Andy says: "As a pencil enthusiast, I recently bit the bullet and bought a Blackwing off eBay for thirty bucks. It was pretty awesome, but *perhaps* a bit over-hyped. I'm a product reviewer for pencilthings.com, too, so I posted a review over at the product blog. It's some advice for what a layman should to do if he or she is thinking about getting one."
I am impressed with the performance of the Blackwing. I might pay $5, or even $10 per pencil, but $35-$40 per actual pencil? I think not. Recently, eBay had a lot of 144 Blackwings, and that sold for about $1400. I almost bid on it, thinking that I could then make a fortune by splitting up the lot and selling individual pencils. But I stopped myself -- I love pencils, don't get me wrong -- because I couldn't bring myself to make a major (for me) investment in this particular writing instrument.
One of my joys of pencils is the fact that they're cheap. Even top-quality products like California Republic's various pencils aren't any more than a couple bucks apiece -- and that's at the higher end. If I go out and splurge on a couple unique pencils for my collection, my wife isn't going to get mad. I'm not collecting antique fountain pens, after all.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects