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Hero 257 "Cayman Mouth"


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6 replies to this topic

#1 ZeissIkon

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 00:53

First Impressions (7/10)
This pen is beautiful -- came in a nice little box with foam lining, packaged in a bubble lined envelope; heavy for its size, itís another all metal pen with permanently mounted converter (piston style).

Appearance (8/10)
Black matte finish with white gridwork on cap and barrel, with end caps and section/hood in bright chrome and flat-section clip with welded-on ball gripper. All finish appears excellent, whether silk screen/powder coat color or smoothly applied chrome.

Design/Size/Weight (7/10)
Iím not sure how I feel about the hood on this, which is a continuation of the chrome section; it certainly does a fine job of protecting the nib and feed, but the ďcayman mouthĒ end profile seems a bit odd to my eye. The general shape of the pen, however, is pleasing, the girth is very comfortable and the weight gives a substantial feel in hand. The pen is long enough for comfort unposted, but does post smoothly and securely (though itís actually on the heavy side when posted due to the metal cap). Solid, snug snap-fit cap appears likely to do a fine job of preventing dry-out and certainly wonít come off unexpectedly.

Nib (6/10)
Apparently untipped stainless, this nib is none the less smooth, and appears quite wet with a hint of softness (though too wet to see if thereís any actual line variation). Not likely to last a lifetime of daily writing, but more than adequate for the price of the pen.

Filling System (7/10)
The piston filler appears to be a high capacity converter attached with epoxy or similar; it fills the section very completely and holds around twice as much as a cartridge. Appears well made, and has a small glass ball inside (presumably either to keep ink mixed or to break surface tension and keep the ink at the feed). Thereís apparently some dead space inside the converter, as it wonít fill completely, but a little airspace inside a pen is thought by some to aid in starting flow.

Cost and Value (10/10)
Itís impossible to imagine a better value on a pen short of a gift -- the price paid couldnít possibly have done more than pay the Chinese-market retail price of this pen, and shipping was free from Hong Kong. This pen appears to be competitive in quality and workmanship with other pens Iíve paid $15 for -- canít comment on durability, but at this price, it could last a month and be a bargain.

Conclusion (8/10)
Iíd like this pen if Iíd paid $15 for it; at under a dollar, itís a genuinely amazing value (and hard to imagine the seller making a profit, it has to be a promotional loss leader of some kind). The (plain) box the pen came in would sell for more than I paid, in this country.


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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 13:51

I've bought three of these pens for my daughter to give to her friends, and they've all worked well right out of the box. They are cute! Perfect for teenage girls, and a fun conversation piece for FP fans, too.
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#3 someonesdad

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 17:10

Would you please post the URL from where you bought these from?

#4 J English Smith

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 17:20

I'd love to see a photo of this, just to put the review into flesh, so to speak...
<i>"Most people go through life using up half their energy trying to protect a dignity they never had."</i><br>-Marlowe, in <i>The Long Goodbye</i>

#5 shadowsforbars

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 19:15

I have a Jinhao shrimp eye and it does it's job just fine. Not the world's greatest pen, but it works. What it does, however, is make me smile every time I use it and that has to be worth a lot more than what I paid for it.

There is a lot of fun to be had at the bottom end of the market.

#6 ZeissIkon

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:51

I bought this pen from eBay seller ghostshow -- I don't have a photo of my own, but if you look through ghostshow's eBay store, you'll find this pen (probably photographed propped up on what looks like a human molar, no idea why), along with a couple other "cayman mouth" models (this designation apparently refers to the shape of the hood, which is a notched cone). Shipping from Hong Kong took less than two weeks, even though I was warned to expect three.

One does need to pay attention in bidding with ghostshow; the very same pen models will be posted with free shipping, and with shipping at $7.99, $12.99, and even $16.99 -- all at the same time! I don't know if they're trying to entrap the unwary, or selling "loss leaders" in hopes of building up loyal clientele, but they sell other brands, too -- Kaigelu (though I've never seen those with free shipping), and I think Haolilai (though I gather those are all sub-brands of Hero).

The glued-in filler means this pen will probably be impossible to service (even for myself) at whatever point there's a problem with it, but at this price, I might just buy a couple more to have spares... thumbup.gif
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.

#7 ZeissIkon

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:53

QUOTE (shadowsforbars @ Jun 4 2009, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is a lot of fun to be had at the bottom end of the market.


Yes, there is -- a lesson I learned when I was accumulating fifty working cameras over a space of four or five years. Most of those cameras were under $10, and by the time I was ready to spend a couple hundred, I knew exactly what I wanted...
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.






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