Friday, 4 July 2014

Bic Cristal Challenge - How tough can it be?

Bic have started a brand new Bic Cristal challenge - Finish your pen and get £10. All you have to do is use up all the ink in your Bic Cristal from one of the special packs (available at Asda, Sainsburys, Staples, Ryman Stationery and WHSmith ) head over to their facebook page, fill in a form, send in your pen and a tenner is yours. Keep your receipt in a safe place, you will need it when you claim.

Sounds easy doesn't it? My guess is that it may not be as easy as it sounds. These pens claim to "write up to 2 times more than other usual ball pens" so I'm going to share my Bic Cristal Challenge with you and together we will see just how easy (or not) it is to empty one of these things.

Every few days I'll post a short update of what Cristal has been up to, where she's been, what she's been used for and a picture so over time we'll see the ink disappearing. So here goes, Day One........

Bic Cristal Challenge Day 1

The weekly shopping trip at Asda ended with a quick browse of the Stationery Isle and the purchase of these Bic Cristal pens. After the extremely boring task of putting the shopping away I sat down to watch Undercover Boss (love that show) on catch up and drew a few doodles allowing Cristal and I to get to know each other. Cristal will remain with me at all times until the challenge is complete and I'm sure we will become the best of friends.

Day 2
Cristal came to work with me today and spent the day attached to my lanyard, ready for use at a moments notice. I was a little worried Cristal might get lost either by freeing herself from the lid, never to be seen again or being knocked off at some point without me noticing. Thankfully neither happened and she lived to see day 3.

Day 3
It's Sunday which means it's lazy day. Not much has been going on. A few dates were written on the calendar, a to do list for tomorrow has been scribbled in my notepad and a quick diary entry. I think I'm going to have to do better than this if I want to empty this pen of every last drop of ink any time this century.

Day 3 Bic Cristal Challenge
Day 6
Cristal has been busy with me at work again, has enjoyed a bit of doodling/rubbish drawing and has written a list of possible presents for my son who managed to get a level 6 in his SAT's English exam and level 5's in everything else. He deserves a treat for all the hard work he has put in to achieve such fantastic results.The ink levels are reducing but very very slowly.
Day 6 Bic Cristal Challenge
Day 14
It's happening, the ink levels are going down. I was beginning to think the ink was never ending which under normal circumstances would be a dream come true but not so good for this challenge.
Day 14 Inkometre
Day 15
I've been trying out some ink heavy doodles to see how quickly I can use the ink and I must say, Bic don't make it easy. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm using this one pen at every opportunity, I would have barely used a drop. This is one long lasting pen and there's a long way to go yet.

Angry Koala/Rocking horse
What do you see when you look at this stripy doodle? From this angle I see an angry Koala and my son sees a rocking horse.

Skunk Burglar
From this angle I see a skunk burglar making his getaway.
What do you see? I'd love to know!

Day 19
It's been a slow few days writing wise so while I was catching up on the last few days of Big Brother I did a few doodles to try and relieve Cristal of a few more drops of ink. I thought that since quite a few of the BB housemates seem to be pairing up I'll doodle a few hearts.
I can't believe Steven is already confessing his undying love for Kim (cringefest) and I'm dying to know why she left the house. Ash and Helen - saw that coming a mile off. And Bianca - pure entertainment, shame she had to be evicted.

Day 25
I very nearly lost Cristal at work. That definitely taught me a lesson. Cristal must be clipped to me at all times as a Bic seems to be fair game at my place of work - finders keepers. If I were to try to explain to my colleagues why Cristal is different to the other Bics and tell them about the challenge Cristal is trying to complete they would no doubt think I'm bonkers. And they would probably be right in thinking so!

Day 34

Day 52
I know, it's been a while, but better late than never! It's safe to say the ink is long lasting. If it wasn't for me drawing daft pictures in order to deliberately use up lots of ink I'd probably still have most of the ink left. And just think, I bought a back of 10 Bic Cristals. The remaining 9 pens are going to last me at least another year or two if they are just used for general home and work tasks like note taking, list making and so on.

Day 58

Day 81
My Bic Crystal has been inaccessible to me for a little while. My son took it upstairs and swore he would use up all of the ink doing his homework. Today I went to see how he was getting on and it looks to me like no ink has been used since the last time I saw it. I've told him that watching online videos of epic fails does not count as homework.
So I'm back to drawing silly pictures again.


  1. Hi, my son starts secondary school this year and so will be using a pen to write rather than a pencil. I know he will lose them all at some stage, but I still want to get him quality pens to use. I purchased no brand name from Tesco and they did not perform very well - constantly running out. Can you give an indication of what brand of pens I should buy him that are reasonably priced and yet will last.Thanks, Nina

  2. Hi Nina, thanks for getting in touch. My son also starts secondary school in September so I'll give you a run down of the pens he has and what works best for him.
    The Zebra Sarasa and the Pentel EnerGel are our fav all rounders. They look inky on the page but dry extremely fast so no smudging. Both look and feel great to use and are reliable so for a quick drying gel / rollerball pen I'll recommend those two.

    If the inky look isn't for you then the Bic Cristal and Papermate inkjoy are great everyday ballpoints, they use lids but post well without altering the balance. Both have good consistant ink flow and are long lasting.
    The Zebra Z Grip is also a great retractable ballpoint, can be bought in plain colours or snazzy designs, have good ink flow and long lasting and I actually use these at work every day and have become quite attached to them. If you are looking for comfort then the Zebra is the best choice of ballpoint mainly for their grips.

    My son also has a Pilot Frixion (stolen from my pen pot to impress his school friends) this pen is erasable and does actually erase well without tearing shreds out of the paper. It is inky and takes a little longer to dry but for a mess around pen the kids love it.

    Hopefully I've helped a little. There are so many great pens available out there but these are the pens we have tried and tested and keep going back to time and again.

    Let me know how you get on with your pen hunt and if there is anything else I can help you with just say the word.


  3. Very helpful info and your have expressed it in really nice way. Thanks for sharing.
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