Spotlight Stationery Subscription Box Review & Coupon – March 2016

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Well, leave it up to the Brits to put together a proper stationary box! I admit, I have a bad pen and notebook habit. I really can’t get enough of them, so stationary boxes really appeal to me. The Spotlight Stationary boxes start at £25.00 (which right now is $35.29) and are chock full of goodies.

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I thought this was nice. I’m not familiar with National Star, since they are a UK charity, but hey, supporting young people with disabilities is okay by me, so good on you, Spotlight!

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As you can see, there is an assortment of notebooks, writing instruments, as well as some fun things thrown in. Overall, it’s a nice mix. It truly is an international box, with stuff from Italy, Japan, the Czech Republic, Belgium and England.

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So, now on to the items…

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Castelli pen notebook, Italy

First up is the Castelli notebook. This is a small (think index card sized) notebook, with a nice little carve out for a pen. It’s a lovely blue color, or is it colour? with a leather cover that feels great in your hand. It’s the perfect size to carry around and having the pen fit within the cover is really great.

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I love notebooks that have easy means for attaching pens, but on most larger notebooks, that means a loop that hangs off the cover–which works well, but isn’t as streamlined. I am already planning to purchase two more of these babies, so that I can have one ready in my car and my wife’s car, as well as one to carry in my pocket to jot things down with. Yes, I’m a geek who wants a notebook and pen always at the ready, which this little guy is perfect for.

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Spotlight Cat Notebook

I would like to tell you about how I carry this around in my pocket to jot things down with as well, but as I opened the box, my daughter glanced over my shoulder, squealed with delight when she saw this, grabbed it and never returned it. So, it truly is an adorable thing.

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Tombow Airpress pen, Japan

Next up was one of the writing tools, the Tombow Airpress pen, from Japan. Now, I love Japanese pens. They have pens for every occasion, and this is no exception. It’s a pressurized ball-point, which means that it will write in any orientation, even upside down.

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But when do you need to write upside down, you ask? Well, it’s handy when laying in bed. But yes, it’s more of a gimmick than anything, but it’s still a cool pen. It’s nice a futuristic looking, and it has a nice line and feel on the page.

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It’s a little short for me for an ‘everyday use’ pen, but it’s perfect for the glovebox, or stashing away in other places you might want to have a pen handy.

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Koh-I-Noor mechanical pencil, magic coloured pencil & eraser, Czech Republic

Next up is a trio from Koh-I-Noor. Now, I’ve loved Koh-I-Noor pencils for ages. So I was happy to see these included. Back in the days, I had a set of Rapidograph pens that I used constantly. Love the Koh-I-Noor stuff. Spotlight starts out with a magic coloured pencil.

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Not sure why it’s magic, but it’s a very lovely shade of blue, not unlike that Castelli notebook, and it makes a fine mark on paper.

Also included is a “mechanical pencil” which is actually a lead holder. A mechanical pencil works more like a pen–you click and the lead moves through. With a lead holder, you have a clutch mechanism, and when you click, the lead drops with gravity. So if you’re holding it with the lead pointed down and click-hold, the entire lead will drop out. That’s okay, they are really designed for different purposes.

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The lead holder is great. They don’t mention what lead it comes with, but I think it’s probably an HB based on my use. One thing you’ll get a bit frustrated with is that you’ll lose a point fairly quickly (the leads in a holder are quite thick, versus a mechanical pencil, which are thinner). Really, you’d want to have a lead pointer with it (a lead sharpener). But I think it’s great they’ve included it, it’s fun to play with!

“Update: As pointed out in the comments section, the Koh-I-Nor lead holder does come with a built-in, four prong lead pointer. I missed it the first time around, but it is there! If you unscrew the end, you can pull it out and use it to put a point on your lead. It does not work as well as a stand-alone pointer, but it does do the trick, and makes it a much more useful item in the box.”

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Spotlight has also thrown in an eraser, a combined eraser with half for pencil, half for ink.

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It works pretty well, too!

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Spotlight has also included a number of other little goodies to round out the box.

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Crown Mill coloured notebook, envelopes & cards, Belgium

There are a handful of blank notecards and envelopes. Which also elicited cries of “oh, how cute!” from my daughter. I managed to keep a two of them for myself, the rest went the way of the cat notebook.

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There’s a lovely purple and grey Crown Mill notebook, which, I’m sure you can guess who ended up with that.

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And finally, there were a selection of art postcards, which were fun and in an envelope that someone had hand-written my name on. A very nice touch!

Overall, this is a great stationary box. I think the folks at Spotlight put a lot of effort into putting together a diverse selection of items for every stationary fan. There’s a little something in there for everyone, and for geeks like me it was a good mix of some classics (like the Castelli notebook and Koh-I-Noor pencil) as well as the new (like the Tombow pen). Great stuff from Spotlight Stationary!

Visit Spotlight Stationery to subscribe or find out more! Save 15% on your first month! Use coupon code  Hello15.

The Subscription: Spotlight Stationery
The Description: A box designed for stationery lovers! Notebooks ~ Pens & pencils ~Paper ~ Accessories. Every month we curate a selection of contemporary stationery, based around a theme, for our subscribers. We choose only premium brands and artisan products, including items you won’t commonly find on the high street. The contents vary each month but will always contain a set of four postcards featuring original work by young illustrators. The cost of each box is £25 plus shipping: £2 for UK, £5.25 for Europe, £7.50 for the rest of the world. We donate £1 of the purchase price to National Star, a charity working with young people with disabilities and acquired brain injuries.
The Price: $45.00 every other month

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  • Dave!

    Thank you for letting me know! I found it, and it does the job. It is not as nice as having a lead pointer (which I do have… 😉 but it’s nice to have in a pinch. I’ll update the review to reflect that as well.

  • Mary

    Hi Dave, thanks very much for this review; I’m thrilled that you liked the collection we put together.

    Just one thing I wanted to mention; if you unscrew the top of the lead holder, you’ll find a four-pronged lead sharpener. Just rotate it around the lead and you’ll soon have a nice sharp point.

    I probably should have mentioned this in the contents list!