Issue #73 posted on October 26th... just three days later an unwanted, but highly anticipated guest arrived. The morning of the 29th, Hurricane Sandy collided with the Northeast coast of the USA. She quickly churned landscape, buildings, possessions and lives into chowder. This was after she pounded Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Canada. Twenty four States sustained serious damage. Many of our fellow collectors were in her path. After three days of enduring Sandy's temper tantrum, this half of the country was relieved to see the witch pack her bags and move on. Four months have passed and areas in the Northeast are still in recovery mode. In many regions progress has been stalled by winter weather. To varying degrees, every American was touched by the storm. I hope you and yours were spared. Please relate the details of your personal experience.
Follow-Up to Issue #73
As of November 13, Eskesen is.... on Facebook! Link to www.Facebook.com/Eskesen.Denmark. The announcement came from Kim Rasmussen at the factory. “We would like to invite every floaty fan to please visit the site and if you like what you see and want us to keep expanding our Facebook profile, please don't leave without liking Eskesen. Our Facebook profile will further strengthen our online presence and will support our efforts to maintain Eskesen and The Original Floating Action Pens as a strong brand in the promotional and souvenir pen business world wide.” You may also link to Eskesen's Facebook page from their website.
Kim also confirmed that Eskesen purchased the www.floatpens.com domain name from Micale Maddox. The link now leads directly to Eskesen. Super deluxe happiness for everyone involved!
A Euro collector.... ordered both Dali designs and the American Ntl Parks pen, mentioned in issue 73. The pens passed through my hands enroute to Europe providing an opportunity for scans.
Good news regarding the.... American National Parks pen. The s/h fees were better than earlier reported. Visit (Sorry, pens gone. Link removed June 2015.), or call 977/628-7275 or 215/591-0903, to order. Refer to item codes 347258 and 347372 to see both styles. All of the designs pictured left are Eskies.
Beverly Broadstone found the.... Hello Kitty in London pen for sale directly from Sanrio. However, since notice was posted in Float Along over a month ago, the London HK floaty has vanished. This link will take you to Sanrio's pen page
www.sanrio.com. Remember, the pens on Sanrio's website are all manufactured in China/Taiwan. Beverly suggested checking eBay listings before you buy directly from Sanrio. The prices are often better on other sites.
Float Pens Out and About
Late November, Debbie Carriere shared a cyber lead.... “I found this music/pen combo online and ordered it, because I can always use a Christmas CD. I ordered from the Merge Records site and their shipping to Canada was quite reasonable at $3.75.”
According to sheandhim.com... “A Very She & Him Christmas is a collection of holiday tunes from Zooey Deschanel (She) & M. Ward (Him). Inspired by seminal holiday albums by the likes of The Carpenters, Vince Guaraldi, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and more. She & Him have set out to create an intimate holiday recording of Christmas classics that helps bring new emotions out of old songs.”
'Thank you' to Debbie. She provided links to two different sources and confirmed the design is an Eskie! Explore both websites and eBay to decide where you wish to make your purchases: (Links defunct; Removed June 2015.)
Jan 12th I received... a mystery package from NYC. Since the package could include float pens, it was moved to the pen room to acclimate. I promised myself that if I had 50 pens scanned and in the computer by 6pm, opening the package would be my reward. What a delightful surprise. The parcel included a custom design created to celebrate the New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square.
The artwork, captured in the pen, depicts a portion of the scene featured on their homepage. The anonymous fellow collector provided contact information. The pens are available in transparent hot pink or blue. They sell for $3.99 each, plus tax. I was thrilled to see they were made by Eskesen. For those of you with access to NYC... the pens are available at The Times Square Visitors Center & Museum, 1560 Broadway, NYC 10007; phone 212/452-5283. I called the number provided and got an answering machine, left a message, but did not get a response. I was unable to decipher the name of the sender on the box, but it looks like ‘Jane’ or maybe ‘Joan’. Either way, if Jane or Joan, is listening.... THANK YOU!
Nils Alisch, in Germany, provided a link.... to the Dita Von
Teese tip n strips. Dita in Lace and Dita in Pink. Nancy Nerenberg, at FloatArt.com is responsible for the Von Teese designs. You can obtain both pens from (Pens long gone; Links removed June 2015.)
Victoria B. enjoyed a December weekend... in San Jose, CA, the heart of Silicon Valley. She found five digital Eskesen designs. No surprise three of them were space related: ‘In Orbit’, ‘Destination Space’ and the third with a Nasa logo as the floater. San Jose takes great pride in their contributions to the space industry and their innovative achievements in computer technology. The fourth design, ‘San Jose: The Capital of Silicon Valley’ has a computer chip floater (available on my Main List). Finally, a ‘Sharks’ pen, presumed to tie-in with the San Jose Sharks Hockey Team merchandise. Each pen had a sun face and ‘California’ imprinted on the bottom barrel.
Victoria expressed disappointment in the lack of custom designs available. She feels more and more vendors are selling generic designs with stamped barrels because barrel imprints are cheaper than making a custom pen. That's true, but there is another factor to consider. Custom designs require more time to produce. For most vendors, choosing a stock design is so much easier than creating one from scratch. She concluded, ”However, finding any Eskesen design was much better than finding no pens at the California Science Center, where the actual space shuttle is on view. Their gift shop had pearlescent float pens from Taiwan that contained beads and little rubber items, as well as the inevitable bubbles.”
For Christmas Victoria received several pens, mostly digital revisions. She did mention the ‘Tyrannosaurus’ pen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has a newly updated caption panel. A girlfriend presented Victoria with “a very cute digital classic. The caption includes ‘Wisconsin’ written in cheese chunks amid an overall design of cheese pieces. A mouse carries a wedge of cheese over farmland with cows in the backdrop and foreground.” We always appreciate hearing there are Eskesen pens within our reach. Oh! Almost forgot... Victoria reminded me the The Huntington Library, in San Marino, CA carries 3-4 digital Eskie designs in their gift shop. Conicidentally, two of them are on the Duplicates list.
Beverly Broadstone recently purchased... a quantity of Guggenheim Kids pens for trade. They are so sweet. My scan does not do them justice.
She also uncovered two new Mini-Cooper pens online. When this newsletter posted, Beverly still had one of each Mini design available for trade. Contact Beverly directly to barter for the Guggenheim Kids or Mini pens. FloatyPenguin@Earthlink.net. Just in case her Minis are gone, Beverly provided this link to purchase them directly from the Mini website. www.shopminiusa.com The pens are twist n clicks w/black wire clips and sell for $3.75 each, plus s/h. Sorry about the poor photos. They were borrowed directly from the online company catalog.
Woke up this morning...to find an email from
Marisa in my inbox. “It looks like there are four
new Anne Taintor designs!” Ten different designs
are posted on her site. The last four, in a horizontal
position, are the latest additions. Check it out...
annetaintor.com. The Anne Taintor pens were
made in China/Taiwan and sell for $4.99 each,
plus s/h. Nice catch Marisa B. (Sorry, pens are gone.
June 2015 visited Taintor's site, no sign of pens.)
And that's not all... Marisa had a blast on her
island hopping Royal Caribbean Bahama-Key West
cruise. Her tales of Atlantis and the exotic
aquariums she visited, were truly enchanting. She
spent an extra three days with family before her
return to Pittsburgh. A few floaty gems followed
her back to Pennsylvania.... like the two pictured
below, which I received today. That was a pleasant
surprise. Her generosity most appreciated.
From the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory an extremely nice Eskie digital...
and the Royal Caribbean International digital keyring, also an Eskie.
Marisa purchased the Nature Conservatory pen for $5.95. The keyring is from the ship's gift shop. Marisa believes every cruise ship in the Royal Caribbean line offers a custom float pen/keyring. She has one in her collection from the Majesty of the Seas. Unfortunately, the items are available exclusively to passengers. She also visited the Key West Lighthouse. For years the Lighthouse had this site specific photoramic in their shop. Marisa found the digital version in their clearance corner for 93¢ each. She assumes the Nature Conservatory and the Key West Lighthouse would mail order.
So that's it... the party is over! Now it's time for Marisa to get serious about finding full-time employment so she can plan her next adventure. Thank you for the beautiful gifts and the bounty of info Marisa. Best of luck on the job front.
February 10th, Ron Lanyi's mother.... Nadya, celebrated her 107 birthday. Her doctor claims Nadya is a member of a very exclusive club. She is one of 200 folks around the globe that have reached 107. She is truly an amazing woman. Her son inherited her pioneer spirit. Recently Ron “Lost the trail at the top in the Superstitions, and then the sun went down. Spent the night on a little sand bar in a stream. Cold. No food. Watched the moon arc around the sky all night, and when it was light I started moving down the mountain again and finally located a duck, 3 stones piled on top of each other, marking the trail.” It isn't the first time Ron experienced an impromptu night under the stars. Probably not his last.
For months Kim Dougherty has been.... pounding the pavement looking for the right job. She found it. Kim's feeling good about being employed again, enjoying the short commute, casual dress code and staff. Congratulations Kim! When tons of snow crushed Boston I thought about Doug and Pat Yeo. No shovels needed at their new house in Arizona. The Broadstone family will visit Arizona while Craig and Terri Wilson travel to Chicago and St. Louis for their spring get-away. Surely we can expect some pen sightings. Where are you headed? Travel safe and happy hunting.
Carol Santos has made the difficult decision... to sell her float pen collection. She has over 1,100 pens. Carol's objective is to sell the collection as a unit, rather than offering the pens individually. Serious inquiries should be directed to Carol via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
California collector, Craig Wilson... has a new toy. “I found a free app called Jittergram that lets the user take a photo with their device (iPhone or iPad), then add a second image by repositioning the object under a transparent image of the first before capturing it. You can keep adding images this way until memory runs out, if you prefer, then save and/or share the resulting animation (a .gif file). Here's a link to a pen scan with two images: www.jittergramapp.com.”
In the meantime, Craig managed to animate the penguin pen pictured above. He confessed, “It took me awhile to rubber band the pen to the device, position it, find the lighting and background, so ultimately, it may not be worth the trouble to a lot of people. It would be less distracting if I'd secured the background to the device too, so if I try this again, I may give that a shot.” Since I can't figure out how to make the penguins jitter on my webpage, I'm waiting for a link from Craig. When he responds, I will include the link in Float Along.
This disturbing news.... comes from Marisa. “While doing some online research, I discovered a Chinese manufacturer has ripped-off Eskesen's C-top. We can no longer assume that when we find a C-Clip, also known as C-Top, that it is an Eskesen.” The overall style is a blatant copy of E's C-Clip, but there are minor differences. Note the slight upward flip at the bottom tip of the pocket clip (see photo). Also, the bottom barrel is less tapered.
The link to the Chinese website was omitted because it is not my intention to promote or advertise their products. This notice is primarily for educational purposes and to share Marisa's distress.
Float Pen Tips & Tricks
The extreme summer of 2012 presented... unexpected challenges for shipping float pens. Several traders have asked, “So what is the acceptabale temperature range for shipping float pens?” Experience has taught me to avoid shipping when temps are below freezing, or above 82 degrees(F). The absolute ideal range is 50-70 degrees. No matter the destination, or their estimated time of arrival, always bundle the pens in bubble wrap to insulate them from abrupt temperature changes. Logically to lessen the travel time will also shorten the window of vulnerability. That's why USPS Priority Mail (2-3 day service), is better than USPS First Class when shipping coast-coast. Sadly, USPS First Class International service is the only almost affordable option when sending parcels outside the USA.
Since we are on the topic of postage... January 27th the USPS announced new rates. Since then our window clerks have been taking a lot of heat. I overheard a woman leaving our branch office tell her husband, “I don't understand why all the eBayers are so upset?! The postage only increased a penny!” eBayers send parcels, not letters. Any package over 1/4 inch thick does not qualify for First Class Flat Letter service. Thick packages fall under First Class Parcel rate. We were stunned to see the new First Class International rates for small packages. To send a one pound package to Europe jumped from $11.60 - $16.75. Not a penny, a full $5.15. Previously packages to Canada were just a little higher than domestics. 3 ounces to Canada is now $7.35, compared to $3.30... that's more than double. Yes, there is reason to be upset. Refer to the chart left. Australia, Japan and most of Europe fall under the 3-5 price group.
$2.75 USA First Class S/H if ordering 1-4 pens (no increase this time)
$3.50 USA First Class S/H if ordering 5-8 pens (.50 increase)
$4.25 USA First Class S/H if ordering 9-11 pens (.50 increase)
$6.00 USA 2-3 Day USPS Priority-Confirmed for orders of 12-21 pens. (.50 increase)
Domestic Priority packages over 1 pound will be calculated by zone.
International buyers will be charged actual shipping rates, plus $1 to cover packing materials.
I prepared a Postal Rate cheat sheet to keep at my desk and in the shipping room. Feel free to print it for your convenience. This is a quick link to the complete list of USPS Rate Charts and Services.
At our house we handle an abundance of international mail, so I speak from experience. The USPS is one of the best mail servers in the world. The rate hikes sting, but if that's what it takes to maintain the current level of service... we'll adjust.
Pens Past, Present and Future...
Look what Beverly B... spotted on eBay. I believe the item has sold, but what a fabulous example of vintage Eskesen tip n strips. The graphics on the box are too funny. Our grandfathers and fathers would remember this display with fondness. Note... the eBay picture was dark and dingy. I cleaned and brightened the image.
Eskesen discontinued the clicker style pens in 2006. Be aware when you purchase a clicker, from me or anyone else, it's likely the ink will be dried up. Refills are not available. For most collectors whether the pen writes or not is unimportant. It's the design that counts. There is one tip I want to share regarding the storage of clickers. Always store the pens with the push button in the upright position. When the button is pushed down for a prolonged period of time, it stresses the plastic. The top of the pen will bend or in extreme cases pop-off.
DEADLINE is 6:00pm (EST) Mon/Feb 25, 2013
Browse the Duplicates Category to see what's being offered.
There are 300+ designs!
Remember, the lottery applies exclusively to the Duplicates Category.
All other categories are handled on a first come-first served basis.
On the Homefront...
Ohio is pretty dreary... everyone is looking forward to spring. The blooming pink Hyacinth in the kitchen is a kind reminder of what will come. Our winter has been mild so we really can't complain. Rain, snow, sleet or hail, LongJohn spends a few hours in the pergola every day. (Both photos taken from our back porch Thurs/Feb 21 mid-day.)
We had the most incredible news regarding our Maine Coon, Sylvester. We adopted him in January of 2005. Soon after he was diagnosed with feline leukemia. He tested positive multiple times. Life expectancy for infected felines is eight years at best. We've been watching for symptoms and waiting for trouble. In November Sylvester was tested again, and again. Both times the results were negative. Just to be sure, the test was repeated last month. No doubt about it... Sylvester no longer has leukemia. The vet said it's very rare, but there have been cats that were able to shake it off. There is still so much they don't know or understand about the disease. This family is elated.
I trust you will enjoy the... newsletter and the lists should keep you busy for awhile. There is plenty of time to browse. Deadline is 6pm (EST) on Monday. Even if you do not participate in the lottery, I'm anxious to hear what you have been doing since October. Also what plans you have between now and May. In a matter of hours I will be setting up at the flea market. All day Saturday and Sunday I will be at the fairgrounds. Both nights I will respond to emails. Now I must post!
FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 (11 am - midnight EST)
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