Float About #79... Dedicated to Eskesen Float Pen Collectors
© Copyright Thurs/Feb 18th, 2016

Happy Leap Year!
Have you made special plans... for February 29th? I will be recovering from the first flea market of the season. Surely you can do better than that? No hurry. There is time to figure it out. Instead of rushing into Float About matters, let's launch right into current events.

German Collectors Float Pen Design 2016 Pens Out and About....
A unique custom float pen has... landed in Germany. Six German collectors pooled their resources to create a unique Eskesen C-Clip float pen. Holger Benedikt made the announcement and provided details. The pen features Holger tending the pens on his shelf unit, which has blossomed into a wall of float pens.

Six German Collectors on caption panel




The six collectors involved are displayed in the caption panel: Biggy Kuhn, Holger Benedikt, Ingolf Hoffmann, Regina Kreußel, Steffi Stock, Thomas Kleinhempel. The pen is available in black, red or yellow.

Wall of float pens by Holger Benedikt




Holger's wall of float pens provided the perfect backdrop for the pen design. If you wish to arrange a trade contact Holger directly... bene1959@live.de

Perhaps all of the participants have pens for trade? At any rate... it is a brand new design. How refreshing and what a fabulous way to kick off the New Year.
Less than 48 hours ago... Marisa Barna provided a long list of new pen leads. Way to go Marisa! The first is from The Morton Arboretum Store in Lisle, Illinois. Their pen photo was useless, but their description paints a nice picture. “See the sneaky squirrel climb back and forth among the beautiful fall imagery of trees at The Morton Arboretum in this fun desktop item. Squirrel floats along the length of the pen as you move it back and forth. Available in green, blue and orange with The Morton Arboretum logo.” This pen sells for $4.95, plus shipping. Can't be 100% sure, but it looks like an Eskesen. Visit their website or call 630-719-2454 for more info.

Time Travel Float Pen



From The Time Travel Mart in California... a humorous pen that also fall into the advertise category. Too funny! Described as follows: “Floaty pens have reappeared in our time period! Watch the caveman as he travels through time, and emerges in the future as a robot.” This Eskesen classic style pen is priced at $5.99, plus shipping. The site boasts a video where you can see the pen in action. Visit soon. http://www.timetravelmart.com



Hairy Biker Eskesen Twist n Click


The Hairy Bikers World website... offers a motorcycle inspired Eskesen
Twist N Click floaty pen. They are asking £ 6.00 per pen. Order directly: http://www.themerchandisingshop.co.uk/


The Tower Bridge Shop...in London, has created a custom version of the Tower Bridge pen. Price is £ 3.50
London
According to their online shop, “This charming ball point pen contains a boat which appears to float through the open bridge!
The pen writes in blue ink.” Can't be absolute, but it sure looks like an Eskie.
Visit site: http://shop.towerbridge.org.uk/products

Chinese-Made Volkswagen Pens







The bottom two Chinese-made Volkswagen pens... were featured
in Float Along all summer. The source previously posted was Amazon,
but the pens have since vanished. Marisa discovered them here: http://www.themonsterfactoryusa.com

The pens are listed for $4 each and the listing claims free shipping.
The retail price is even better than Amazon's.

Sorry about the pics. They came directly from the website. The designs
are really cute, but if you are not a fan of bubbles, you should know, this
particular style of Chinese pens usually comes with bubbles.

Chinese-Made London Underground Pen The Monster Factory UK... has a new London Underground design (photo right). Graphics are quite nice, but share the same manufacturer as the Volkswagen pens. Note both pens pictured have a bubble, typical for this style. Again, made in China. Priced at £ 4.99, unsure about shipping.
If interested, visit http://www.themonsterfactory.com

Highclere Castle Pen

Highclere Castle, home of Downton Abbey... the PBS TV series. Pen picture and description from the Highclere Castle online shop: “Ball point pen with a floating image of the Earl of Carnarvonís Phantom Three 1936 Rolls Royce driving away from the front of the Castle.” Presumed to be an Eskesen classic, definitely a digital design. Sells for £ 3.50 - Order here: https://highclerecastleshop.co.uk

National Aviary Penguin Point Floaty Pen
Marisa went to see the birds... and came home with Penguins. “Visited the Aviary for free Mellon Day, (as in Mellon Bank's Bonus Day), and to my shock, they had a custom floaty! They have never had a pen in all the years I've gone there. Even though it is a digital, it is still nice to add another Pittsburgh pen to the collection.” I know it made several penguin collectors among us hop with joy.

Digital Sea Hawks Pen


Victoria B. covered a lot of ground... through the summer season. After her Southwest trip in June, I expected a pen report. We were both disappointed. Victoria didn't find a single pen. Luckily, later excursions netted a few Eskies.

“In Seattle, I discovered two Eskesen pen designs at the Space Needle's gift shop. One was the digital version we have seen many times before. https://space-needle.myshopify.com/products, but there was a new design as well.” (Note: While you are onsite give their webcam a whirl. It's my favorite feature. http://www.spaceneedle.com/webcam. When I can't get to Seattle, this is my second best option. Diana.)

“Although it is not pictured on their website, they had a another classic pen. Personally, I'm not a football fan, and didn't get the reference, but it is apparently related to the Seattle Seahawks referring to their fans as the 12th man. You can get the backstory here: http://www.seahawks.com/spirit-of-12. The flag is the floater, of course. Even though the pen is not featured on their website, perhaps mail order arrangements can be made directly with the store.” Customer Service 1-877-344-5748; outside the U.S.1-904-899-5258.

“At a store called Essentially Seattle, very near the Space Needle, I found the pen with the floating word Seattle and the pen that features the floating coffee cup. The same designs that are included on your FloatAbout list. These same designs were also available at the Hudson News store at the Seattle Airport.”

Victoria was happy to report the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island continues to carry the digital C-Top design they have had for several years. Unfortunately it is not included on their online gift shop. Thank you Victoria for keeping us up-to-date on pens in the Seattle area.

Victoria uncovered two more designs.... at the Amsterdam Airport. “I had hours to kill, and scoured every store there, and only found pens in the I am Amsterdam store. They had many different items with the same logo. The words are the floater in both pens, and the font is so large they somewhat obscure the backgrounds, but I was delighted to find them. They are both C-Clips, and each design was available in one color. Sadly, I did not find any pens at the San Jose Airport, even though I found a number of them in the same stores last year.”




A Google search, netted some background information. “The building in the background on the bottom is the Rijksmuseum. I guess the I amsterdam logo is a big sculpture in front of the museum. The black pen appears to have a silhouetted background of several city buildings, with the Rijksmuseum on the left. European collectors probably know a lot more about it than I do...” I bet you are right Victoria, but that's the basics and beyond. Thank you so much Victoria. Can't wait to see what you find on your next journey.



Collectors News....
A new trader/collector.... has been added to the Collectors Page. Anker Preben Fogtmann has been collecting for over 50 years. His float pen numbers exceed 13,000. Visit his website www.floatpens.dk to get acquainted. Contact Anker via email to arrange a trade: rosanker@bbsyd.dk. Welcome aboard Anker. Happy trades to you!

Puzzle Box


Beverly Broadstone shared.... a sweet and puzzling story. “My sister Ruby made a very unique discovery. She purchased a 500 piece puzzle at a Dollar Tree store. As she was putting it together, she realized a picture of a floaty pen was included in the puzzle!”

Completed Puzzle

Beverly marked the Washington DC floaty pen in red on the completed puzzle. It's immediately above the sunglasses. Beverly continued... “Cool, huh? Ruby framed it and gave it to me as a gift!”

Ruby is obviously a cool sister... super cool. This tip warrants a trip to our local Dollar Tree. This puzzle would make a great backdrop for a DC floaty collection. Thank you Ruby and Beverly for sharing your fragmented floaty find.

On a sad note... we lost a fellow collector in 2015. Robert Henry wasn't an active trader, but he was a friend and customer to Float About. I so enjoyed his wit and kindness. He was definitely one of the good guys.
His wife, Judy, informed me that Bob passed April 20th.
Another victim of cancer. Robert will be remembered
and missed by many.
Floaty Holiday Card from Eisens in London

Did you have a wonderful... holiday season? We received numerous holiday cards that were extraordinarily beautiful. When December 15th rolled around we were still in the thick of doctor visits. Missed it again. For those that sent cards my way.... thank you. They were delightful.

This special treat arrived at our doorstep all the way from London. I had a feeling you would appreciate this floatylicious card we received from the Eisens. Am I right? So very clever. Hopefully the Eisens and our fellow collectors enjoyed the comfort of home, the company of family and friends over the holidays? Has the New Year been good to you so far? Don't settle for anything less than fabulous. You deserve it.

Early in the New Year, Susan also forwarded a link to her https://twitter.com/Floatypens page. She has committed to posting a pen-a-day in a project designed to share her collection. A kind and generous act. Susan currently has 62 pictures/videos posted. I follow Beverly Broadstone's Instagram PenguinPerDiem page to get a glimpse of her phenomenal penguin collection. It's absolutely amazing. Visiting both pages on a regular basis is a treat. Try it. You might be inspired to post a special collection.

Eskesen Company Logo



When was the last time you.... visited Eskesen? I encourage collectors to make the trip.
The pens featured are always to die for, but there's more. You can download the latest sales
brochures to add to your digital library, catch up on industry news and take a few minutes
to play with the pen configurator. Pop in anytime. Their cyber doors are always open.

Fox TV Series - Bones

Media Sightings...
The Fox TV Series.... Bones was granted an 11th season. Last spring an order for more tip n strips arrived. Actor David Boreanaz plays FBI Agent Seeley Booth. His character always carries a clicker style t&s. Every available traditional tip n strip was gathered and shipped to 20th Century Fox. Now eight months have passed and the cast of Bones is wrapping up Season 11. Fingers crossed the future holds 12 and beyond.

The pilot for Mr. Robot.... aired last summer on USA Network. This excerpt was borrowed from their website... “In Mr. Robot, Elliot, a cyber-security engineer by day and vigilante hacker by night, is recruited by a mysterious underground group to destroy the firm he's paid to protect. Elliot must decide how far he'll go to expose the forces he believes are running (and ruining) the world.”

An intern from Mr. Robot ordered float pens for the show. If the pens make an appearance it will likely be in Season 2, which has just begun. The show is getting rave reviews. Be sure to report any floaty sightings. Just so you know what to look for, they requested black and white barrels. For some unknown reason, they didn't have any concern about a particular design... just the barrel colors? Hmmm.

Floaty Tip n Strip Vending Machine Floaty Vending Machine Close-up


Nils Alisch, in Germany.... asked if I had ever seen this item before? No! Did you know such machines existed? They were probably situated in adult establishments like bars and taverns. The tip n strips in this unit are definitely Eskies. Have to wonder if vending machines were also made to dispense souvenir pens?!?

Can you imagine stumbling over something like this at an auction or antique mall? I would be compelled to own it. Might even go in debt (a little) to own it. That brings to mind a topic of recent discussion. Are you turned on by items related to float pens, like displays, ephemera or machines like this one? Or is your fascination reserved solely for float pens? As collectors we not only differ in what we collect, but also how we collect. Just curious. When did you encounter your very first float pen? Was it love at first sight?

Nils found this mechanical treasure while surfing the web for pens. View the original 2013 auction listing here http://www.liveauctioneers.com. When you land on the page, scroll down a screen to see the vending machine. To reveal the winning bid you must sign-up with the auction house. I want to know the bid, but not enough to sign-up. We attend enough local auctions without the temptation of online shopping too. If you know, please share the winning number, unless it sold for the $100 minimum. That would be depressing. Thank you Nils for sharing an amazing piece of floaty history.



Pens Past, Present and Future....
You will notice changes.... when you visit the Category List. The New Arrival category was going to be empty, so it was excluded this time. The Overstocks category has been restocked with $2 pens, as promised. There are categories with limited inventory that should be combined. Merging has begun. What used to be Politics & Religion category is now Politics, Religion & Sports. Expect to see more consolidation in upcoming releases.

For those that load web pages without images, alternate text descriptions have been added to all images generated or edited for Issue #79. It's something that should have happened long ago. Text size for the newsletter and list have been increased. Should make for an easier read.

The February Main List Sale.... has become an annual tradition. It's time to sale again. Pens included in any/all Main List categories are now on sale through Midnight(EST) Monday, February 29, 2016. (I knew that extra day would come in handy.)
Pricing as follows:
$1.00 will be deducted from pens currently priced $3.25 or more.
$0.50 will be deducted from pens currently priced $3.00 or less.
The Main List has over 400 designs to choose from.

Duplicates for issue #79.... include a few pen sets. That kicks the total up to 250+ designs. 300 pens were scanned, but a few days ago, I dropped back to 250. Why? At the end of each lottery 40-60 pens remain. In theory starting with less should translate to ending with less. Also the thought of starting issue #80 will be less daunting. With 50 pens ready to go, the next issue is well underway. Yay.


February 2016 Duplicates Lottery...

If you intend to participate in the lottery, please send an email to DiAndra@FloatAbout.com with 'I Want to Play' in the subject line.
That way, if deadline approaches and I have not received your wishlist, I can give you a nudge before you miss the deadline.

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION
When I receive your wishlist, I will let you know I have it.
If you do NOT receive confirmation, it's because I did NOT receive your wishlist!

To avoid getting left behind, if you suspect your emails are not reaching me, try my alternate email address: dianaandra21@gmail.com
Feel free to call 419/529-8876 anytime between 11am and 3am (EST). In my absence, the answering machine is always on.

DEADLINE for receipt of your wishlist is 5:00pm (EST) Sun/Feb 21st, 2016
Send your wishlist anytime between now and the official deadline. For helpful hints on how to better your odds, read Lottery Details and Tips.


On the Homefront ...
It's only been a YEAR... since the last issue of Float About posted. Why so long? My deepest apologies, but 2015 was fraught with obstacles that demanded immediate and prolonged attention. Soon after issue #78 posted I was hospitalized briefly with Diabetes issues. Took a few months to regain control of my glucose levels, but it's all good now. If you have Diabetes you fully understand. If you don't have Diabetes trust me when I say... you don't want it. If you have been told you are borderline or pre-Diabetic, take steps now to keep the disease at bay. It is a chronic illness, dangerous if ignored and incredibly inconvenient. I resent the time and energy it demands, especially knowing three years ago this could have been avoided. Denial is not the answer.

In early spring Float About was hacked. Even though it was repaired late April, Google didn't lift their site has been hacked warning notice until August. In effect, the site was basically closed for business in between. It may have been a blessing in disguise. Mid-July well into August it was necessary to squeeze in six weeks of physical therapy for a bad ankle. Therapy was most successful. However, therapy, participating in our monthly flea market, working estate sales and incorporating regular visits to the gym made it so easy to lose sight of Float About.

New Kitty Chili

September was crazy. Labor Day weekend Bill and I trapped, rescued and adopted Chili (pictured). Boy is she a little pistol. Two days later a collector discovered Float About had been hacked again. This time, prior experience made clean-up and recovery expedient. Mid-September we moved our son, Josh, from his apartment into his first home. Josh and Pancho, his elderly cat, are nestled in their 1950's ranch. My favorite part... he's less than two miles down the road from us. Bill turned 70 on September 22nd. No one more surprised than Bill. When he was 30 he never expected to live so long. Join the club.

October marked the 20 year anniversary of FloatAbout. My intention was to commemorate the event with an impressive pen lottery, but life got in the way. Bill was scheduled for open heart surgery on Friday, November 13th. Many of my October and November hours were devoted to drivers ed. UGH. We were confident Bill would survive his procedure, but neither of us were certain we would remain unscathed after six weeks of Diana behind the wheel. Bill experienced a few frightening incidents after his OHS, but overall he did extremely well. He is now into his third week of cardio rehab. As for our driving concerns... we are both alive and kicking. December 23rd the car keys were joyfully relinquished and my resignation as chauffeur accepted. Mansfield is safe again.

Issue #80 of Float About... should post in June. How would you feel about the newsletter going to a PDF format? With all the new devices and different browsers in use, are you having any difficulty with the current format? There are enough pens in inventory to feed 2-3 more rounds of the lottery, then I'm unsure what will happen, but there is time to think about it. Always happy to hear your suggestions and thoughts.

Organizing, cleaning, scanning, listing and finally composing the newsletter requires countless hours at the computer. Even though I am alone in my office I know you are just a click or call away. Many people invested in this issue. This is my chance to offer a heartfelt Thank You to the many collectors that contributed links, sightings and knowledge. A special thanks to Marisa and Victoria for their diligence and generosity with their leads. It would be unfair not to include Bill in this group. Many afternoons he ran errands solo and brought nourishment home so I could continue working. We have always been a team, but the last few months Bill has really been there for me. Then there is the music that made being tied to my desk a pleasure. In alphabetical order... The Beatles, The Clash, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, NRBQ, Ry Cooder, Stray Cats and the soundtrack from Valley Girl. They provided the perfect audio backdrop for the task at hand. Rock on.

Your continued support... is needed and appreciated. Please report your pen findings, sightings, ideas and thoughts. Anxious to hear what you have planned for the months ahead. Now it is time to set you free. Enjoy browsing the pen lists and preparing your lottery wishlist. I will be here, at my computer, waiting for you. Just kidding. While you prepare your lists, there is plenty to be done in preparation for the lottery drawing.

Your partner in all that floats...
Diana

Winter in Mansfield = Ravenous Cardinals

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Copyright © Feb 2016 Diana Andra/FloatAbout.com