Oh my God, I absolutely love these colors!!! I am a big fan of Crayola crayons themselves and having pens like this would send me over the edge! Still haven’t gotten to that store yet…I guess I’ll go tomorrow since I’ll be in town. May be too dangerous though!

    • The orange is my favorite. It’s funny…the refills used to seem too broad but as my taste in fountain pen nibs has gotten broader, I’ve grown to like the Schmidts. Really nice on good paper like Rhodia, Clairfontaine, and Levenger Circa.

  4. Mary, I love this. Everything about it!

    A theme?… hmmmm

    Well, rOtring has been a common one (although is slowing down). I suppose metal pens? Not really sure what the draw is, but I definitely seem to prefer a metal barrel over acrylic/plastic although this has also been challenged recently with acquisitions like the Sailor Pro Gear or Pilot CH 92. Now I’m on to vintage Pilot stainless steel pens… (sigh)

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