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Hero 616 Doctor (New) Experience And Quick Review

hero 616 doctor jumbo ebay

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14 replies to this topic

#1 EbonitePen

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 16:35

Recently there's been a lot of talk about Hero 616s here and so I wanted to share my experience with you. Not going to go into too much detail, I'm leaving for vacation in two days but wanted to get this out there in case someone would find it helpful.

I ordered 3 616 Doctors from ebay seller 'mentag'. Three pens for US $12.90. When they finally arrived the first interesting thing was the packaging itself. See that there is no 'Doctor' mentioned anywhere on the package. I've contacted the seller and he explained that this is new packaging and that it does say Doctor on the back. I have translated what it says on the back and it does say, right above the barcode: "Big Hero 616 High Yijin Bi". So I guess that means it is a Jumbo. I was also assured that these indeed are genuine.

Don't know if you heard but for example my Hero 9018 with fude nib that I got earlier this year had a QR code that redirected me to a Hero verification site that checks whether the pen is genuine. There is also a secret code which you can get to by scraping a little film or layer of protective paint (similar to that used on lottery tickets). My 9018 is genuine according to this Hero site. This one, though it does have a QR code on the back of the package and it does have the secret code couldn't be verified, because it redirected me to a nonsense site. When I typed the 616 code to where I verified my 9018 it wouldn't verify it either.

20160718_190720x.jpg

20160718_182838x.jpg

 

The next images are of the pen itself. It does look OK. There are scratches on the pens straight out of the box but what can you do. The plastic is super cheap, not substantial in any way. Does have a hole in the back of the body. Filling system is ok, this is the bigger one, the 'Jumbo' size. It operates well, I was able to fill it easily, no problems there.

20160718_182719x.jpg

20160718_182729x.jpg

 

Lastly the cap. It looks worse in real life than on the photos I think. There is not that much definition in the engraving/stamping. It's shallower than looks here and also there is less shine, much less shine than it seems to be the case here.

20160718_182627x.jpg

20160718_182701x.jpg

 

That being said, writing is very nice, surprisingly so. I have only tried the black one so far with Noodler's Black (will test the others when I return from my vacation and post an update) but it writes beautifully and smoothly, it's wet enough and there are no issues with scratchiness or dripping, etc. There is just a tiny bit of line variation but I won't be pushing it at all so my tines remain aligned. All in all, it writes really well. No issues whatsoever. At least so far. Here is a quick writing sample.

20160720_181425x.jpg

 

Make of it what you will but my impressions are that these are as genuine as they get and yet they are not great, aside from the writing itself - which admittedly is indeed great. The build quality is sub-par in my opinion and for example Jinhao X750 is far superior to these pens.

 

Feel free to ask any questions, etc. and I hope some of you will find this post helpful.

 

edit: scroll down to reply #8 for more pics and further facts


Edited by EbonitePen, 21 July 2016 - 10:10.


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#2 Mech-for-i

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 17:47

Actually that line of TEXT translate as " Large 616 Hero premium grade Steel Nib Pen " .. typical marketing BS ; Hero never ever refer to their 616 model as Jumbo , there is really only 2 size, standard and small or student version, The Large become known ( as of today ) because the small version is now the standard version. The arrow clip made this the home market version < export version had plain ( and IMHO better looking ) clip.



#3 Flounder

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 18:42

My 'jumbo' pens from YesPen bought a few years ago said Doctor on the packaging, and the pens were packaged in the blister pack posted, with the nib exposed (rather daftly, nib-protection wise).


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#4 rwilsonedn

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 21:15

It is rather disturbing that the authentication process didn't work. I would take that as conclusive evidence of a fake. But one wonders why a fake vendor would go to the trouble of putting in the scratch-off number and creating a Web site but wouldn't go the extra step of having the bogus site recognize the bogus number. Puzzling.

Anyhow, thanks for the information and great photos, and congratulations on getting a knock-about pen that writes well.

ron



#5 Flounder

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 21:29

.

Anyhow, thanks for the information and great photos, and congratulations on getting a knock-about pen that writes well.

ron

 

quite right - the chief value of these, genuine or otherwise!


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#6 sciumbasci

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 22:31

Mentag has a solid reputation. I doubt he'll lose the perk he has on the others just to make profits. I call these genuine. Marks on cap seem right to me, and so does the sac guard.

Can you fill it up without removing the sac guard? Does it fill all the way up? If both are true, then it's legit.

#7 EbonitePen

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 07:09

Thanks all.

 

Actually that line of TEXT translate as " Large 616 Hero premium grade Steel Nib Pen " .. typical marketing BS ; Hero never ever refer to their 616 model as Jumbo , there is really only 2 size, standard and small or student version, The Large become known ( as of today ) because the small version is now the standard version. The arrow clip made this the home market version < export version had plain ( and IMHO better looking ) clip.

OK thanks, Google Translator couldn't handle it, seems like.

 

It is rather disturbing that the authentication process didn't work. I would take that as conclusive evidence of a fake. But one wonders why a fake vendor would go to the trouble of putting in the scratch-off number and creating a Web site but wouldn't go the extra step of having the bogus site recognize the bogus number. Puzzling.

Anyhow, thanks for the information and great photos, and congratulations on getting a knock-about pen that writes well.

ron

Yes I know. Strange considering the other Hero I mentioned actually does authenticate, so their system works.


Edited by EbonitePen, 21 July 2016 - 07:10.


#8 EbonitePen

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 10:09

Interesting development!

 

I have, after all, taken the time to inspect the other two pens. The green one is basically the same as the reviewed black above but here are pics of the red one compared to the black, and they are quite... shocking? or at least interesting.

 

First, notice the cap. The cap on the red pen is completely different as to the look and feel. The photos pretty well demonstrate this.

First photo, notice the arrow point on the clip, notice the feathers on the arrow, notice the off center stamping on the bottom of the cap where it says 616.

20160721_113617x.jpg

Second image shows the finish, I already said in the review that the cap is not shiny and looks terrible, there's no shine to it, well this red pen cap is completely shiny and beautifully made when compared to the other two, which are finished poorly and look like pewter, not steel. The stamping is also much improved.

20160721_113649x.jpg

The third picture shows the clip band as well as the cap end "jewel". Much nicer finish on the red one (right), not as rounded but more precise.

20160721_113713x.jpg

 

Despite the red pen having a great cap the nib and feed are misaligned. I am going to solve this when I get back. Haven't inked it up for this reason, so can't comment now on the writing performance. The tines on the nib are aligned perfectly though.

20160721_113756x.jpg

 

Finally, the converter. Clearly different finish on the red one (right), much nicer, clearer, brushed matt finish of the aluminum converter - not as noticeable on the picture perhaps as in real life.

20160721_113841x.jpg

 

Funtastic, right?


Edited by EbonitePen, 21 July 2016 - 10:11.


#9 rwilsonedn

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 19:49

Fascinating. One theory is that there are actually huge variations in pens coming out of the Hero factory. That would make sense if the factory is being run to minimize costs. You buy whatever materials are cheapest at the time, you let tooling go until it physically doesn't work any more, you train your crew to keep production going and save adjustment for the end of the shift, and you assemble pens out of whatever mix of parts you have on hand: if it fits together, it's a pen.

ron



#10 Flounder

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 15:40

Sure is a curious batch that's been shipped. Ebonite, if you shine a torch up the cap, can you see a slot in the inner cap for dis/assembly?

 

You don't need to risk unscrewing the hood to realign the nib & feed btw (rather thin hood plastic on these), you can pull the nib straight out, and push the feed out using the breather tube. Old blogpost here.

 

edit - I recall someone flagged that his fakes had single-start barrel threads. My 'genuines' have quadruple start, maybe check for that?

 

Hero%20616%20Jumbo%20Barrel%20Threads.jp


Edited by Flounder, 22 July 2016 - 15:53.

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#11 Seele

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 13:58

EbonitePen,

 

Does the red one pass the authentication process?

 

From what I know, the single-unit ones, normally called the Hero-Doctor Jumbo, are Shanghai-built and generally resembles the red one that you have, with glossy finish cap with very tactile machine engraved lines down its length. Lishui-built ones, which tend to be sold in ten-unit retailers packs, are more like the black one with smoother finish caps and much fainter engraved lines.

 

I recall some time ago I was doing some digging around in Taobao and found that some 616 pens were officially built outside Hero's facilities; those I found were from Wuxi and the vendor said they're not quite as good as the Shanghai-built ones, but historically interesting nonetheless. That got me thinking and did a bit more digging, and I chanced upon this article; like all articles in Chinese no citation was ever cited. It says, in 1986, Hero and several firms had reached mutual agreement for them to build Hero-branded products for Hero Shanghai. These firms included the Fifth Pen Parts Factory, Xian Pen Factory, Nanjing Pen Factory, Harbin Pen Factory, Guiyang Pen Factory etc.

 

I am familiar with several of these factories listed and in fact have examples of their own pens in my collection, but one could only speculate how far this arrangement - which is essentially a licensing arrangement - went, and how long it lasted, and if these firms are still extant in some form. Hero would not have had a need to send all these smaller pen makers a set of duplicate tools, as they already had the facilities to build Parker-like pens anyway.


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#12 EbonitePen

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 16:43

Fascinating. One theory is that there are actually huge variations in pens coming out of the Hero factory. That would make sense if the factory is being run to minimize costs. You buy whatever materials are cheapest at the time, you let tooling go until it physically doesn't work any more, you train your crew to keep production going and save adjustment for the end of the shift, and you assemble pens out of whatever mix of parts you have on hand: if it fits together, it's a pen.

ron

Yes that makes the most sense and seems like a logical explanation.



#13 EbonitePen

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 16:53

Sure is a curious batch that's been shipped. Ebonite, if you shine a torch up the cap, can you see a slot in the inner cap for dis/assembly?

 

You don't need to risk unscrewing the hood to realign the nib & feed btw (rather thin hood plastic on these), you can pull the nib straight out, and push the feed out using the breather tube. Old blogpost here.

 

edit - I recall someone flagged that his fakes had single-start barrel threads. My 'genuines' have quadruple start, maybe check for that?

 

Hero%20616%20Jumbo%20Barrel%20Threads.jp

The inside of the cap looks different on the red one than on the other two. Those too have the slot for disassembly but it's shallow and slightly different. The inside of the red cap looks better in my opinion.

Thanks for the tip, the feed was pretty easy to push out this way. I will probably need to get to the nib as well as it is not properly aligned within the section too.

As for the barrel threads, they all have those quadruple start threads.



#14 EbonitePen

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 16:55

EbonitePen,

 

Does the red one pass the authentication process?

 

From what I know, the single-unit ones, normally called the Hero-Doctor Jumbo, are Shanghai-built and generally resembles the red one that you have, with glossy finish cap with very tactile machine engraved lines down its length. Lishui-built ones, which tend to be sold in ten-unit retailers packs, are more like the black one with smoother finish caps and much fainter engraved lines.

 

I recall some time ago I was doing some digging around in Taobao and found that some 616 pens were officially built outside Hero's facilities; those I found were from Wuxi and the vendor said they're not quite as good as the Shanghai-built ones, but historically interesting nonetheless. That got me thinking and did a bit more digging, and I chanced upon this article; like all articles in Chinese no citation was ever cited. It says, in 1986, Hero and several firms had reached mutual agreement for them to build Hero-branded products for Hero Shanghai. These firms included the Fifth Pen Parts Factory, Xian Pen Factory, Nanjing Pen Factory, Harbin Pen Factory, Guiyang Pen Factory etc.

 

I am familiar with several of these factories listed and in fact have examples of their own pens in my collection, but one could only speculate how far this arrangement - which is essentially a licensing arrangement - went, and how long it lasted, and if these firms are still extant in some form. Hero would not have had a need to send all these smaller pen makers a set of duplicate tools, as they already had the facilities to build Parker-like pens anyway.

Really very interesting, even fascinating! Thanks for sharing.



#15 Jobesmirage

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 11:42

Thanks all.

 

OK thanks, Google Translator couldn't handle it, seems like.

 

Yes I know. Strange considering the other Hero I mentioned actually does authenticate, so their system works.

I wouldnt take the non-scan as a immediate bad sign.  If you've been onto the Hero webpage or have experience with Chinese webpages youll see that many of their webpages are very poorly maintained.  It isnt the least bit surprising that one product would authenticate and another wouldnt.  







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