Deadlines pass me by... like passengers waving from a moving train. Missed the mid-May target post date by a country mile. Now it's going to be a race to stay ahead of the summer heat. This train is finally ready to roll. All aboard.
Follow-Up to Issue #74
Kim, at Eskesen, reported... “Our Facebook launch got off to a good start and a lot of people have checked out our profile. If any collectors have not visited our Facebook site, now is the time! While you are there, remember to like Eskesen, so you get notified of future updates. We are posting pen designs that are either innovative, funny, odd or just something we find may interest our followers on Facebook. In average we will post one new design per month, so no one will get overwhelmed with Facebook notifications.” Visit https://www.facebook.com/eskesen.denmark to see the latest designs.
Shelley, in California intended to purchase... the Mini-Cooper pens that were posted in Issue #74. She decided to cancel the order when the $16 shipping rate was revealed. I suggested she try this link instead... www.outmotoring.com. Shelley was charged $3.95/pen and $2.92 to ship both designs. Danish collector, Kim Svendsen, provided the alternative link and source. Thanks to Shelley for sharing her experience and Kim for providing an affordable option.
Craig Wilson has supplied a link... to his jitter penguins. Now you can see them dance... http://home.comcast.net/~floatnik/site/?/page/jittergram_gif/.
Pens Out and About...
Annie Ross thought I might enjoy... a floaty video she found online. She was right, I did! The folks at Thompson-Creative.com have a wicked sense of humor. See for yourself. Watch the video and order your pens here... (Link defunct; Removed June 2015.) Their promo float pen design is simple, but clever. The elephant appears/disappears behind the ‘10 year’ sign panel that spans the foreground from left to center. This twist n click sports a silver barrel and chrome clip. When the boss heard I had posted their link in Float Along, he sent a sample my way. Yahoo.... it's an Eskesen!
Beverly Broadstone has a lead for a new Sanrio... sun-kissed Hello Kitty pen. “My sister, Edna, found it at a Sanrio store, but didn't pick it up for me because it was $8.95!” Beverly located the pen on Sanrio's website, for the same price, plus s/h. Sadly, like all recent Sanrio designs, this one was manufactured in China. If interested... order here (Link defunct; Removed June 2015.)
In April Beverly spotted... a Mad Men float pen from AMC's hit TV series. The seller was asking for a $49 miniumum bid, or buy it now for $61.95. The listing closed without any bids, but you can still see it here Mad Men on eBay. It is definitely an Eskesen. Sorry, I have zero leads on where to obtain this pen. The pics (left) were borrowed from the eBay listing.
For all of her great floaty finds online, Beverly's spring trip to Arizona was a bust. She didn't find one float pen. No worries. Of course she was a little disappointed, but it did not put a damper on their vacation. The Broadstone's enjoyed two baseball games, visited a number of shops, galleries and museums. It's all good.
Craig and Terri Wilson traveled to... Chicago and St. Louis this spring to visit family. “Nothing new in St. Louis. Chicago, on the other hand, had a couple I hadn't seen before. An Eskesen C-clip from the John Hancock Observatory, and a new Sue design from the Field Museum, which is somewhat similar to the previous version featured in Float About #70.” Sorry, Craig does not have any duplicates for trade this time.
Before I forget again, Nancy Nerenberg, at FloatArt... is responsible for the She & Him pen that Debbie Carriere discovered online. The pen and sources were featured in issue #74. Kudos to Nancy on such a sweet design.
I promised Holger Benedikt.... in Germany, that I would share three pen designs he has available for trade. In the Sinupret pen, the nose of the woman changes from red to green when the solution Sinupret floats left to right. Contact Holger directly to arrange a trade firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of weeks ago, Kim Dougherty... sent a link to the (Link defunct; Removed June 2015.) If you are kicking yourself for not buying the Mt. Stachemore float pen from Gama-Go... you get another chance. CaddyWampus has them in stock for $5.95 each. The mustache floats over Mt. Rushmore. Be aware, Gama-Go pens are made in China.
While scouring the www for float pens... Marisa Barna found notepads and wrapping paper that feature float pens. Apparently a member of the Green Family is a collector. “My collection of floaty pens is commemorated on this sheet of 20" x 28" wrapping paper. Flat printed on recycled paper from an original handcut collage, drawing, or print.” Visit http://www.lafamiliagreen.com to order.
Collector Joseph S, in CA... shared an observation. “They were filming something outside our building the other day with Emma Stone and Tom Cruise and everyone was at the windows watching, but when I opened my float pen package this morning I had just as many people at my desk playing with pens. The obvious conclusion I can draw from this? Floaty pens are as popular (at least in my office) as Tom Cruise!” Joseph, you won't get any argument from me.
Andy Balbus reported... an almost-sighting. “Britta Melton, from Greensboro, NC was a contestant on Jeopardy last night (June 24). She mentioned she is a floaty pen collector who has been collecting since she was a little girl.” The following day, Catherine K, from Maine asked... “Did you see the contestant on Jeopardy!? She has a collection of about 700 floaties. I was amazed and jealous! It was great to have our hobby represented on one of my favorite shows.” Jan W. added, “Unfortunately Britta was up against a strong champion, so it was one time and out for her.” Sigh.
Susan and Russell are avid.... float pen collectors from London. In February they toured Amsterdam. While in the area, “We went to visit the lovely Miranda Wittebol, and were privileged to be shown some of her collection. She has more than 13,000 floaty pens. It was great to chat about floaty pens for a couple of hours without worrying about boring the other person to death. Miranda of course is a source of great knowledge, and with her help we hope to have my personal holy grail - the Pocahontas floaty pen set. Miranda also has an amazing garden, and even in the middle of winter we were enchanted.”
Just a few weeks later, on March 1st, Miranda celebrated her birthday. She received a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and she is quite impressed with the quality and features her tablet has to offer. Three months have passed since Russ and Susan's visit. Miranda's float pen count continues to rise. She is currently at 13,200 pens and counting. Yes... it is a great time to be Miranda!
The weekend of May 25th... the Dutch pen collectors held their annual conference. Finn Sørensen and Morten Christoffersen traveled to the event together. A short detour delivered them to Biggy Kuhn's place in Germany. The boys popped-in for a surprise visit. Left-right: Morten, Biggy and Finn stand in front of Biggy's monumental pen cabinet and display. As always, Biggy was a most gracious host. The boys enjoyed their impromptu visit, but it had to be brief. They were still many miles from their target destination, the conference in Holland.
Those we know are marked left to right with a red star.
Front row: Ina Duijn and Miranda Wittebol, Finn Sørensen.
To the right of the sign: Ingolf Hoffman
I can only assume... the meeting was a success. While the pictures were appreciated, no one had much to say about the actual event. I did hear many pens exchanged hands and they look to be a happy group... all positive signs.
Biggy Kuhn might have followed... the guys to Holland, but the family business keeps her close to home and quite busy. The family fashions custom fireplaces and related accessories. They work with metal and a variety of other materials. Recently, Biggy's son, Roman, fashioned the metal address sign (below and right) for Beverly B in California. Beverly commended Roman on his excellent workmanship. She painted the sign within days of receipt. Now it is proudly displayed beside the Broadstone's front door.
While our fellow floaty collectors are dedicated... to gathering pens, their interests are varied. For instance, Kim Dougherty and Beverly B. are crazy for penguins. Beverly had a troublesome hole in the ground, directly in the path of their meter readers. A mundane paver simply would not do. The round penguin stepping stone has far more personality and charm. “It's just so weird to see the hole filled. It took seven casting sessions and about seven weeks to complete the project.“ Job well done Beverly. We are in the company of very creative people.
I was tickled to hear... from Douglas Yeo. He always has good news. Doug is enjoying his teaching position at Arizona State. Seems he has made quite an impression. “On my website, I have a FAQ about parenting musical children in which I coined an axiom about practicing as a way to help motivate students and their parents. This axiom was recently picked up by John Bogenschutz who is the creator of Tone Deaf Comics, a humorous website devoted to music and music making. John turned my axiom into a poster and a cartoon. It's not every day that a cartoonist takes something you've done and makes something new of it (yeah, he got my chin right...).”
This is just a snapshot from the comic strip. See it in it's entirety here www.tonedeafcomics.com. From there you can explore the website for other items of interest to musicians and teachers.
Connecticut collector, Andy Balbus... didn't know anything about Anne Taintor or her pen designs until they were featured in Float About. It prompted a visit to Anne's website. “I clicked on the Meet the Taintorettes link and was very surprised. The ‘newest Taintorette,’ Jane Carlson, is a friend and summer neighbor of mine. Her husband By, whose picture appears on the bottom of Jane's bio page, plays tennis with me almost every weekend in the summer.” It is truly a tiny world we live in.
The picture of Jane was borrowed directly from Anne Taintor's website.
Heads up traders.... a note of consideration. Collectors will assume pens on your trade list were manufactured by Eskesen. If that is not the case, please include the country of origin in your listings. This will avoid any misunderstandings or disappointment. Happy trades to all.
Famous French floaty collector, Mahfoud Zanat... is retired and free to enjoy his many hobbies and collections. Much to the delight of friends and family, over the years, the Zanat home has become a museum of interesting displays and personal treasures.
Zanat's floaty website, http://simscollection.free.fr/, is a testiment to his dedication.
I was pleased to hear Mahfoud is still actively collecting. In the photo above he holds his most recent acquisition, a collection of 400 float pens. This spring Mr. Zanat was interviewed and the article was featured in the French collectors' magazine, Le Chineur. Kudos Mahfoud!
Zanat admits, “I am retired, I have nothing else to do. I play to pass the time.”
He spends hours building custom displays. The circular display incorporates his Euro coin collection with a float pen from each country. Mahfoud sent a video attachment of an animated boy he fashioned from float pens. I was able to see the boy, but my computer is too old and slow to facilitate the animation. When I was unable to make the boy dance, I quickly skimmed Mahfoud's website looking for the video, but I couldn't find it. The video has to be there. If you
strike-out too, let me know and I will forward the original attachment your way.
This is a pic of Mahfoud wearing a tank top and shorts adorned with float pens. “It is very heavy to carry.” From this group of photos I would have to say Chief Zanat is having a lot more fun than rest of us!
A quick shout-out to Shelley Y... in California. When last we spoke, her floaty collection had reached 894. Shelley is very selective when it come to pen designs. Her collection most certainly reflects her good taste. Congratulations on making it to 900 Shelley.
Paula C. is tuning in... for the first time. She told me, “I can’t remember my first pen, but when my younger brother went off on a semester’s study abroad, backpacking all over Europe on holidays and weekends, he looked for a floaty pen almost everywhere. I had no idea, and he came back with a fistful of them for me. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever had!” Paula has been collecting for 20 years. Nancy Nerenberg introduced us via email. Welcome aboard Paula!
Pens Past, Present and Future....
The Disney Debate....
There has been a lot of speculation... regarding the disappearance of float pens from Disney parks and stores. When they first vanished, I asked a staff member at Eskesen about it. Paraphrased response... “Disney has simply chosen a new direction. In an effort to keep things fresh, they are exploring other product lines.” That made sense. It's important to shake things up. However, that was YEARS ago. Every collector that has visited a park since has inquired about the availability of float pens. Up until now, there hasn't been an explanation.
A veteran collector recently visited Epcot at DisneyWorld. She overheard the store manager speaking to a clerk. The collector waited to approach the manager with the BIG question. “Why are float pens no longer sold at Disney parks and stores?” The manager provided a surprising reason. She related an incident that prompted a complaint from a mother. The mother claimed her child had chewed into a float pen and released the liquid. Due to liability issues, the pens were then banned from all Disney parks and stores. Does that sound reasonable to you? Our fellow collector thought it quite absurd. After doing a quick visual scan of the store she pointed out the glass snowglobes displayed on a shelf. There were many items that would be dangerous to an unsupervised child, including any style of pen or pencil. Yet many such items were offered for sale. “Really?! Float pens are a liability issue?!”. The manager failed to see the irony.
For the collector it was an absolutely mind blowing experience. Personally, I do not believe the story holds water, or in this case, oil. When I started selling float pens I was assured the oil in float pens had been subjected to stringent independent testing and deemed harmless, even if swallowed. The oil in float pens is definitely non-toxic. Surely the results of these tests were revealed to Disney before they considered their first purchase decades ago. The purpose of such testing is to assure clients the product is safe! I don't know why Disney lost interest in float pens, but this excuse is ridiculous. If Disney were truly that paranoid about liability, their store shelves would be empty, their parks would be closed. So the question remains.... what really happened?
The Domremy design above was included... in the February lottery. It is long gone, but collector, Alicia Delahunty, had some interesting background info to share. “In the Domremy La Pucelle pen the woman is Joan of Arc, that is why she is in the field with the sheep. The village, originally named Domrémy, is the birthplace of Joan of Arc. It has since been renamed Domrémy-la-Pucelle after Joan's nickname, la Pucelle d'Orléans (‘the Maid of Orléans’). Definitely a relic from the past. Do you remember when we could find site specific float pens at the most remote attractions? Good memories.
Mike R asked if there is a... list of pens that represents cartoon characters from the 60's? I am unaware of any such list, but between us, we could pull one together. This is off the top of my head: Betty Boop, Felix the Cat, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Popeye, Speed Racer, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Roadrunner & Coyote, Sylvester & Tweety, Taz, The Jetsons, Flintstones and Johnny Quest. Beverly Broadstone had since added this group of designs to add to the cartoon list... Scooby Doo (1969), Thunderbirds (technically, Marionettes; 1965), Archie, Gumby (technically, Claymation), Porky Pig, Pepe Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, and Woody Woodpecker. Whew... that was a fine contribution. What did we miss?
DEADLINE is NOON (EST)Fri/July 5th, 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.
Before you browse the Duplicates list... go straight to the New Arrivals category first. At post time there were four new designs from FloatArt posted. I only have a handful of each design in stock. Hopefully there are a few pens left by the time you read this.
Nobi Ochiai, in Canada... had some insight regarding the Ultraman design that is featured in the Lottery Duplicates list. “I believe that series of pens is made was released about ten years ago. It was designed and distributed by Retrobank of Japan. Each pen was sold in a custom made display case. I remember they were very expensive... about 1000 yen ($10 each). I have the entire set in my collection (20 designs.” Nobi also suggested we visit Wikipedia.org for more information about the TV series and it's characters. Ultra thanks to Nobi! More designs to follow on future lists.
The upgraded photo editing software I'm using... is absolutely amazing, but my antiquated computer lacks the power to run it efficiently. More than once I was ready to cancel the lottery, but I couldn't disappoint my float pen family. With each passing issue of Float About, gathering a group of 300 designs for the lottery becomes increasingly difficult. My inventory and collection have been ravaged. This may be the last lottery. The decision will be made when the dust from issue #75 has settled. Stay tuned.
On the Homefront....
We haven't taken a vacation... since 2009. Bill is bound and determined that our next stop will be the Grand Canyon. That's all well and good, but every time I attempt to arrange the trip, all I get is frustrated. We have never been there before. Do we fly into Vegas and drive? How much time should we allow to spend at the Canyon? Where should we stay? I get so frustrated I don't care if we go anywhere. At this rate we may never leave Ohio again.
While Bill and I seem to be stuck, others are venturing out and about. Victoria B just retruned from a tour of the National Parks in the South West. If everything went as planned, Danish collector, Finn Sørensen, is in the USA right now. He is attending the Pen and Pencil Collectors' Convention. The McCormick's have planned an adventure to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallin (Estonia) and St. Petersburg. Can't wait to hear the details of their trip.
Nancy Nerenberg, of FloatArt.com, is coming to Cleveland, OH to play basketball with her team. We are going to do our best to get together while she is so close. Of course they are going to make the play offs. If so, we will get a chance to see them in action. How about you? Where are you headed?
One of our Turn of the Century customers... contacted us to ask if we had seen the White House calligrapher on Fox News? She claimed the calligrapher was using one of Bill's pens. It only took us a few minutes to locate the video clip on Fox.com. We confirmed that the pen is definitely one of Bill's creations. Woo hoo!
That's about it. I hope you enjoyed the newsletter and something on the pen list will tickle your fancy.
Mansfield is so green. No concern about the corn getting “knee-high by the 4th of July”. The stalks are already five feet tall. Have a grand summer... Diana
That's all for now.
Updates will be added to
Check it frequently for incoming news!
Go forward and read Issue #76, posted Sat/Jan 25, 2014
Back up and read Issue #74, it posted Fri/Feb 22, 2013
FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 (11 am - midnight EST)
Copyright © Mon/July 1, 2013 FloatAbout.com