My excitement about the upcoming Captain America movie was obvious when I ordered this set of Captain America gel pens by InkWorks. In fact, I didn’t even care that they were technically made for the last Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier; I just wanted to inject a little Marvel into my day-to-day. Unfortunately, InkWorks puts its focus on style and forgets about usability, so my initial excitement waned as I attempted use these pens to write.
While I do appreciate the red, white, and blue color-scheme of the dual-designs, it was definitely not worth the $8 I paid for this 2-pack. That said, the pens are moderately functional, as long as you’re okay with ink that tends to blob and skip. The grip is somewhat comfortable, and the clip has a neat wave-y design, though it feels brittle and cheap.
Regardless, these pens would perhaps go over well with kids in grade-school who love superhero movies. And if superheroes aren’t their thing, InkWorks also makes these same pens for The Beatles, My Little Pony, and the NHL’s Ottawa Senators (among others). But if you’re buying these pens for yourself to use, don’t expect to be marveled by them (ha ha!).
If you hadn’t figured it out from my review of the InkWorks Projector pen, I really liked Star Wars: the Force Awakens – especially the adorable, new BB-8 droid. And, shortly after writing that review, I stumbled across another BB-8 themed pen, one with a large, molded-plastic clicker to go along with its orange and white paint job. I just couldn’t resist.
This BB-8 pen, however, is produced by TGL, a company that seems to make a lot of similar pens for Disney. Unfortunately, they only seem to be available in Asian and European markets, so it took some hunting around online to find one I could purchase in the U.S. Eventually, eBay came through, and $10 and 30-days later, my BB-8 pen arrived on my doormat directly from Malaysia.
The pen, flat-out, looks great. It’s surprisingly detailed, with BB-8’s antennae and eyes protruding from his head. But it’s also immediately clear that this pen is not very functional for anyone with adult-sized hands. The barrel is just too thick, it doesn’t fit in a pocket, and, it probably goes without saying, I feel rather ridiculous using this pen in public. And poor BB-8’s head constantly bangs into my hand whenever I write with it.
Obviously, it’s a novelty pen, most of which look nice but function poorly. In this instance, the size of this BB-8 pen might be best suited for children’s hand. But in my case, I’m happy just to prop it up on my shelf next to my Rey bobble-head.
I don’t typically write reviews for novelty pens, but I’ve made an exception for this one, the InkWorks BB-8 Projector Pen. The reason is mainly because Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a very fun movie, and I really just wanted an excuse to buy this pen. After all, everybody loves the new BB-8 droid, and its orange and white color scheme looks great on a pen.
As far as novelty pens go, the InkWorks Projector Pen is about what you would expect. While novelty pens can be fun items own and make good souvenirs, a good writing experience typically isn’t in the cards. Indeed, the BB-8 Projector Pen has an uncomfortable ridge in its mid-section, it’s top-heavy, and it uses mediocre ballpoint ink. As far as I can see, there’s also no easy way to replace the ink, and even the retracting mechanism, which requires twisting the tip of the pen, is a little annoying to use.
To add to the novelty, an image of BB-8 is projected from the top of the pen when a button on the barrel is held down. It’s a neat feature, I guess, but one that also gets old pretty fast. I suppose this adds some function as a mini-flashlight, but I’m not sure if it’s possible to replace the battery, greatly limiting its usefulness.
At under five dollars, the InkWorks BB-8 Projector Pen is not expensive for a Star Wars memento. However, you will be disappointed if you’re actually planning on using this pen, as you can find a better pen at any convenience store for a fraction of the price. Personally, I’m happy to have it sitting in a cup with my other novelty pens, though I doubt I’ll ever pick it up again.
P.S. It looks like InkWorks make the same Projector Pen in a lot of different styles, from Angry Birds to The Walking Dead. However, I’m happy to only have the BB-8 version.