The Zebra Super Marble Gel Pens have a neat marbled ink effect. The colors are swirly with a metallic sheen. They're a fun throwback to classic 90s gel pens and a reminder of how awesome my school notes used to look.
In the set of four pens, one swirls with blue, pink, and purple; one is purple, green, and blue; one is pink, green, and blue; and one would not write at all, but it would be yellow, pink, and blue. Obviously, the one that would not write is a bit of a disappointment. I noticed that pen had a significantly lower ink level in the package, so I wonder if there was an issue with the pressure in the cartridge. No amount of coaxing got any ink to flow. But the other three write very smoothly, so I think I just got a lemon. My expectations of Zebra are pretty high, though, thanks to the quality of their other products, so I hope this is a rare fluke. Especially because the charm of these pens is all in the ink.
The bodies are lightweight clear plastic. It's cool to see the marbled ink in the cartridge, but the plastic does feel quite brittle and I wonder if they'll show stress fractures over time, or if the clips will break off. They did survive an afternoon with my toddler, so maybe they're made of stronger stuff than they appear.
The cap secures with a click. It clicks to post as well, though in both positions is spins freely and rattles a bit when agitated. Writing with it posted gets a bit irritating.
There aren't many pens out there with this cool effect--so if you want some swirly, colorful writing, it's easy to forgive a few flaws. The color effect can be a bit sporadic--depending on how the ink flows, you might get consistent marbling, or you might get stuck on one color for a few paragraphs before the ink shifts again. And sometimes you might see all three colors in the space of a single character. The randomness is part of the fun, I think. These are pens of whimsy.
I love that they write on different colors of paper. I think they will be great for addressing colorful envelopes, scrapbooking, or planner decoration. The ink is acid-free and archival, so it should stand the test of time. They could add neat effects to coloring books as well.
I can't say I fully recommend them until I see if others have the same quality control issues I had. I don't think I'd buy more, when these run out, but I do think they'll add a bit of pizzazz to my holiday cards this year.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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