What happens when you take a pen I already love - like the Kokuyo Cocoiro - and add in patterned barrels? Well, when those patterns are as fun as these cats, hedgehogs, polar bears, and flamingos, I buy them.
If you aren’t familiar with the Cocoiro model, it is a neat little product. The refills are essentially self-contained units that snap into the barrel sleeve of the pen. This gives you a ton of customization options, not just in looks, but with colors and even types of tips.
For writing, the extra fine brush tip size is the way to go. For a comparison, I liken it to the Zebra Disposable Super Fine, which is my favorite. It can handle the pace of writing without taking too much out of the tip. Brush pens are always a race against tip destruction, and this one has held up well so far.
When I laid eyes on the Cocoiro years ago I couldn’t figure out what was going on with this barrel design. In fact, I thought it was ugly. But getting it in hand and seeing how the refill snapped in and out of place I finally got it. The one strange thing about the refill isn’t the design, but rather, the glitter in the plastic body of it. These aren’t glitter inks, but the refill would make you think otherwise.
Speaking of ink, it is not waterproof. I know many artists need that for their work, and this one is not an option if that is a requirement. Also, I find the ink a little dry and light on occasion. Comparing it again to the Zebra Disposable, the black is not as rich in color.
As much as I love the Cocoiro, I cannot give it a no-brainer recommendation because of the price. You can buy the basic body for $2 and add a refill for $2.50, making for a $4.50 base brush pen. The pattern models (I bought Polar Bear and Hedgehog!) run $6 for a body/refill combo. I don’t think that is too much for a fun pen, but I do think it is too much for a workhorse brush pen. At that point, I’m paying the $2.50-$3.00 for Zebra or Tombow disposable brush pens.
I like to have fun with my stationery, and these Cocoiro pens definitely deliver that. They are a pen that make me smile, and I like to keep them around the desk for quick notes with the added flair of a brush tip. For more than that, you may want to look elsewhere.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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