Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Reviving the Blackwing: February Update

It's been almost three full months since my November update so I thought it was about time to bring our fans up to date with a number of interesting and exciting developments with our Palomino Blackwing pencil as well as other Palomino and Pencils.com news.

We've made steady progress and have sold through a little under one-half of our initial production run of the Palomino Blackwing to date. One interesting statistic is that we've now had purchases from customers in at least 27 countries. We're very encouraged by the many great responses that we get back from our customers about the smooth and dark writing and drawing performance. We've even had positive feedback from Eberhard (Tim) Faber IV who likes our pencil very much and stated that he was happy to learn of the revival of the Blackwing brand which he considered to be one of his favorite products in the entire Eberhard Faber range which he sold to Faber-Castell USA back in the mid to late 1980s.

We've been very fortunate to recieve continued publicity through various blog reviews and other print media, most recently a very nice post at Gear Patrol. This was suprisingly well timed with the launch of our current February Palomino Stampede Month Promotion. If you haven't checked out our special Month long savings and our Weekly Just Because offers we've got some interesting deals on Palomino and Palomino Blackwing items this month, plus a drawing contest with a variety of great prizes.
Also we've now completed our planning process for our next production run. This included evaluation of what changes and further product range addditions we will be making for the Palomino and Palomino Blackwing products for 2011. Relative to potential changes in the Palomino Blackwing the most common feedback we've had to date has been that for those people who are doing more writing vs. sketching, drawing or music notation they would prefer a bit harder graphite grade than presently used. This is also a somewhat common response from fans of the original Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 product, a topic I covered in an earlier post.

Given lots of postive feedback also from those who really like the new Blackwing's softer, richer core and stylish black finish, we've frankly been in a bit of a conundrum as to how to proceed. Given the added preference from traditional fans of old Eberhard Faber 602s for a finish and styling of the "original" design we've now come to a resolution we think will be a great solution for Blackwing fans old and new. The new Palomino Blackwing 602 Classic model!

The "602 Classic" will revive a replica styling of the original Blackwing graphite grey finish as shown above complete with the pink eraser and "Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed" slogan. The new pencil will also feature a graphite core that will be closer to our Palomino HB performance providing for improved wear rates for those doing extensive writing. Of course, we will continue to offer the existing Palomino Blackwing with the same graphite core and finish characteristics and only a couple minor finish changes. Thus the dark matt black finish of the Palomino Blackwing will corresond to the rich, smooth and dark performance of the current pencil and the lighter grey finish of the "602 Classic" to a smooth writing somewhat lighter mark more closely matching the original Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602.

However, you'll have to hold on to your Palominos here as with our lead times for production of our specialized ferrule and eraser set along with our need to work down our current stock a bit further it will be a few more months before the 602 Classic is available for sale. Beyond this new product extension we are also now working on completing retail packaging for these and other Palomino pencils in our range. Furthermore we expect to add a few more exciting complementary products for both brands later this year.

Finally, for those looking for even a darker, softer core than our existing Palomino Blackwing and Palomino 2B items we have just introduced our Palomino 4B and 6B pencils to extend the range. We also have announced plans for introducing Palomino Quality private label customized pencils (i.e. Japanese produced high quality). I'll be sharing more on this exciting new project in a later post as we get further along the development path for this program.

11 comments:

Allen said...

I am so excited to hear this! I love the Palomino Blackwings, but they are just too soft for writing--I keep going back to my HB's. Will you be keeping the pencil a little heftier, despite the hardening of the lead? One of my favorite aspects of the Palomino Blackwing is its slightly thicker barrel.

(Do I get a free sampler for first post? :)

Joey's Leadership Portfolio said...

This looks great everyone! I am sad that I am not around to see the everyday decisions made...it looks like everything is going well and I look forward to checking out the Classic. I am going to head up to Stock-nation for opening baseball weekend...come on out to a game and maybe I'll see you. This is Joey Centanni in case you were wondering... :)

MJD said...

Thats great news. I actually preferred the new BW lead look and all and have been using them non stop but since the old BW was such a great pencil I wont be able to resist the classic once you start selling them. You're company makes the best music composing pencils on the planet right now. I hope you keep doing so for a long time to come, I'll keep buying them and using them up.

Nikira said...

I am super exited to hear that because I have different kinds of Palomino pencils and love to draw with it, and different paper requiring different softness of the lead. And design matters.

Diane Wright said...

Awesome news! I love the Blackwing just the way it is and now we will have a new one! I just received the Palomino 4B and 6B grades. These have to be the richest blacks I have ever used! Look for some dramatic drawing changes from my drawing board in the near future!!

Kelly said...

This is a terrific idea. I'll want both.

Anonymous said...

The palomino blackwing would look better with a heavy lacquer finish, like the original palominos.

JC said...

"Thus the dark matt black finish of the Palomino Blackwing will corresond to the rich, smooth and dark performance of the current pencil and the lighter grey finish of the "602 Classic" to a smooth writing somewhat lighter mark more closely matching the original Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602."

Awesome!! This is perfect thinking, and exactly what I want. I eagerly await to purchase your 602's, and use them along with my matte black Blackwings.

T said...

Just bought two gross from you. Love these soft lead Blackwings, but very happy that you are going to faithfully reproduce the original. But wait! What's with the weird CANARY YELLOW eraser holder!???? Please tell me you're not doing that!!!

WoodChuck said...

T -

Don't worry the yellow ferrule color is just part of our digital mockup drawing.

JC - Thanks for your feedback. We are getting positive feedback from early responses on the 602 for its firmer writing performance as well as those who also still prefer the softer feel of the existing Palomino Blackwing.

Sorry about dealy in moderating and approving your comments have been very busy and did not see these come in earlier.

Anonymous said...

Received my new classics on Wednesday- early Father's Day present. Love them!