My first introduction to the poppin brand was from reading the post by Ana from The Well-Appointed Desk which I found intriguing. In a nutshell, poppin sells office supplies, pens, and other desk accessories in a lot of really bright colors that coordinate extensively. Extensively might be an understatement as it's actually kind of a trip. Check out their site and have a look at how much color coordinating action is going on there (and could be at your desk!).
I mostly jest about the bright colors as I think that they have branded themselves really well and that there is absolutely a market for this type of thing. While visiting their site I decided to place an order for some pens to try: their retractable gel and ballpoint pens in white, and I "splurged" a little and decided to try their pen called The Main Attraction.
This pen is a very big pen at 13mm in diameter. I have pretty big hands, so to say a pen is a bit bulky, I mean it. It is a rather large pen and I wouldn't put it in the comfortable category as there aren't any ergonomic considerations to it. Not that an all cylindrical barrel is necessarily bad, but with the diameter, it just makes it a bit awkward. It has a chrome plated brass (pardon the fingerprints) barrel which, although metal, is not overly heavy in the hand but has a good weight to it.
The special feature to this pen is the cap that pops onto the top or bottom by the power of a magnet. It is pretty strong while attached and takes a good tug to get it off. Even with that said, I'm not really sure how comfortable I'd be clipping the pen to a jeans or shirt pocket. I don't really know how I feel about magnets and pens; seems a little gimmicky to me. Are there any magnetic capped pens that anyone likes? I believe Monteverde makes one.
Where you grip the pen is a bit funny. There is a really distinct ledge at the end near the tip that is sharp and right in the middle of where a lot of people hold their pens (myself included) that started to dig into the side of my middle finger a bit. Granted, with the design choice, the outer rim of the cap had to go somewhere, right?
The pen comes standard with their Parker style ballpoint refill in black ink, which I can admit I'm not overly impressed with. It is a pretty smooth refill, but doesn't really lay down a nice dark line like the Schmidt EasyFlow. "Schmidt Style". It could be the really bulky barrel is throwing off my writing too, but I didn't really enjoy it.
As I had mentioned, I also ordered a pack of their gel pens that are a Parker style refill as well which are really quite good. Review on those forthcoming sometime in the future. ..
One thing I think they designed aesthetically well is the clip. The loop type design I feel may pay a little homage to the Lamy Safari a bit, even if only slightly? Perhaps I'm crazy in that thought., but nevertheless it looks pretty cool. It is thin and sleek and hugs the barrel of the pen so not to be overly obtrusive.
As I'm sure you've gathered, not my favorite pen purchase. Although I haven't been thoroughly impressed by The Main Attraction pen, that doesn't mean others won't love it. It has a nice weight, a cool magnetic cap feature, is shiny, and would only set you back about $16 if you wanted to give it a go.
Seriously though, check out poppin.com to bask in the color coordinated glory (if that is your thing) you could be living in at your desk.