Pen ad features intricately tattooed Lego characters


Boing Boing developer Dean Putney found these great advertisements for Pilot's Extra-Fine ballpoint pens. They're so thin you can draw these intricate tattoos on Lego people!

[via Flavorwire]


  1. Most awesome. Glad I didn’t have one of these puppies ten years ago. I would not have survived.

    1. I agree. Although who knows, there are some talented people out there, like the guys who write your name on a grain of rice – so it’s possible it’s legit. Makes me want to buy one of the pens just so I can kill my eyes trying to do tiny drawings like this.

  2. I don’t think it’s photoshopped, I think it’s convincing.

    …not that it even matters. They’re great images either way and it’s a really good idea.

  3. I don’t think it’s real. Either it’s photoshopped, or it’s not a standard-size Lego minifig.

    A bit of Googling seems to indicate that for Pilot, “extra fine” typically means 0.3mm. And here’s an image that says a minifig’s arms are 1.96mm in radius, which means they’re about 4mm across:

    Taking the ratio tells us that a minifig’s arms are about 13 extra-fine-Pilot-pen line-thicknesses across. But the lines in the image are clearly much, much finer than that.

  4. It’s definitely not a real minifig, the seam between the legs and the torso is wrong, and the socket for the hand is wrong too.

    Cool concept, but they fudged it.

  5. Those’re great pens, minifig tattoos aside. I have a couple I brought back from Japan in ’98. I don’t often have need of a pen that fine, but when I do, I’m prepared. Never even bothered to see if I could get them here (US) before now. Good stuff.

    1. You can definitely get them in the US. I grew up drawing with Pilot Razor Points and they may not really be able to draw crazy intricate tattoos on minifigs (I’m pretty sure I tried it at least once), they inspired my “never go anywhere without an awesome pen” take on life.

      1. Nice! I never knew what they were called over here, and, honestly, I never bothered to look very hard. I’ll keep an eye out now–if I don’t find them at the JetPens link that followed this post by a few hours.

        Thanks much for the heads up. I appreciate it.

  6. I was thinking ‘shopped immediately, but was too gutless to say it first.

    The telling points in the photo above: the chest area and left arm are more in focus than the rest, and the highlight on the arm doesn’t blow out the tattoo unlike the side of the head.

  7. I’d be interested in trying a Pilot next to an SKB SB-1000. I’m always looking for fine ballpoint alternatives.

  8. The chest tattoo is far more in focus than the overalls just below it. Photoshopped for sure. But who cares. That’s just great advertising.

  9. What an interesting twist on a product that has been around for decades! The Pilot Hi-Tec-C gel pen 0.25 mm is also available on in the US. It’s one of our most popular products. But it is not in fact the worlds thinnest gel pen. Can you believe that Uni-Ball has one that is 0.18 mm, capable of writing on grains of rice. Go Japanese pens! Thanks Lisa for the post!

Comments are closed.