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Carlo Collodi


lapis
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First impression

Actually I don't like brown inks, maybe because there are so many variations. Reddish, bluish, greenish may be nice brown possibilities but yellowy or greyish browns are often termed something completely different from a brown…. I only have a handful of browns. But I do love comparisons of all kinds. And since this is a brand new ink as of today (well, at least here in Germany, even if it has long been available in the US) I thought "why not check it out?"

 

So why did I buy this ink?

While reading the review on the MB's ink "Alfred Hitchcock", and upon trying to buy that ink at an MB boutique here, they said that it hasn't been delivered yet. So, I phoned MB headquarters in Hamburg and they confirmed same. But they said that they did have MB's Pinocchio and I thought "What the heck?" I first thought that it was a calligraphy ink, but no, it'd do fine in any FP, because, after all, it was offered in the first place for a new MB LE (Writer's Edition) pen having the same name (Carlo Collodi, the author of the novel "Pinocchio").That's why the stuff was even created. I really do like the looks of the pen, but it comes in at a retail price of 760 Euros. The ink costs only 12.00 Euros, so I stuck to the ink.

 

Note

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/Carloasweall.jpg

 

 

First of all, here's a picture of the pen, courtesy of MB.

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/carlo_collodi_image1.jpg

 

 

And now, the ink and its box, alongside with -- for size comparison -- two of the pens to be used

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloCollodi_1.jpg

 

 

More about the bottle:

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloCollodi_2a.jpg

 

Well packed, as usual. This time the bottle is not a shoe and, even better, not like any of those overly rounded things used for the Season's Greetings inks. It is a new design, still round, but only as seen from the top. Very roughly the same size as the cubic type used for last year's series Ink of Joy/Friendship/love.

 

Just like the newest shoe bottles, the newer caps used here are also much easier to open and close, without having to fool around with the spacer disc inside which often caused spillage, the most notorious of which was the "White Forest" (better known as my "Green Desktop"). Again, for the sake of shape and size comparison, here are three of the MB bottle types I use most:

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloCollodi_3.jpg

 

For a better photowith more coverage, see this photo:

thanks, Bigeddie!

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloJustto.jpg

 

Pens and papers:

As for pens, I used -- alongside swabs with exactly 100 µl of ink on each -- a 1.5-mm dip pen, my Crest BB, 51 B, M800 B, M320F, Sheaffer NN italic F and a Rubinato dip pen (stainless steel with a real feather attached. Two small notes: okay, the M320 F is almost as wide as the M800 B but that's the way the ball bounces. The Rubinato is of course the worst writer but its scratchiness is a real torture test of feathering. I chose these not only because they have various nib widths but also various flow rates.

I used a 90 g HP Copy Paper which is a fair to middling thing here. I usually use any ol' cheap copy paper because I have tons of it anyway for my printers and if an ink writes nicely on that, it'll write even better on any other paper. I also use Clairefontaine (occasionally) and Moleskine (almost always) in the form of tiny notebooks for my T-shirtpockets. Judging by this, there is no really big difference in writing with this ink as regards the type of paper used.

 

Ink properties:

Saturation and intensity are -- as usual for MB inks in general -- very good. About the same as that of the Toffee used here but less so than that of MB's Season'sGreetings 2005 = 2006.

Flow as in wetness during writing is also good, well-balanced as in most other MB inks This ink flows and lubricates practically the same as the Toffee does, but IMO considerably less so than the somewhat overabundance of the Season's Greetings 2005 = 2006.

It lubricates well enough, too, in the sense that I see no skipping or start-up problems on any paper, and after leaving the filled pen for a day or two unused (with the cap on) I still see no problems in an attempt to get it to write off immediately.

 

Drying time is between 10 and 15 seconds, similar to most MB inks.

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloDryingtimes.jpg

 

Wetness after writing: when it is dry, it remains dry. I.e. after caressing my finger over it, I see no smudging (well, okay, at least after having dried for 1 minute).

You can't call this ink "waterproof" let alone "bulletproof" but it still isn't as easily washed almost completely out of the paper, as say many Herbin inks are. After 2 seconds under water and then drying, you can still identify easily what has been written. 30 seconds isn't bad either but thereafter it's game over.

 

Here's a scan on the 90 g HP copy paper

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloWatering.jpg

On all types of paper used here, there is no really discernible difference.

I see no feathering and no bleeding with any of the pens used (see also below). That was on the 90 g HP Copy paper. Also none on Clairefontaine but, as usual, lots on Moleskine.

Shading is definitely to be found, even if only to a moderate degree. I also see no fading but it's too early to ascertain that. Also, no smell encountered. I mean, basically zero per cent in comparison with the cinnamon of Season's Greetings2005 = 2006.

Rinsing and washing are as easy as with any other of the "lighter" MB inks. Staining on my fingers is quick to wash off and disappears within a few hours by itself. By no means particularly sensitive to hand oils. Taken together, maintenance may be described as very low.

 

Comparable inks.To repeat, there are certainly more browns than these out there, but I wanted to start off small:

 

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/Carlo7-Pack.jpg

 

 

 

To repeat, the M800 B and M320 F nibs seem to be similar but that's Pelikan's handcraftsmanship and individuality. Also, my M320 writes much wetter than my M800. I think I chose exactly that F on purpose. The Rubinato's true fineness and scratchiness obviously shows that of all seven of those inks, the Carl Collodi gets the best note in regard to the fact that it feathers the least.

 

I originally started off with more inks (simply as fast swabings) to first see which inks might come into consideration. Okay,many of these aren't all that matchable. E.g. for me, R&K's Sepia is too grey and Herbin's Ambre de Birmanie is too yellow. In case you're still interested…

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/Carlo18-Pack.jpg

 

 

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloFWIW.jpg

 

Availability:

Being an MB ink, this undoubtedly has the big advantage that you can probably buy it all over the world (even if you might have to order it).

 

Money:

This ink costs about the same as any ink in the shoes. But… this bottle has 35 ml whereas the (present day) shoe holds 60 ml.

 

Conclusions and what to do:

To be honest, I'm not all hot about the colour of this ink. A darker and more bluish or greenish brown would suit my tastes better. But the properties are, as usual for MB inks, IMO excellent. Flow, lubrication, saturation, drying time, maintenance, as well as the bottle itself are all great. Not too much and not too little. If you have the spare cash, why not buy the pen it was made for, too?

 

Achtung: This Carlo Collodi ink (as well as the Alfred Hitchcock ink) will be manufactured only as long as their counterpoint pens are still available. That means that -- until the last pen is sold out -- you also have only about one year to buy the corresponding ink.

 

And finally, a scan of the box side…

 

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/CarloBoxside.jpg

 

Mike

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Fantastic review, Mike! So informative!

 

I like the Collodi well enough to have bought a couple of bottles, but it's made me wish I could get my hands on more of the brown Season's Greetings. I love the scent and color of it. Perhaps you should add "creates ink jealousy" to its list of attributes. :P

 

Anyways, the Collodi also seems to really shine, in my opinion, in an ultra fine nib where it looks more like a wonderful, rich orange.

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Mike,

 

Thanks for a wonderful review. I recently acquired a bottle of this ink and I ike it a lot. In fact, I have two pens loaded with this ink at the moment. A Montblanc 149 from the 1950s with a sweet flexible nib and a Waterman 5 red ripple with a Pink nib. If you want I can make some writing samples of this ink with these two amazing flexible nibs.

Tu Amigo!

Mauricio Aguilar

 

www.VintagePen.net

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3525/4051556482_36f28f0902_m.jpg

E-Mail: VintagePen@att.net

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thanks for the comparison with other browns, i have this ink but i prefer the toffee brown

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

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Great review, thanks for sharing, you have set a high bar. At some point you mentioned fading. I love this ink, and have used it a lot, but it seems to color shift/fade over time. I have not done a controlled experiment, but my subjective experience is quite dramatic. Even with papers that have never seen the suns rays, or much artificial light, I have several times been surprised by a color that was once darker, better shaded, and richer than current. Has anyone else experienced color shift/fading with this ink?

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Thanks, guys!

 

... but it's made me wish I could get my hands on more of the brown Season's Greetings. I love the scent and color of it. Perhaps you should add "creates ink jealousy" to its list of attributes. :P

meghan, Maybe I should review the cinammon, too.

 

... A Montblanc 149 from the 1950s with a sweet flexible nib and a Waterman 5 red ripple with a Pink nib.

Mauricio, I'd be more than delighted to see lots of writing samples of this ink with those two amazing flexible nibs of yours!

 

thanks for the comparison with other browns, i have this ink but i prefer the toffee brown

leod, I'm glad that you said that! Me too!!

 

... Has anyone else experienced color shift/fading with this ink?

jandrese, that's an important point. I'll check on that, too. As usual, I always keep the "originals" which I scanned here -- out of the light, of course -- so that I can w/a come back at a later date with a word or two about fading. Maybe even exposure to any light could be analysed too but since I never leave anything important open to direct sunlight or artificial light, I think I'll skip that part.

 

Mike

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Wasn't there an ink to match the Ghandi pen several years ago?

Well I'll be! Okay... now that we're at it...

 

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/mon_gandhi_visual_01.jpg

 

 

The Ghandi ink has been reviewed in this forum here and there, but not a pen called Ghandi. However I just found out that there is/was indeed a Ghandi pen out for sale. Check this site out.

I had phoned MB in Hamburg and they said that it was only Collodi and Hitchcock (the last two MB LE pens) which ever came out with "their own" inks. I don't think that MB Customer Service lied, but, as as I have witnessed several times, they are often uninformed. Main thing is, however, that these things are or were in fact once available.

 

To go into more detail, how's this: At least the Ghandi ink came out around 2009 (I think). At that time, there had been uncertainties here that that ink was available together with the pen. I asked in an MB boutique here and they said that they had never heard of such an ink. So I phoned Hamburg and MB said that there is, yes, an ink called Ghandi but it was only to be sold together with a pen. They did not say that it was a/the Ghandi pen, but, I think, either 'any MB' pen or a 146 or a 149. So I gave up. Only to see that my great supplier Rolf had that ink for sale together with zero pen purchase. So that's where I bought a bottle in 2010.

 

... just to keep your mouth drooling... :puddle:

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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"White Forest" (better known as my "Green Desktop").

 

I was warned about that upon purchase. I got now 2 3/4's bottles.

If I ever get an MB shoe bottle empty, that will be the ink to go into it. I take great care when opening that bottle.

 

I have a bottle of Collodi. I've not freed up enough pens to give it a test.

I was talking to the son of the 135 year old B&M I go to, and MB had not told him that Collodi came with an ink, when he went to the unveiling of the pen. I was told that customers told him about the ink. I ordered the ink through him.

 

My first quick impression (dip and go) was it could have been called Collodi red just as easy as Collodi brown.

 

Seeing how it's going to be very limited I have to do that test soon, before MB shoots itself in the foot again.

 

I bought a bottle of MB Winter Forest in the wild for €19...and a couple of days later for 13 in the B&M.

I'd hate to find out I liked that ink €19 worth; when I could have stocked piled a bottle for 13..

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Mike, thanks for the fabulous and thorough review! I found it both informative and helpful. The Collodi pen looks stunning! As far as the ink colours go, I think I, too, prefer to MB Toffee as it is much richer. Thanks again!

 

All the Best,

Gem

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  • 1 month later...

Mike,

 

Thanks for a wonderful review. I recently acquired a bottle of this ink and I ike it a lot. In fact, I have two pens loaded with this ink at the moment. A Montblanc 149 from the 1950s with a sweet flexible nib and a Waterman 5 red ripple with a Pink nib. If you want I can make some writing samples of this ink with these two amazing flexible nibs.

I'd love to see your writing samples with that ink and those nibs!

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png
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A. jandrese, I just did a new check on colour shift/fading. I see absolutely no difference between old and new writings with the same pens on the same papers. The "original" scans kept out of the light but available to the air are by no means lighter or more or less reddish than this appears today, a good month later.

 

B. soonerjess, thanks for the reminder... Mauricio... we're still waiting!!!

 

Mike :vbg:

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Mike,

 

Sorry I forgot to add the pictures with the writing samples toy our ink review. I simply forgot to do it. Here are writing samples done with the Montblanc 149. I used these pictures for the Three Oversize Vintage Pens With Flex Nibs thread here in FPN. The nib in this Montblanc is a fairly wet writer. I am sure that a normal or dry nib will display different results for this great ink.

 

Writing at less than my normal writing speed with no pressure applied

fpn_1328751539__img_6855.jpg

 

Writing at a fast speed with no pressure applied

fpn_1328751605__img_6857.jpg

 

And now, multiple pictures while flexying the nib

fpn_1328751720__img_6854.jpg

 

fpn_1328751774__img_6859.jpg

 

fpn_1328751818__img_6858.jpg

 

 

I will try to add the writing samples with the Waterman 5 red ripple and Pink nib in a separate post.

Edited by Mauricio

Tu Amigo!

Mauricio Aguilar

 

www.VintagePen.net

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3525/4051556482_36f28f0902_m.jpg

E-Mail: VintagePen@att.net

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Mauricio!

 

What a neat posting!! Your scans, pens and handwriting are all fantastic. I think I like this ink after all!!!

 

Thanks a lot!!!!

Mike :clap1:

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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  • 4 months later...

Received my MB Collodi brown ink today before reading your review. I’m new to FPN and plan to visit more often for reviews about all things fountain pens. I have read a couple of your reviews and appreciate the details you provide.

 

The most important point you make here is that brown inks vary widely in tone. Even something like sepia ink varies widely. For instance, there is a huge gap between Private Reserve Sepia and Rohrer & Klingners’s Sepia. I like writing with sepia for the old fashion effect it gives to my penmanship. I don't know why, but I thought I might find something similar with the Collodi and thought I'd try it to compare. Clearly, this ink is something else.

 

Mont Blanc calls the Collodi a brown ink on the label, but describes the color as “chestnut” in the marketing literature. I think it is more accurate to describe the tone as orange with red highlights. I am underscoring this point because colors and the words we use to describe them don’t often match as we might imagine them. I say this because when I read the word “chestnut”, I began to think about the warmth and substance of wood. But these are not feelings I have when I see this ink applied to Clairefontaine notebook paper using a Pelikan 400 fine nib.

 

Taking another look at my penmanship and quick sketches in my notebook, the ink appears to be closer to the color of blood orange. Not bad, but I have limited use for this color, unless perhaps as a watercolor wash. The ink is slightly expensive, but the trade off is the bottle’s beautiful design, which to me, makes this ink worth having on display. I look forward to reading more of your helpful reviews.

Petrus Van Amstel

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Thanks for the kind reply. You hit the nail right on the head when you mention 'Sepia'. Maybe best example of all here. I once made a list of about a dozen or so inks all named 'Sepia' and boy, did they vary by nature (pun intended). I think one would have to be a real sepia connoisseur to go more into depth on that but I don't like the critters. However IMO the actual colours offered by all those companies certainly are interesting in regard to their 'old fashioned effect'.

 

Mike

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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A friend here gave me a bottle of this ink and I'm trying it out. I agree that calling it a "brown" is akin to calling an orange ink "red" :-) i.e. it's an interesting ink, but I sure wouldn't call it a brown ink (since that orange analogy might have failed).

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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... You hit the nail right on the head when you mention 'Sepia'. Maybe best example of all here. I once made a list of about a dozen or so inks all named 'Sepia' and boy, did they vary by nature (pun intended). I think one would have to be a real sepia connoisseur to go more into depth on that but I don't like the critters. However IMO the actual colours offered by all those companies certainly are interesting in regard to their 'old fashioned effect'.

 

Hi Mike, I couldn't agree more. For that very reason I did a review last Fall of "sepia" toned inks, here and here, and found the range of what ink makers think of as sepia to vary dramatically. Unfortunately, the Carlo Collodi ink was released after my sepia comparison review was completed, so I wasn't able to include it. For myself, I really like Carlo Collodi, have a couple of bottles, and use it quite regularly. Thanks for your great review and a very excellent thread.

How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

— Samuel Johnson

 

Instagram: dcpritch

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have one bottle of that ink that will be reserved for a special pen. But I agree it is a very good ink :thumbup:

Edited by georges zaslavsky

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

 

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