Tombow VIP Club Subscription Box Review – February 2018
Tombow VIP Club is a monthly subscription box filled with art and stationery supplies.
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.)
About Tombow VIP Club Art Supplies Subscription Box
The Subscription Box: Tombow VIP Club
The Cost: $30.00 + free USPS ground shipping
The Products: “VIP” stands for “Very Inspirational Products”! Each Tombow VIP Club box includes a selection of favorite Tombow products, plus at least one exclusive item that’s not yet available in the US or Canada!
Good to Know: All items are final sale! They don’t accept returns or refunds on VIP Club items.
Ships to: the US and Canada
Tombow VIP Club February 2018 Box Review
Here’s the info card for this month’s box. This year, Tombow turns 105! Wow!
I really like that Tombow includes a card of inspiring ideas for how to put the items in the box to use. It helps me feel that much more excited about whatever I get!
UPDATE: There are a lot of pricing structures going on in this post, so before we get into the items, I wanted to explain my pricing process:
– I checked the Tombow site itself for each item’s retail value first. Most of the retail values I got are from there.
– If a product wasn’t on the Tombow site, I’d look for it elsewhere online, but made sure it was a listing associated with Tombow.
– On the info sheet, Tombow gives prices for each item. If the value listed on that sheet was different than the retail price I found online, I noted it, just for reference.
12-Piece Yo-i Crayons Set – Retail Value $19.00, Listed Value $12.99
How cute are these chubby crayons? I love their mascot as much as I love the rainbow of playful colors. Each one is about as wide as a Magic Marker. They’re comfortable to hold as an adult, and I bet they’d be easy for little hands to manipulate as well. The crayons come wrapped in wax paper—if you wear down the tip, pinch the end to push more crayon out (rather than peeling back the paper).
The coolest part about these crayons is that they’re water soluble. That means they can work on any surface, including glass, metal, the floor, or a tabletop. They’ll wash off with soap and water. Water solubility also means they can be used like watercolor paints. You can see above how it looked when I dipped a brush in water and dragged it along my crayon lines. Pretty neat!
This pencil is apparently Tombow’s oldest product. It’s just a pencil, but for me, a nice, smooth-writing, classic, #2-equivalent pencil. It’s an HB grade with dark gray, crisp-writing graphite. The moss-green color of the exterior has a vintage quality to it that I really like. And truly, in a world of mechanical pencils and notes taken on phone screens, it just feels really good to write with an old-fashioned pencil!
4 Pack of Ippo Pencil Grips – Retail Value $11.73, Listed Value $2.59
These little grips remind me of pasta noodles! They’re easy to slip over pencils or pens of varying sizes (the shape lets them stretch to fit) to help make long drawing or note-taking sessions feel a little less rough on your hands. I’m the kind of person who holds onto pencils sooo tightly. A slightly cushy grip makes all the difference!
This is a really lovely eraser. I love that it’s white—it’s super clean, especially on white paper. It’s plastic, too, so it doesn’t grip (and rip) paper too much as it does its job. Plus, the 3″x 1.5″ size is really comfortable and easy to hold.
Set of 3 Dual Brush Pens (in Colors 873, 623, and 373) – Listed Value $9.57 (Sold individually for $3.19 each)
Continuing with the water-soluble trend, these brush pens can actually be blended out like watercolors, or used by themselves for elegant lettering or illustration projects.
I love that each pen has a fine point and a brush point and that the brush end has a relatively sturdy felt-tip point—it’s not loose or flimsy by any means. The colors are a lot of fun, too. They’re perfect for spring!
Hooray for recycled products! I always like when products have an eco-friendly angle. These pencils also have the benefit of being really nice to work with! They’re smooth and light to hold and have a nice amount of pigment that you can easily build on the page. The convenient carrying tin is nice, too.
Mono Glue Pen – Retail Value $3.49
Wow. This is SUCH a good idea! This pen makes gluing small or delicate items super easy. It’s precise and tidy, and the glue is sturdy. No squeezing needed!
The Verdict: I loved this month’s box! The assortment had a great mix of professional-grade items and playful supplies that got me out of my head and into a childlike spirit of creativity. I liked the small theme of water-soluble products running through the box. I’m clumsy with paint and blending, so I like having the initial control of a crayon or marker (that lets me just blend, rather than have to paint and blend). I’m just an amateur, hobby artist, but I love this box. If you’d rather spend your money on supplies that you know you need or prefer, then this box might be too random for you. I’m more the type of person who loves wandering through the craft store, but gets overwhelmed by the number of choices and possibilities. So for me, this box captures that inspiring craft store feeling in a more approachable way (and with a little handholding, thanks to the craft ideas). It’s $30.00, which is a little more than I might like to spend, but as a gift to myself and for the quality items I get, I feel like it’s worth it.
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No. UPDATE: After posting this review, we found out that Tombow has shifted its VIP box program away from a monthly system to a one-off model. Boxes will be available every 2-3 months for one-time purchases, but there won’t be any recurring charges nor too much regularity.
Value Breakdown: This box cost $30.00 plus free USPS ground shipping, but I estimate that I received $63.26 in value. That means that, proportionally, I paid the following for each item:
- Crayons – $9.01
- Drawing pencil – $0.42
- Pencil grips – $5.56
- Eraser – $2.18
- 3 brush pens – $4.54
- Colored pencils – $6.63
- Glue pen – $1.66
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