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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Need to kill the Martian ... ACME has the solution

While waiting for my children to finish their classes, I was attracted to ACME rollerball pens at Singapore Isetan Scott level 3 where they setup a Father's Day 2009 promotion island for ACME; particularly to a 'Ray Gun' display. From far, I thought it was a toy or gadget for my kids, but it turns out to be a really useful 'toy' – a writing instrument for all ages.
The ACME ray gun pen was designed by Ben Hall, who is one of the many designers engaged by ACME. Ben was born in 1963 in Leicester, UK and graduated in 1986 with an Honors degree for fine art painting and animation at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. Back in 1997, he was commissioned by Sieger Design in Germany to produce a limited edition milk glass for Ritzenoff Glassware. I did a search on the internet, but failed to find the picture of this milk glass designed by Ben. However, we discover that Ritzenoff does has a few interesting products, which synonymous with pop culture and contemporary design and complement ACME collection.

Here is a couple who we believed to have understood the power of marketing. Adrain labuenaga and his wife, Lesley Bailey founded the company in 1985 in Los Angeles. The launched their first product collection with the help of Peter Shire, who is a member of the Memphis Group. Soon after, they engaged designers of different backgrounds, mediums and specializations for their next collection and started a road show. With the success of the road show, they continues to use the same formula for their future design. Today, they are have other products like wrist watches, personal accessories like card holder, leather goods, etc. If you like Swatch® and collected them, this is the 'Swatch' pen for you – cool, unusual design.
How good is the pen? When we first tested the rollerball, it is smooth. It performance is no different from the other brands. Does it come with fountain pen? Yes and No. The pen only come in rollerball but you can purchase a fountain pen convertor. The user just need to unscrew the rollerball out of the barrel and screw in the fountain pen convertor, very easy and straight forward. It is a steel nib, therefore, it is recommended that you don't choose the fine nib. The entire pen is make from steel. The design is printed onto it, not hand painted. With printing, there is endless possiblities for design – the only limited is the designer creativity. The down side is the material used – steel. If you scratch it, the damage area might become rusty.

I am disapponted with the packing. The Ray Gun come in a pretty color box, but the other models doesn't. It is packed in a steel box that look like a pencil case.
Beside the usual big stores like Istan Scott and CK Tang departmental stores, where the sales executive seems to be always busy doing 'something'. The pens is also available at Fook Hing Trading, where the friendly sales executives are likely to help you find the perfect pen for that signigicant moment as a gift.

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