Almost every note I took in high school was made with a Sakura Gelly Roll pen. Often in metallic or glitter. Yeah, not much has changed in (mumble) years. As far as stationery nostalgia goes, it doesn't get any better for me. There are better gel pens, certainly, but they don't make me smile the same way, and I can't always be practical. Or even most of the time, if my glitter notes are any indication.
The Gelly Roll was the world's first gel ink pen. That's a legacy I really appreciate. I remember reveling in the smooth writing and saturated colors. It felt like a miracle after the dry, scratchy, and skippy inks I'd been using my whole life. And they've improved the ink recipe over the decades.
The ink is still rich and smooth, and also boasts a whole menu of desirable characteristics: waterproof, archival, fade-resistant, fraud resistant, and formulated not to feather or bleed through. It does still occasionally skip--I think when the gel clumps and prevents the ball tip from rolling properly. But it's rare and corrects quickly. I haven't had to do any infuriating circle scribbles to get the pen going, just a quick double-back over a letter or two.
The gel does still run out more quickly than other ink styles. After a day of writing, I can see (through the handy clear barrel) the level has gone down somewhat. But it's not as fast as I remember. I chose one Gelly Roll pen to be my only pen for an entire weekend--a busy weekend--and I only used about half a centimeter of the ink. In my school days, I'd have exhausted the pen in that time. Part of the longevity is, I'm sure, in the new recipe, but part is the finer tip.
These pens have a finer point than the Gellies that were available back in the day. The .06 mm is fantastic for writing. It's still a smooth writer, but the lines are cleaner and crisper. My notes don't look like they were written in bubble letters or marker. They're still wild colors, though.
This bundle contains the new colors for 2018. Baby pink, baby blue (these two are Ballsign pens, according to the barrel branding--the American version of the pen. I've heard they're not as good, but so far I can't tell the difference), brown, emerald, fresh green, lilac, yellow green, opera red, orange, pale blue, and yellow. The colors are all bright and vibrant. Fresh green is a bit difficult to see, but will be great in coloring books. And these are fine enough to use in adult coloring books with wee spaces.
The bodies are the same old classic builds, with all the good and the bad. The clear barrel is great for watching the ink drain. The caps look like bright candy. The caps are tiny and easy to lose, and sport one of my least favorite clips in the entire pen world. The clips are thin, bendy, sharp, and might only fit over one sheet of paper. They'll bend out of shape and never go back. I'd rather they weren't even there--but they made for excellent fidgets in class. The cap, end cap, and visible ink all make it very easy to tell which color you're grabbing.
This bundle sells for $21 and individual pens sell for $1.95. I think that's worth it for a nostalgia bundle, but I won't be loading up on every color of these. The classic design is fun, but there's a reason pen design continues to evolve. The Pilot Juice is a better pen and costs less. I still love using these, though, and I'll probably grab more when these ones get used up. Sometimes I just need that stationery smile.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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