By every account, the original Sharpie Pen was a complete success, but as many people discovered along the way, the pen was not without its share of flaws. Three issues seemed to pop up more frequently than most:
1. Paint peeling off the barrel
2. The sharp edge in the grip area
3. The blue ink was inconsistent/.not dark enough
Were all of these issues put to rest with the new Sharpie Pen RT? I'm going to go with yes, yes, and yes!
First off, lets address the paint peeling. User after user said how much this drove them crazy, but honestly it took me forever to actually see it happen with one of my pens. Maybe it is because I don't have them rolling around in a backpack or desk drawer, but it took a co-worker to borrow mine (unbeknownst to me) before I saw the paint peeling issue. And the real problem is not the start of the peeling, it is that once it started, it was almost unstoppable. The Sharpie Pen RT resolves that issue by turning to a molded plastic black barrel. The only paint on it is the Sharpie Pen logo, and while it may chip a bit, it is not going to be near the trouble of the original model.
The sharp edge where the cap meets the barrel gave several people fits also. If you grip the pen really low like I do, that edge digs into your finger pads rather fiercely. It didn't phase me too badly because I tend to rotate the pen in my fingers constantly anyway, but it made the pen unusable to others. The new rubber grip is a welcome addition to the retractable Sharpie Pen, and honestly, it is one of the better grips on any pen I have tried. It is the perfect mix of cushion and tackiness.
I never took issue with the shade of blue ink in the original Sharpie Pen. I was rather fond of it actually. But the problem seemed to be that there were actually two different shades of blue in circulation. I never ran across the darker blue, but a reader did, and went as far as to contact Sanford customer service to attempt to get to the bottom of it. If his original photos are any indication, the new shade of blue is similar to the dark shade in the original version, so hopefully that makes everybody happy. I did the written review in blue so you can see exactly what it looks like.
So if all of the flaws from the original Sharpie Pen were corrected in the Sharpie Pen RT, then it is the perfect pen, right? Not exactly, but they did make a really good pen that much better. My nitpicking self would have liked to seen a skinnier barrel - maybe something in between the two versions - and also a shorter plunger. The design is VERY similar to the Sharpie Ultra Fine retractable permanent markers. The plunger sticks out really far when I clip the pen to my shirt like the nerd I am, and also tends to wobble a bit when depressed. But really, the performance of the pen is exactly the same between the two versions, and the barrel is much, much better in the RT, so this pen is a clear winner in my book.