Sunday, 17 August 2014

Wilko Dandy Scented Gel Pens & Exercise book

We're half way through the summer holidays and for once in my life I'm feeling organised. This year I won't have to go to 10 different shops to find plimsolls that fit or send my son to school without a jumper because the uniform shop has sold out, this year I'm on it and I'm nearly finished.
This is my sons first year at secondary school and in the never ending list of things to buy is stationery. Now that's one thing I have no problem at all shopping for.

We bought pens, pencils, a maths set, notebooks and many other fabulous things that now have pride of place in my sons brand new pencil case but it will come as no surprise to anyone who is aware of my stationery love affair that this cute little set found its way into our stationery stash.

How could I resist? Wilko Dandy
These are part of the Wilko Dandy set. I'd love to know why it's called Dandy. For now I'll pretend the cool shade wearing dog is called Dandy. I could have gone all out and bought everything. There were matching notebooks, pens, pencils, a cup, folders and more. Choosing just three was a difficult task.

I've noticed that sometimes when people buy an own brand pen their expectations are lower and if the pen has flaws it's somehow more acceptable because it's own brand. This used to be my way of thinking too but not anymore. I like to treat them all the same and if it's good it's good, if it's not it's not, regardless of the name on the packaging.

The A5 80gsm notebook has 40 pages and I already had a couple of these with different designs so I knew when I bought it that I would love it. Most of the pens I own are compatible with the paper and it's a great size for my handbag and sit nicely on my bedside table without taking over. Whenever I'm asked if I think I should stop buying notebooks as I already have lots I ask them what good is my massive pen collection without paper to use them on?

The eraser - no idea why I bought it. I have a pencil case full of them, most used only once or not all all. *Stands up*  - My name is Janine and I'm a stationery addict.

Cuteness overload - Wilko Dandy
The pens are seriously cute. I was originally attracted to the repeat pattern of Dandy the dog looking cool as a cucumber but when I realised they were colourful glitter pens and scented, I was sold. They come in their very own clear plastic zippable wallet which really pleases me for some unknown reason.
I've never used scented pens before. I knew they existed but they never interested me until Dandy helped me sniff them out. The packaging doesn't tell you what each scent is so I got to work sniffing the pens, smelling the paper, sniffing the pens again (then explaining to my concerned looking boyfriend that there was a perfectly good reason for the sniffing) and I can tell you I'm not 100% sure what some of them are supposed to smell of.

The black ink keeps giving me the faintest hint of chocolate but the second I smell it it's gone again so whether it is indeed chocolate or just my wishful thinking remains to be seen. The blue pen is giving me no clue. I'm definitely getting a whiff of something but I just can't work out what.

The yellow pen smells of bananas, the pink pen smells of strawberries and the green pen smells of apples. I was using the green pen for a diary entry and the apple aroma was quite strong once I'd filled the page but I must admit it became a little sickly after a while. Memories of apple shots and a night in the bathroom came flooding back. I've just experienced first hand how powerful a smell can be to triggering memories, even ones I'd rather forget. I'll keep my next diary entry short and sweet. 

Wilko Dandy Rainbow Snake
The colours are bright and cheerful and a lovely break from my usual black and blue. I love to see colour in my notebooks. My eyes are immediately drawn to it and the whole page appears friendly and inviting. The glitter adds a certain sparkle to my awful doodles although in a much more subtle way than I expected. When I look at my writing head on the glitter in the ink is barely noticeable but hold it up to the light or look at it from an angle and prepare to be dazzled.

The ink is slow to dry. About five seconds after completing my rainbow snake I wiped the side of my hand across the page and the result speaks for itself. This could mean messy business for left handers and possibly even impatient right handers. It's not so terrible if you are aware of it and prepared to give your masterpiece a little extra drying time.

So they were the main selling points and my reason for buying the pens but what are they like as pens in general?

Wilko Dandy
The pens are made of plastic, with no grip, similar to everyday ballpoints found in almost every home and workplace. They are not necessarily designed with comfort in mind, more for convenience and cost effectiveness. The lack of grip does mean I'm at risk of slipping after long periods of use but so far I have found the pens comfortable to use. Their light weight and thin bodies mean I can move across the page without any balance issues or aching hands.

The ink flow on the whole is acceptable. Every so often the ink flow would stop completely as if the ink had run out but after a good shake and a scribble it would return to normal but for the most part the ink flow was continuous and smooth without any skipping. The thickness of the ink was probably causing it to get clogged up and that's why the shaking helped bring the flow back.

The tip feels smooth against the paper with just the right amount of resistance to slow me down just a touch, enabling me to keep my handwriting in check.

Like most ballpoint stick pens these glitter pens are not refillable so will eventually find their way into my retired pot.

I definitely think these pens are worth checking out, especially for those young people who still appreciate the joys of pens and paper. The colours and glitter may not be suitable for the classroom but I wouldn't be surprised if they still found their way into pencil cases. Notes being passed round the classroom while the teachers back is turned still goes on in schools I'm sure and scented glitter pens will do the job nicely. Lets just hope the teacher doesn't have any apple related flash backs of their own or it will be game over and 100 lines at break time. 

If like me, you need Dandy the dogs scented glitter pens in your life then you will find them over here.

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