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iPenBox Subscription Box Review – December 2017

iPenBox Going Retro December 2017 box closed

iPenBox is a monthly box for the ‘pen, paper and ink enthusiast’. Each box contains 5–10 items curated around a theme. 

Reviewed by popular demand!

iPenBox Going Retro December 2017 box inside

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

iPenBox Going Retro December 2017 review

About iPenBox

The Subscription Box: iPenBox

The Cost: $30 a month for the US or $40 a month for Canada/International, both with free shipping

The Products: Each box will contain a fountain pen, an ink sample, paper and at least two more items.

Ships to: USA & International

iPenBox December 2017 Review

iPenBox info card

The theme for December is ‘Going Retro’. A 10% coupon code for the iPenstore shop was included. 

This month’s treat was a candy necklace! I used to love these when I was growing up and happily this was just as good as I remembered. 

Pocket Protector

Pocket Protector

This promotional pocket protector is exclusive to this box and isn’t sold anywhere. I’ve seen these in films, but this is the first one I’ve seen in real life. The website gives a bit of history:

In 1904 the pen clip is invented to hold a pen in a pocket. Pens were notorious for leaking at that time, so in 1947 Hurley Smith patented the pocket protector. Designed to keep shirts clean and tools handy.

Parker Jotter pen, classic stainless steel packaged

Parker Jotter pen, classic stainless steel barrel

Parker Jotter pen, classic stainless steel pen tip

Parker Jotter Pen, Classic Stainless Steel – Retail Value $26.09 (found here for $12.99)

This is a classic pen that’s been popular for years, so it’s appropriate for the retro theme. I like the metal barrel and styling.

The pen writes OK but has a little bit of skipping for me as a left-handed writer. It’s not one I’d use every day, but it was fun to try. 

Iwako Retro Toy Eraser

Iwako Retro Toy Eraser

Iwako Retro Toy Eraser – Estimated Value $1 (random variation)

There are several variations of retro toys that you could receive – I got this ball and cup. It actually works! According to iPenBox:

Cup-and-ball is a traditional children’s toy, but it is rumored that Jane Austen excelled at it. 

Yong Shen Hooded Fountain Pen (by Hero) 

Yong Shen Hooded Fountain Pen (by Hero) tip

Yong Shen Hooded Fountain Pen (by Hero) – Retail Value $9.97

The main thing I love about this pen is the rose gold trim. It has a nice weight and was easy to fill. The one thing I don’t love about it is that you can’t fit the cap on the back of the pen when you’re writing.

Waterman Serenity Blue ink, 2ml sample 

Waterman Serenity Blue Ink, 2ml sample – Buy a 50ml bottle for $11.29 (found here for $9.97)

iPenBox always includes an ink sample, and this time it’s a classic blue. 

writing sample

Here’s a writing sample with the blue ink using the Yong Shen fountain pen. It wasn’t as smooth as I’d have liked, but the ink didn’t smudge.

Word Notebook 2018 Standard Memorandum in muslin pouch

Word Notebook 2018 Standard Memorandum 

Word Notebook 2018 Standard Memorandum – Retail Value $11

The 2017 Standard Memorandum was included this time last year, but now it’s time for an update. I like the retro writing on the cover. 

The inner cover has a ruler! I’m not at all good with small imperial measurements, so this will come in handy. 

The inside has a few lines for each day, and US holidays marked. 

IPen Box Pencil

Last but not least, they included this #2 iPenBox pencil with bold writing on the side. 

Verdict: I enjoyed this month’s retro theme and all of the items were a good fit. None of the items really stand out as a favorite this time, but I always enjoy trying new pens, and the memorandum is a nice item for the new year. The box cost $30, but I estimate that I received $46.06 in value, which doesn’t include the two promo items, eraser, candy or ink sample. I think this is a great value for the price of the box. 

To Wrap Up: 

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the January box. From iPenBox:

 What happens when you subscribe?

We’ll start shipping your iPenBox after the first of next month. If any current month’s boxes are still available, we’ll send you a link to purchase the current month’s box while supplies last.

Value Breakdown: This box cost me $30 with free shipping, which means that each of the 7 items in the box has an average cost of $4.29.

Check out all of our iPenBox reviews and the Paper & Stationery Subscription Box Directory for more writing subscription boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add iPenBox to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of December’s iPenBox?


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Written by Désirée Eien

Désirée Eien

Désirée has survived the subscription box rollercoaster since 2013. Her other hobbies include meticulously over-researching minor purchases, crafting things she hopes to pass off as gifts, and dressing her cat up in silly costumes.

Posted in iPen Box Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: ipenbox | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. Omg just take my already!

    • ^Money

  2. Hurley Smith- the inventor of the pocket protector- is my great uncle. So cool.

    • That is very cool Elissa!

    • That’s really wonderful!

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