Presenting: the great Spanish pencil haul of 2019

I am back from this year’s overseas adventure! After a little digging around, Spain turned out to be a great place to pick up some pencils. Somehow I managed to get all of these out of the EU and into the USA without some customs agent thinking that I must be some sort of pencil mule running a black market office supply scheme…

It was actually really interesting, because I had an idea of specific pencil makes or models that I expected to find. For the most part, I didn’t. However, I did find a bunch that I didn’t even know existed.

As you can see, the Staedtler Norris is well-represented. I did keep my eyes peeled for that specific pencil, and found it. In a way, it seems to be the Ticonderoga of Spain (and perhaps the rest of Europe) in that it is pretty ubiquitous and most shops seem to have a little display of them at the checkout stand. I did not find some brands I was thinking I would, such as Viarco, Caran d’Ache, etc. However, I did find pencils from many well-known European makers such as Lyra, including specific models I’d never heard of. I also found a few that are specific to Spain. Many are Chinese exports targeted for the Spanish market, but some — like the Alpino Junior which (spoiler alert) I am growing pretty find of — are made in Spain. There are also some that I still haven’t figured out what they are or where they come from.

So, needless to say, there’s lots of fresh fodder for reviews and it should be fun to work my way through them.

More stuff comin’ atcha

I continue to amass to-review items faster than I can review them (which is exactly how I intend it). Check out the latest additions to the inbox:

You’re looking at several products from Asia, and one from Europe. The Yoobi pencils are an American brand, found in Target, made in Vietnam. Marco and Aishangbi are Chinese brands — Marco relatively well-known, Aishangbi not so much. The Toyo pencil sharpener is made in Japan, and the Bruynzeel pencils are from the Netherlands.

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