ZenPop Japanese Stationery Pack is a subscription box brought to you by ZenMarket filled with unique Japanese stationery and studying goods handpicked by their staff in Japan.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: ZenPop Japanese Stationery Pack
The Cost: $29.50 a month with free international shipping. Save with longer commitments.
The Products: 12 or more cute and useful stationery items like pens, notebooks, stickers, and more.
Ships to: Worldwide
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
I received a thank you note along with 2-sided info sheet detailing the contents of this month's box. ZenPop always does a great job explaining the items!
Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen, 03 Fine Nib - Retail Value $3
Can you believe I don't own ANY fountain pens? It's absurd, I know. I immediately think of The Smiths lyric "Scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen. This means you really love me". Now that I have this pen (aka Japan's most popular fountain pen), I need to practice my fancy handwriting, because I feel like I should be writing calligraphy with this.
Platinum Press Man Mechanical Pencil, 0.9mm - Retail Value $5.19
I love mechanical pencils and have a small collection of fancy ones that I've purchased mainly to do crossword puzzles with. This one is super lightweight and has a plastic body. The lead is a chunky 0.9mm point, so it won't scratch up the paper you are writing on like some thinner ones may. The black cap at the top pops off to reveal a white eraser, and it has a metal clip as well to keep it snuggly tucked away.
Zebra Brush Pen - Retail Value $2.50? (value based on a similar pen)
I mentioned in another review that I have been wanting to get into using brush pens more. This is a nice light grey color that will be perfect to practice with before I use any fun colors. I swear I will make time for it!
Here are writing samples of all three!
Cats in Food Postcard by YOKO
Eeeeeee this postcard is the best! Out of the three variations, I am confident that I received the best one, full of kitties in different foods. It, of course, reminds me of Gudetama or Nyan Nyan Nyanko, but less cartoonish and more realistic. Each kitty looks a bit worried about its future, probably wondering if it will get gobbled up since being stuffed inside a slice of bread, a cupcake, a fried egg, milk tea, a donut, or my obvious fave, a hamburger.
Fat Cat Die Cut Cards by YOKO
Another paper good by illustrator YOKO graces us in the form of die cut cards. Each pack has 10 cardstock cards shaped like a chubby orange and white cat donning a blue bow tie. You can use them as to write a little note, or as a gift tag! So cute!
The info sheet explains that these little envelopes are normally used for money, but the cat cards that came in the box also happen to fit in them! Lately, people in Japan have also been using them to collect small items like stickers (uhhhh, perfect!). The design I got looks like illustrated rows of yellow, orange, and red flowers from afar. The five envelopes are made of a really soft textured paper and don't have glue on the flap, so you can seal with a sticker or washi tape. Can't wait to use these to give little sticker packets to friends!
Mt. Fuji Eraser
Erasers shaped like all sorts of things are huge in Japan, so it makes sense that ones shaped like Mt. Fuji exist! This snow-capped purple mountain is about one inch in diameter, but I find it too cool to use as an actual eraser, so it will just hang out with my other desk trinkets.
Kitta Pre-Cut Washi Tape - Retail Value $4.50
I've never seen this brand before, but their pre-cut washi tapes look so awesome!! Each pack has 10 pieces of each of the four designs of washi tape that has been cut into two-inch strips. This is kind of an awesome idea that I've seen more in sticker-sheet form, but not like this. My pack features different fabric-like designs, and they come in a matchbook-style booklet that makes it easy to tuck away.
Manekineko Washi Stickers
I really appreciate that ZenPop includes a lot of info on their products. I learn so much by reading their info sheets. There were four variations of this cool little box of stickers and I happened to get the "Manekineko" one. I'm familiar with the cat on the front from seeing it in various Asian restaurants, but never knew its name! It brings good luck, especially for store owners, which is why I see it so often in restaurants and markets. The stickers inside are also a bit foreign to me as well. Some I've seen before, but others (like the red and blue cones) I have not. Let me know if you can tell me what they are!!
Doraemon Mini Letter Set
Doraemon rules! I've been seeing him around for years and even own some of his merchandise, but I don't think I ever knew what he was all about. For instance, I didn't realize he is a robotic cat from the 22nd century who travels back in time. I like what I hear! This little letter set has four envelopes (covered in different colored Doraemons) and eight sheets of stationery that features what looks like stuffed pancakes at the top. I will definitely be penning some pals with this!
I am a sucker for rulers. Being a stationery and office supply hoarder (especially vintage drafting materials), I have a pretty serious collection and am always looking to expand it. This bright blue metal ruler can be clipped onto a notebook for easy toting and storage. This would have been great to have in grade school, but alas, I don't know if it existed back then and I certainly wouldn't have had the means to order it from Japan in the 80s. Oh well. For now, it will bring my joy just being part of my arsenal.
Half Size Notebook
With the three writing utensils I received in this box alone, I have some practicing to do. This notebook is perfect for that with its grid lines! The info sheet explains that when you fill a notebook with studying and practicing, you feel accomplished. That feeling can come faster with a notebook half the size, so this one is easier to fill up! Pretty simple way of thinking! Plus, it has a super cute polar bear and harp seal on the cover.
Kamoi MT Watercolor Washi Tape - Retail Value $3.05
We certainly couldn't finish out a stationery box without a roll of classic washi tape! The more I receive, the more I get that I've never seen before! There is a never-ending supply of different washi tapes and I am set to have them ALL! This one has a blotchy watercolor theme to it, featuring all different colors. MT is one of the most popular brands of washi tape that I know too!
Verdict: ZenPop Japanese Stationery Pack sent a wealth of Japanese goodness to me this month. I was overjoyed to see three writing instruments, plus a notebook to practice in. Washi tape is always a fave, and I discovered some new stuff as well! It was hard to find a lot of it online to get an accurate retail value for the whole box though. The cost of the box is $29.50 and I received 13 different items! Already, I think it's worth it for me.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes! It looks like you can still order this pack right now!
Value Breakdown: At $29.50 for this box, you are paying approximately $2.27 per item.
What is your favorite item from October's ZenPop Japanese Stationery Pack?