The iPen Box August 2016 Subscription Box Review

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Ipen Box August 2016 box

The iPen Box is a monthly subscription box that offers varieties of pens, paper, and inks every month, delivered straight to your door. For only $30.00 per month, you’ll get 6-9 new, unusual, cool, and innovative pens and paper products based on a monthly theme in every box.

Ipen Box August 2016 unboxing

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Wait, what? Ok, so maybe going back to school is only  wonderful for us pen and office supply nerds (who doesn’t like strolling down the supply isle and buying  new things? ‘Dat Post-it section….) but regardless of your feelings about it, it’s happening and you might  as well make the best of it! That’s where this month’s iPen box comes in: their theme of Back of School  has something for everyone!

The information card gives you a list of all the items inside the box.

Ipen Box August 2016 unboxed Ipen Box August 2016 review

Everything in my iPen Box!

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Stamp of Approval

As kids, we yearned to see that coveted stamp or sticker on our homework sheet- a good mark was  wonderful- but to see special approval from our teacher in the form of a colorful sticker or stamp? Oh,  one could dream! Whether you were a regular sticker collector or someone who nurses childhood  trauma from not getting enough of them, thanks to iPen, you know have a stamp of your own! Our  stamp is in the shape of a butterfly and uses bright red ink to ensure that your mark is noticeable. Use it  in your planner, mark your student’s papers, or use it to encourage your own children- this adorable  thing will get its point across. My sample was done in my Hobonichi Techo planner which contains  Tomoe River paper. I found that some extra pressure was required to ensure a proper print and that it  required a little bit of time to dry. It bled pretty well through the Tomoe paper as well as the note pad  that came in the box, so be aware of that tendency when deciding on how you’re going to use it.

Papermate Mirado Classic Writing Pencil

What is school without the token #2, HB pencil? We all have memories of making sure that we had at  least one 2B with us, because nothing else would do when filling in those little dots (shudder). Founded  initially in 1940, the Frawley Pen Company (later becoming Paper Mate) has been in the business of  supplying students of all ages with quality writing utensils for a long time. The basic and iconic pencil in  our box would be welcome at any SAT sitting and performed just as expected. And I’m not even going  to lie- sharpening this bad boy up with a vintage, hand crank, wall-mounted sharpener totally made my  day!

Pentel Eraser Cap

There were students who ran out of pencil quickly, and then there were ones like me who always used  up the eraser first! In sympathy to the accident prone, Pentel has us covered with an extra eraser to fit  over the back of your pencil. When I was in school, these things took on all shapes and colors, but ours  is a demure white and takes on the classic, ‘your pencil won’t even roll during an earthquake’ shape. It  did well in erasing print, however I think that the actual pencil eraser did a little bit of a cleaner job.

Nerds

I love these things and won’t even tell you how  long they lasted after I first laid eyes on them. Our box contained Lemonade Wild Cherry.

Wescott Shatter-Resistant Plastic Ruler

Rulers are a handy tool for just about anyone and are pretty much typical fare for the average  elementary back to school shopping list. This sturdy ruler from Westcott is small, perfect for pencil  cases and small hands and is clear, allowing the surface below to be easily seen. It also boasts the perk  of being shatter-resistant, a property which I declined to test, but if you are a mom (or a klutz like me),  it’s a feature that you’ll be thankful for. The ruler measures (see what I did there?) 6 inches (15 cm)  long.

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Jack Breslin Student Events Center Postcard

In our box was also a post card featuring the Jack Breslin student events center at Michigan State University. This card clearly leaves you with no excuse NOT to write home while at school.

Tops Second Nature Notebook

This little notebook is a handy size to keep on your person, or stashed away in a pencil case. It’s made  from 100% recycled fiber, which is probably where the name comes from. It took fountain pen ink fairly well- there was some strong ghosting  and even some bleed through, but I’ve seen other notebooks do much worse.

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All-in-all, the notebook seems to  be a pretty run of the mill .

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Zebra F701 Stainless Steel Ballpoint Pen

The Zebra pen is a basic ball point, but with some pretty cool features. Its body is made of durable  stainless steel and the knurled grip section gives you a solid hold. Besides looking pretty nice, you’ll likely still have this pen when you graduate high school or college.

Schneider One Pocket Highlighter

Many notes will be taken, but some are more important than the others- this is where a good  highlighter comes in. Perhaps not the companion of too many elementary students, an older scholar or  teacher will appreciate this visually appealing highlighter. The first thing you notice is that the  fluorescent liquid is visible. The second thing you do is to waste half an hour upending the pen back and  forth. Ahem. Our pen was a brilliant orange and had a nice rubber grip that ensured that your perfect  line wouldn’t be marred by a slip of the hand.

J. Herbin Caroube de Shyre

If a neat fountain pen isn’t enough to convince your minions that handwriting is fun (and totally still  relevant), then shaking the glittery ink sample included in our box just might do the trick. Caroube de  Shypre (translated as Cyprus Carob) joins the heralded 1670 line of inks produced by French ink masters,  J. Herbin. Established in 1670 (you read that right), J. Herbin is the oldest name in ink production in the  world. Some of their original formulas used to produce ink for famous names like Louis XIV and Victor  Hugo still reside in their Paris headquarters. The 1670 line of inks were birthed to celebrate the travels  of the company’s founder, J. Herbin; Caroube de Shypre is the fifth in this line, following after J. Herbin’s  popular Stormy Grey, Rouge Hematite, Bleu Ocean, and Emeraude de Chivor. What makes these inks  special are the gold/silver particles suspended in the ink. Give the bottle a gentle shaking before filling  up a pen or dipping a nib and you’ve got an ink that absolutely dazzles! With the right handling and  optimal paper, the shading and shimmer of these inks is unparalleled.

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Caroube de Shypre is a gorgeous  brown that boasts red highlights and green/gold sparkle. These inks are a treat to see, but to get the best of them, some cautions are suggested: 1. Shake that bottle! The gold/silver pretties tend to settle on the bottom. 2. Not all paper is created equal! Different paper will bring out different properties of  ink. Tomoe River paper is by far, the best paper that I have found for the 1670 line. 3. Be careful of  what pen you use with inks that have suspended particles. Nibs and feeds can become clogged when  there’s more than just ink involved so consider using a dip nib, or try out a pen that isn’t worth a lot of  money (don’t forget to agitate the pen a little if it’s been sitting- the particles will settle there too.

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Lamy Abc Fountain Pen

Huzzuh for fountain pens!! – especially those which cater to the next generation of scribes. Encourage a child in the discipline of penmanship with this beginner-friendly pen from well-known German pen  company, Lamy (pronounced Lah-mee). The ABC was developed in collaboration with educational  experts to be most useful to young beginning writers. The body is sized for the hands of children and  the non-slip grip encourages their fingers into a relaxed and natural position. The body is made of  maple wood and the plastic cap and end are shaped so that the pen will not roll easily. Stickers are  included in the box so that a name can be prominently displayed on the specially formed depression on  the cap (great feature for a class setting!). The nib is very forgiving for beginning writers; unlike regular  fountain pens, the ABC’s has a more ball-like tip which grants leniency to children trying to find the right angle.

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The nib is marked with an ‘A’ instead of the typical nib size markings and stands for Anfänger, the  German word for beginner. It comes with an easy to use cartridge (an adult may be needed to help  push it into place) and is compatible with Lamy’s Z24 cartridge for when they become solidly addicted  and yearn for bottled ink. From personal experience with other Lamy fountain pens, I’d say that this one  is very close to their medium nib, though a little thinner, and it is indeed very forgiving when writing.  Nice pen and a nice addition to the iPen box!!

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The tip is a versatile chisel that allows for both wide and thin lines and it cleanly marked over both lead and ink. I liked this highlighter- it didn’t smear what I  wrote and was fun to pla….I mean, write with. Schneider, another German company name in the world  of quality instruments, has been in business since about 1947.

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The plunger to advance the pen tip is very smooth and quiet and was designed so that your awesome note taking skills wouldn’t disturb anyone  else (give this pen to the ‘clicker abuser’ in your life). It features the company’s original easy glide ink  and is refillable. Basically, this pen is a ball point on some steroids. It has a great weight in your hand  and performs well.

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Ink sample 1.

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Ink sample 2.

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The Zebra Ball Point Pen sample.

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Notebook test (front).

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Notebook test (back).

Ipen August 2016

Highlighter sample.

What did you think of the The iPen Box?

Visit The iPen Box to subscribe or find out more!

The Subscription: The iPen Box
The Description: This is for anyone who loves pens, paper and inks. iPenBox is a subscription box for the pen, paper and ink enthusiast, delivering a monthly box of products to your door. Each month this mystery box will be filled with new, unusual, cool and innovative items from the pen, paper and ink world. We travel the world to find the best products and hand pick 6-9 items around a fun monthly theme!
The Price: $30.00 per month

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