Friday, June 3, 2016

Review of the #StarWars Millennium Falcon Stationery Gift Set #12parsecs #KesselRun

Living in Hawaii has its obvious perks, but one of the downsides is paying confiscatory rates for shipping when ordering online. It is often cheaper to add more stuff to the shopping cart and qualify for free shipping than to buy just what you need and pay for shipping. After creating an order for some pencils at CultPens.com, I was poking around to find a few more things for the cart when I noticed this Millennium Falcon Stationery Gift Set.   A bit of online research showed that the manufacturer was the UK-based Pyramid International, and the set was not available in the US. Well, I popped that checkout button and in less than 12 parsecs the set was in my hands.

The shipping box looked like it had gone through the Clone Wars, but thanks to the copious bubble wrap supplied by CultPens, the set arrived undamaged. The stationery items are packed in a shrink wrapped aluminum tin that is about 15" inches across the longest part and is debossed and printed with the an impressively detailed drawing of the "fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy."

What it looks like in shrink, like a large candy box
The bottom of the tin has a sticker showing the contents
Opening the tin reveals a variety of Falcon items that would set any geek's heart aflutter, including an intriguing A5 sized notebook with a wide elastic and a metal ornament.

The view when you open the box. Note the metal ornament on the elastic of the notebook.
Starting from the left, the keychain is a flat metal disc, die cut in the shape of the Falcon. The black drawing is merely printed onto the metal rather than embossed or etched, so I think in short order, the printing would quickly rub off.  Also, it is rather bulky for the pocket at about 2-1/2" inches across but still it makes for a nice display piece.

The black is only printed (silk screened?) on the metal, not etched
The ballpoint pen is nothing to write Yoda about, basically your standard medium width ball point. It twists to extend and retract and there is a mushy rubber stylus tip on the other end. The printing on the barrel tells us that the Millennium Falcon is a YT-1300 Light Freighter.

The printing on the pen is actually better than seen in these pictures. 

The notebook is the major draw for this set.  Its covers are handsomely decorated with various views of the Millennium Falcon from The Force Awakens movie (the rectangular rather than circular dish on the top of the Falcon is a dead giveaway). Anyway, the boards of the cover feel a bit softer and have more give than the firm, solid covers of a Moleskine. Perhaps that was to make it easier to emboss the resistance logo and Millennium Falcon title into the front cover as can be seen along the top in the picture below.  In any case, it means the covers do feel rigid but a bit spongy at the same time, like walking in Dagobah, which gives the covers a more tactile feel.

Love the different views of the Falcon
The back cover has an enlarged view of Falcon, with the Star Wars-The Force Awakens logo embossed along the bottom.  The notebook also comes with a pen loop and wide elastic band to hold the covers closed.

A larger version of the same drawing found on front
It was the paper quality inside, however, that was most disappointing.  I didn't bother testing the paper because I'm pretty sure it is straight 20 lb. text paper, the kind of thing you might find in a copy machine.  I didn't really buy the notebook to serve as an everyday journal, but it was still pretty disappointing.  In the bottom corner of each page is a Millennium Falcon logo that is suspiciously similar to something you might see in one of the Disney theme parks. The pages are edged in blue ink that matches the page marker pretty well.

Pretty typical page marker and a Millennium Falcon logo I've never seen before
Like most notebooks of this type, the inside back cover has a pocket. The inside front cover is adorned with a fantastic illustration of the Falcon doing what it does best: fleeing from something.

Inside front cover
I wasn't sure exactly what an A5 size meant, so I compared it to a standard hardcover Moleskine and found out that while the height was nearly identical, the A5 is slightly wider, by about 1/2 an inch.  So, it will fit fine in shelves or boxes where a standard Moleskine would fit.

Comparison of A5 notebook and a standard Moleskine
The last item in the set is the small Millennium Falcon pin. It is identical to the ornament that is on the elastic of the notebook, except for the pin back.  The white areas are actually recessed with the silver areas raised. I'm not sure whether it is enamel or just paint in the recesses, but it is a well-designed simple rendering of the Falcon that is easily recognizable. The round body of the Falcon is about the size of quarter.

The pin that is the same as the ornament on the notebook elastic.
There are only a few places you can buy this set, and all of them were in the UK.  I got mine at CultPens for 30 pounds, which is about $42 in the US.  Was it worth it?  It depends.  I thought so because I've always loved Han and Chewie's ride with its asymmetrical design and importance to the original trilogy. I have t-shirts and mugs of the Falcon, so this set with the tin was something I couldn't pass up. I probably wouldn't have used the notebook anyway, so I'm not that bothered by its deficiencies.  However, if you are looking for a study notebook and are particular about paper and use a fountain pen, then perhaps this set would not be for you. An accidental bonus was found on the bottom of the tin, under the plastic packaging that holds all the pieces.  There is a die cut illustration of the Falcon that is in the same blue that they use throughout the set. It would make a good framing piece.

Added bonus on bottom of tin!