Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen Hexagonal – 0.3 & 0.4mm – in Blue, Sky Blue, and Light Green

14 04 2011

I had one heckasaurus rex of a time trying to edit these colors to match reality, and I still do not think I succeeded. The solution, obviously, is for you to just buy these pens for yourself.

I recently took a quick weekend trip to New York City, where I had the opportunity to buy a myriad host of fantastic pens with reckless abandon. My first pen-stop of the trip was to Muji, a store of which I’d only heard tell of, in hushed and awestruck whispers, through the aether of the internet. If you’ve never been to Muji, imagine IKEA and Japan having a baby, and that baby is a store. It’s something like that.

It is also reminiscent of candy.

Among the many items acquired in my orbit around the stationery display, we have three very similar, brightly colored and hexagonally shaped pens.

Only three, because I realized buying the entire rainbow meant not eating food for the rest of the day.

I was drawn to the simplicity of design; these pens are like a reimagining of the traditional #2 pencil, if pencils were pens, and were rendered in rich, brilliant colors instead of the most boring shade of yellow ever conceived. The pen, being almost entirely plastic, is lightweight, and does feel in the hand very much like a standard pencil–but perhaps that is just a consequence of the hexagonal shape they share.

How do I describe such appealing simplicity? These pens echo the pure essence of color -- or something ridiculous like that.

The colored body of the pen has two stand-out features. The plastic of the body consists of some kind of non-slip texture, almost like matte (as opposed to being smooth/glossy)…I’m trying to think of something to compare it to, it’s so unusual. Perhaps like the handle of a no-slip kitchen knife? There is no grip on this pen because it is entirely grip, in a very subtle and unobtrusive way.

The other feature I find interesting is the little slit of window near the writing end of the pen on the body–there are two such little windows, on opposite sides of the pen, presumably so that you’ll be able to see when the ink is running low. Very minimalist. These windows are the only additional elements of design on the body of the pen.

This is the only writing you will see on the pen (aside from the barcode sticker, which peels off with surprising ease)

The cap is clear, shiny plastic that snaps securely into place when closing the pen. There’s no snap when posting the cap on the other end, but it feels secure. The clip seems pretty easily breakable, but that just means I won’t clip this pen onto anything. I was concerned that lining up the hexagonal cap and barrel would require some extra effort, but it’s easy to put the cap on without having to have a second thought as to whether the hexagons are in alignment.

Why are Sky Blue and Light Green snubbing Blue?? I WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS EXCLUSIONARY DRAMA AMONGST MY PENS. Play nice.

Matching the matte-texture of the colored body, the [whatever that conical section piece is called] is done in frosted metal. It’s thematically consistent. These things are important, especially in such a minimalist design. Every detail counts. And, at this point, I think we’ve covered every detail existing in the exterior design of this pen. So let’s delve inside.

Not that far inside. Put the pen back together, please.

The writing experience: satisfactory. I feel like I’m getting a little more resistance when writing than perhaps a right-handed individual would get, but maybe I’m just being overly sensitive and setting the smoothness bar too high. This is what happens when a pen is pretty good–I expect it to be even better.

0.3 mm VERSUS 0.4mm. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE* (*plus or minus one)

Ink flow was equally consistent with the two different sizes, though the 0.4mm wrote a bit more smoothly to my liking than the 0.3mm. Both sizes made crisp lines–not too much ink, rarely if ever too little, and no bleedthrough. My hand did start to pick up some of the already dried ink while writing, but it doesn’t look like it smudged anything or put transported ink back down on the page.

The best part about these pens, for me, was the color. These colors are vibrant, and the bright color on the barrel really is about the exact color that comes out of the pen. They’re suitable for sketching (I felt neither particularly inspired nor particularly ..uh..creatively oppressed?), but if I got more of these it would be for the fun, minimalist design and deliciously saturated colors.

Unfortunately, I don’t think all the colors I bought are available on the website, but I think you’d do well with any of the color choices. I didn’t have any outstanding problems with any of my pens (except that I grip my pens too hard and it hurts my hand, but that’s my fault) and I’d bet this is a consistent product.

If you buy enough of them, maybe you can arrange the hexagons into rainbow honeycombs. A dream come true, I know.

Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen Hexagonal 0.3mm

Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen Hexagonal 0.4mm




8 responses

15 04 2011

If you like those colors and wanted them in a fountain pen, the J. Herbin Bleu Pervanche is a pretty close match to the Sky Blue. Their Vert Pré is not quite as bright as the light green.

16 04 2011
François Joseph

To echo your remark about the stickers peeling out easily, this is part of the Muji philosophy: once bought, the products should exhibit no brand markings whatsoever, and all their stickers or labels (apart from the mandatory safety markings) always peel off without leaving a trace.

The ultimate chic, of course, is to leave the stickers on while using the products, which is nearly impossible due to the nature of the glue they use: these things demand to peel off.

And I quite agree, Muji’s design and quality are nearly impossible to fault. Things may not be perfect but they are always, always made to very high standards across the range.

16 04 2011

You are from Satan!! I had to look them up online. I had to find the 10 pack of markers. Sigh. . .

16 04 2011
Robert M.

Hmm. I don’t have time to go to Muji to check these out in person right now, but the points and the refill shapes are dead ringers for Pentel Sliccis. I wonder if that’s where Muji got these sourced. The Slicci also comes in very similar, ultra-saturated colors. The sky blue Slicci is one of my all-time favorite colors, and the Signo DX and Hi-Tec-C alternatives just don’t have the same punch.

Unfortunately for the Slicci, the ink fades rather easily with UV exposure and is not really water-resistant at all. I wonder if the Muji pens will have the same weaknesses.

23 04 2011

Thank you for introducing our products on your blog. We would like to share your article on our Facebook page.

Thank you!

24 04 2011
No Pen Intended

Thank you for sharing my post! I’m glad you like it. :) I have a few other Muji products I picked up that will make their way onto my site.

10 09 2011
Muji Aluminum Round Fountain Pen « No Pen Intended

[…] Art Brown International Pen Store and Muji. So far, I’ve only gotten around to reviewing my Muji gel ink hexagonal pens, but have yet to say much about what is quite possibly my favorite starter fountain pen. But before […]

12 12 2015

I’ve been hunting around to see if I can disprove the rumor that these have been discontinued. i loved these pens and was sad when I saw less and less of them in the stores. Any confirmation on that? If so, have you found a suitable replacement? I really liked the grip and the ink on these.

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