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We Love China and China Tolerates It


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15 replies to this topic

#1 WillSW

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 23:02

Alright, another Chinese group to be reviewed. Quick overview because there's a lot of handwritten stuff.

Hero 616 [$5] - I bought three of these, which varied from nearly unusable to wonderful. Worth buying a few to get a good one, the less easy writers can be given away.
Hero 330 [$5] - A nice extra fine line, I got a good one but there's probably a chance the next would be scratchy. A '61' ripoff, I like the looks and the little "star trek" arrow makes me smile.
Hero 329 [$5] (Not pictured, given away) - A thicker line than either the 616 or the 330, a real medium, the one I bought has good flow and writes smoothly. I, however, don't really like how it looks compared to the other Parker wanna-bes. The cap, especially, is cheap and unattractive.
Hero 83 [$6] - A '45' derived design with a sharkmouth semi-hood. Great writer, I wish I could find it online. Very fine line, like the 330, but smooth, smooth. I wish it weren't ugly.
Hero 316 [$5.50] - Another one unable to be found online. Semi-hooded, a medium-fine writer that I accidentally filled with India Ink because it was sold to me as fountain pen ink and I cannot read Chinese. I cleaned it out and replaced the Hero Black (India) with Hero Blue-Black. It was smoother with the black, but I think if I filled it with any better lubricating ink it would be again the great writer it was. Not too appealing in looks to me, but sleek and a good gift pen.

Now, images and writing samples. A lot of them.

Top to bottom: 616, 330, 83, 316


A nib shot of the 616 and 330. This is the only shot of these because there are many to be found online.


Hero 83


Hero 316


Now, writing samples. I wanted to be thorough.


These pens were all bought at Oriental Culture Enterprises, at 13-17 Elizabeth St. in NYC, except the 330, which was bought at a little bookstore farther down Mott St.

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#2 AlejoPlay

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 15:14

Do they let you open up the boxes and examine the nibs? I'd love to get a couple of the 616s and I'd hate to get a dud. The 83 and 316 look kind of interesting as well. I bought a 330 from Alan Koo once and I tossed it. The pen was too light and the nib was AWFUL, so I have a major aversion to it. My only other hero is an old school 329 which I love.

Edited by AlejoPlay, 08 January 2008 - 15:15.


#3 WillSW

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 20:25

QUOTE(AlejoPlay @ Jan 8 2008, 10:14 AM) View Post
Do they let you open up the boxes and examine the nibs? I'd love to get a couple of the 616s and I'd hate to get a dud. The 83 and 316 look kind of interesting as well. I bought a 330 from Alan Koo once and I tossed it. The pen was too light and the nib was AWFUL, so I have a major aversion to it. My only other hero is an old school 329 which I love.


They get the pens in packs of 10 or so (you can see unopened pack on the back shelf) and put them into trays. I tried examining the nibs, but realized I just don't know what to look for when I got back home with my less than great first 616. If you know what to look for, they'll pretty much leave you alone to play with the pens, I don't know how they are about dipping, I didn't ask. I don't know if they'd like you dipping half a dozen of the same pen. Buy some blue-black if you go!

#4 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 18:47

Regarding the fountain pen friendliness of Hero blue/Black ink: Not necessarily always all that friendly. It's real iron containing ink. I've had that stuff clog a fountain pen before. YMMV
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#5 WillSW

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 23:23

QUOTE (Ink Stained Wretch @ Jan 24 2009, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Regarding the fountain pen friendliness of Hero blue/Black ink: Not necessarily always all that friendly. It's real iron containing ink. I've had that stuff clog a fountain pen before. YMMV


Whether Hero BB has iron in it or not has been recently debated - are there any definite tests one can do to determine it?

#6 Renzhe

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 06:17

Somehow I thought it was possible that the title of the thread was the name of a pen.
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#7 incursive

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:02

I have a couple of Hero 616s: one is a dud and the other writes like a dream. I use it for drawing more than writing and it hasn't let me down in years. I would definitely recommend anyone buy these pens as they really are a good cheap workhorse.

#8 andy1m

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:58

I have half a dozen (or more I think) 330 and 331, good pens and great prices. I will keep looking for Hero's pen.

#9 HenryLouis

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:12

I bought a 10 pack of 616's. I hope I get some good writers.
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#10 LapsangS

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 13:30

QUOTE (HenryLouis @ Jun 13 2009, 04:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I bought a 10 pack of 616's. I hope I get some good writers.


Me too. I just ordered a similar 10 pack of H616

#11 someonesdad

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 16:41

It definitely is a cr@pshoot getting a good Hero pen sometimes. I bought two packs of ten 616s for $11 per pack (delivered to US from Hong Kong) and have gotten a few good writers out of that bunch. My wife, who has the paypal account, did the ordering for me and accidentally also purchased two Hero 616 Jumbos from the same dealer for $4 each delivered to the US. One of those Jumbos has turned into my absolute favorite pen and is with me constantly. It writes like a dream with Noodler's black, Bay State Blue, and Herbin Perle Noire.

I've also got two Hero 332s (from a batch of 10 purchased for $10 about a decade ago) that write superbly; I keep them inked with PR DCSS blue and Fox red.

#12 HenryLouis

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 22:18

QUOTE (someonesdad @ Jun 15 2009, 12:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It definitely is a cr@pshoot getting a good Hero pen sometimes. I bought two packs of ten 616s for $11 per pack (delivered to US from Hong Kong) and have gotten a few good writers out of that bunch. My wife, who has the paypal account, did the ordering for me and accidentally also purchased two Hero 616 Jumbos from the same dealer for $4 each delivered to the US. One of those Jumbos has turned into my absolute favorite pen and is with me constantly. It writes like a dream with Noodler's black, Bay State Blue, and Herbin Perle Noire.

I've also got two Hero 332s (from a batch of 10 purchased for $10 about a decade ago) that write superbly; I keep them inked with PR DCSS blue and Fox red.


I'm using the pens for Baystate blue as well.
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#13 Nikhil

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 13:11

i have 2 Hero 616's but they are not very durable at all
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#14 Pepin

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 13:24

Very nice. I enjoy your review. Cheap thrills!
A man's real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.

#15 elsiezheng

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 07:24

There are many fans of Hero 616 in China .
I love them.
They are the most classic model of Hero .
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#16 Pauldavid

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:48

Bought myself a 330 and an unidentified (at least to me) Youth 2 days ago. Filled it up with an old bottle of Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black (must have been a really old bottle, writing was rather light). While testing it out, the plastic on the underside of the Hero broke, leaving a glob of ink on the paper. The Youth however worked awesomely! Thinking of flushing it out and refilling it with some Black Skrip.
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. - Robert Heinlein






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