Posts filed under Cocolro

Kuretake Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Review

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Review

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.

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen

This model comes with the black extra fine brush, but you can swap it out for 12 different colors, a longer brush tip, or even an 0.3 mm rollerball, which I reviewed previously.

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.

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Refill

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.

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Tip

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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Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Writing
Posted on January 21, 2019 and filed under Kuretake, Cocolro, Brush Pen, Pen Reviews.

Kuretake Zig Letter Pen CocoIro Roller Ball Review

Kuretake Zig CocoIro 0.3mm Roller Ball

Artists have enjoyed the customization of the Kuretake CocoIro Letter Pen system since it was introduced last year. 16 different barrel colors and 13 brush pen refills are at your disposal to mix and match as you see fit. Earlier this year, Kuretake snuck in a 0.3 mm roller ball refill so I figured it was about time for me to check it out.

You don’t hear 0.3 mm and roller ball in the same sentence too often. Gel ink yes, but pretty uncommon for liquid ink pens. With the CocoIro system, I was able to pick out the barrel color that I wanted - Chestnut Brown - and the refill just screws right in. I found it odd at first how the end of the refill pokes out the end of the barrel, but it doesn’t really affect anything. It is more useful if you are constantly swapping out brush pen inks so you can see which color is currently loaded.

Kuretake Zig CocoIro Barrel

The line and the ink quality is similar to the Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38 mm. The liquid ink is going to bleed a little more of course, but it is not a major issue. This might be a good option for lefties looking for a micro tip pen since it dries quickly.

I find myself reaching for CocoIro more than I thought I would. It is a fun option when you are bored with your standard stick or retractable pen. Be sure to check out Geminica’s original brush pen review as well.

Kuretake Zig CocoIro Refill

Posted on December 21, 2011 and filed under Cocolro, Kuretake, Pen Reviews.

Review: Zig CocoIro LetterPen

This review is by Kalina Wilson, who can also be found at

The Zig CocoIro LetterPen is a fairly new product at JetPens, and I was immediately seduced by the brilliant color barrels and excited to see a variety of refill colors.  However, each color was moving to "sold out" as I watched!  In the end, what I received were this pretty, curvy yellow barrel with ink refills in black and royal blue.  

CocoIro Image
(The pen bodies and refills appear to be mostly back in stock as of my writing.)

DSCI0036_0363 This pen has an unusual design.  The refill is almost a pen in itself, with a solid cap that can be placed back on the refill allowing you to switch back and forth between in-use colors.  The refill is not in itself very comfortable to hold, so it does needs the casing.  When you insert the refill into the casing, the end sticks out the back so you can easily tell which color is currently in the pen.

I like the idea of this pen.  It's in the style of the Tombow Fudenosuke and various fine-tipped Kuretake pens, in that it provides a very fine tip that offers some line variability.

However, while the body is cute and the refill color options alluring, this pen is not as strong as the Fudenosuke.  The greatest fault is that the tip doesn't spring back after writing, so when you rotate the pen the next lines you draw are unpredictable.  You might almost be able to see the slight bend in the uncapped tip in the above photo.


It's possible one could get used to the tip and take advantage of its variability - much in the way that you can cheat a finer line out of a fountain pen by turning the nib upside down.  I ended up using the pen in this way for this drawing of a Victorian woman, but felt timid with it since whenever I rotated the pen to get a thinner line, it wasn't certain what kind of line would result.

CocoIro Sample

It may take a close look, but you can see in this example that some of the lines came out weak or scratchy, or have a little glitch at the beginning as the tip bent into its new angle.

Subsequent water tests demonstrate that the ink is not even remotely waterproof.

A test with the royal blue refill yielded nothing special; the color is a bit ho-hum and the lines are not very smooth.  The tip on this refill actually feels very dry.

CocoIro Royal Blue
While I like the physical appearance of the pen and was able to tease a couple of ok drawings out of it, there's simply nothing but appearance and some alternative ink colors to recommend it over the Tombow Fudenosuke which leaves a more pleasant, reliable, and waterproof mark.

Posted on November 8, 2010 and filed under Brush Pen, Cocolro, Geminica, Pen Reviews, Zig.