Prismatic Limited Edition Archer Pencils by Baron Fig

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Deep thinking. Big ideas. Changing the world. Like Baron Fig, I’m for all of that. But some days (most days, honestly) I don’t have the time or energy to think big thoughts. You’ll usually find me stuck in the weeds, hunkered down, getting my work done. Am I making progress? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. If I’m changing the world, it’s inch by inch.

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But still, I like good stuff.

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And these are good stuff. I’m no pencil connoisseur. I can’t take a deep dive  into the details of the wood and the lead-grade and the clues the experts obtain by sniffing a pencil. Honestly, when I take a whiff of a pencil, I only smell elementary school. BUT, I know when a pencil makes me happy, and these do that.

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Baron Fig’s packaging is, as always, eye-catching and functional, compact and colorful. The twelve pencils nest together perfectly, with virtually no wiggle room. It’s like a little pencil puzzle. The cardboard tube holds four pencils in each of the three colors—light blue, red, and yellow—all with a deep purple end dip.

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What appeals to me is the simplicity of the Prismatics—the primary colors and printed prism graphics that remind me of the doodles I used to draw in school. Pyramid, cylindrical, and square prisms are featured on one side of each hex-shaped pencil. On the opposite side, you’ll find Baron Fig’s name printed in the same understated white. It’s all pretty subtle. And subtle feels just right.

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I only sharpened one of the dozen—in my Classroom Friendly sharpener—and had no issues. The pencil sharpened cleanly, the core was centered, and the point sharp. As I said, I’m 98% pencil user and only 2% expert so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I’d judge the graphite to be a solid HB. On a scale from creamy to scratchy, I’d put this lead right in the middle. Pleasant, but not particularly memorable. It writes as a decent pencil should, with good line darkness, a little feedback, and impressive point retention. This is a well-balanced pencil in look, quality, and feel.

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Life feels like it’s getting more and more complicated and hurried, so when a simple tool comes along that makes you slow down and smile, you take notice. The Baron Fig Prismatics may not transform me into a deep thinker, but they make me happy.

Happy is good.

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The Limited Edition Prismatic Pencils are available directly from Baron Fig for $15/dozen.

The Prismatic pencils shown here were graciously sent to me by Baron Fig to facilitate this review. I was not otherwise compensated, and there are no affiliate links in this post. As always, this review represents my honest thoughts about, and experiences with, the provided product.

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Baron Fig Squire: The Limited Edition Experiment No. 108

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A week ago I went shopping for jeans, by myself. Hoo boy, was THAT an ordeal. Lots of dressing and undressing, lots of sweat, lots of trial and error. Too tight. Too loose. Too short. GAH!! I burned up my patience and a workout’s worth of calories trekking back and forth to the dressing room, tugging pair after pair on and off. Then—finally—the angels sang. The perfect fit. Boy, you sure do know it when you feel it.

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That’s exactly how I feel about Baron Fig’s Squire Experiment No. 108 rollerball pen. It is—simply put—the perfect fit. Like the jeans I finally found, or perfectly broken in sandals, the shape of the Squire feels “just right” in your hand. This pen is 100% comfortable.

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Though it might be hard to tell from this photo, the pen widens just slightly in the grip area, which is why it’s so pleasant to hold. The design is simple and stream-lined, but I bet that arriving at the Squire’s shape was anything but simple. There was probably as much sweat expended during the design phase of the Squire project as there was in my shopping excursion. Probably less grunting and swearing, though. Maybe.

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The color of the Experiment No. 108 Squire is gorgeous—bright and rich—really fresh. Described as “Chemical Green on the distinctive packaging and “Nuclear Green” on the website, this is a nicer green than I’ve seen in any lab. Most solutions in actual labs are <drumroll, please!> clear. How boring. I’m pleased that the team at Baron Fig took a bit of artistic laboratory license to create a pen in this striking color. “Clear” simply would not do, so “Chemical Green” it is.

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As someone’s who’s worked in and around labs for 40 years, I absolutely love the theme and branding on this pen. The bubbling round-bottom flask is a precious detail. As always, the folks at Baron Fig keep things simple, but interesting, and have another hit on their hands with Experiment No. 108.

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The writing tip deploys with just a twist of the end of the pen barrel, and here’s where I have one small complaint. It’s not with the mechanism, which works easily and smoothly. It’s that gap. As Brad mentioned on “The Pen Addict” podcast #257, the gap between the twist mechanism and the pen body is slightly wider on this pen than on my original Squire—enough so that it looks like something is just a bit off, like the tolerances weren’t as tight on this pen as they were on that original Kickstarter Squire.

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This difference really is in “The Princess and the Pea” territory—very minor—and probably only a niggling bother to OCD folks like Brad and myself. As I said, the twist mechanism works perfectly, with the tip deployed quickly and consistently every single time.

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The Experiment No. 108 Squire comes with a green Baron Fig branded Schmidt P8126 (o.6 mm) refill that writes solidly and smoothly. The ink is a bright and legible green that complements the pen’s anodized body perfectly. It’s cool to have a refill that’s not just standard black or blue. I have very few pens with green refills that write well. Rest assured, this green refill is flawless.

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This particular limited edition Squire has been universally embraced—universally loved—thus the bad news. The Experiment No. 108 Squire sold out very quickly, and is no longer available. That’s too bad. BUT—I think we can be sure that the folks at Baron Fig have plenty of other Squire surprises up their collective sleeves. There’s even a Squire subscription option to ensure that you don’t miss out on future limited edition offerings.  The current Baron Fig Kickstarter project wraps up in just a few days—on June 6th—and includes the option to add a Charcoal or Fig Wine Special Edition Lightbulb Squire to your pledge. (I’ve backed the “Starter Bundle: The Backpack” that includes notebooks and the pen. I’m all about the Fig Wine color.) The original Squires—in silver or charcoal—are always available and have everything going for them that the Experiment No. 108 pen does, with the exception of the special color/theme.

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The Baron Fig Squire is a well-designed pen that fits my hand perfectly. The theme of the Experiment No. 108 Squire fits my professional laboratory-based career just as perfectly.

What will they think of next?! I can’t wait to find out.

Thanks to Andi at Baron Fig for sending the Experiment No. 108 Squire my way. I was not compensated for this review which describes my honest thoughts and experiences with the pen.