Any Trubie who has ever browsed the shop at HBO knows that True Blood swag often comes at high price. Today I’ll be looking at the “True Blood Fangtasia Projector Pen” to help you decide if this is the right buy for you.

 

From HBO’s website:

At Fangtasia, “life begins at night”. Now with the True Blood Fangtasia Projector Pen you can shine the Fangtasia logo on any surface. If you love True Blood you’ll love to impress your vampire friends with the True Blood Fangtasia Projector Pen. With the push of a button, the Fangtasia logo and catch phrase “Life Begins at Night” projects from the top of the pen

MSRP: $9.99

The Pros:

The first thing you’ll notice is when you pick it up is the pen has some nice heft, like you’d expect out of a more expensive pen. The construction isn’t all metal, but it will still makes a nice thud in your pen holder. This definitely isn’t flimsy. The other major pro to the pen is that writes smoothly and doesn’t skip when you write. Given that this pen is as much of a novelty item as it is a pen, it is good to see that it’s a functional pen.

The Cons:

As you’ll have noticed, my pro list was fairly short and if one of the nicest things you can say about a pen is that it works, then well, that says a lot on its own. But I suppose you want details, don’t you?

1. Look at the length – it has anywhere from 1/2″ to 3/4″ of length on your average pens. I specifically chose the two pens next to it because they represent a good range of the average pens. I bring this up because I find the pen’s length to be a bit awkward to use, and I have long fingers. I imagine it’d be an even greater problem for people with shorter fingers.

2. The heft I mentioned earlier? Because the “projector” mechanism is in the top of the pen it actually makes the pen top heavy, which means that the longer you use it, the more uncomfortable it becomes.

3. See the metal tip at the bottom? That’s what you have to twist to get the pen tip to come out. It’s counter-intuitive, as when you do that to most pens, you end up removing the pen tip entirely. Try twisting at the middle of the pen and you’ll end up dismantling it. I understand why they designed it the way that they did, but it’s still an odd choice.

4. The ink can’t be refilled, so that when the ink runs out, you’re done. Not so impressive for a pen at this price.

5. Let’s talk about the “projector” shall we?

I tried to get a better picture of the projected image, so I apologize for the quality of the image. Still, the image still suffice to make the point: 1) this as bright as the projection ever really gets and b) it’s really hard to get the image clear. It feels that that ideal distance for the projection is about 18 inches away. I’d imagine the quality might get slightly better in the dark, but honestly who is going to be using a pen in the dark?

The final verdict:

Ultimately I can’t recommend the pen. It was a novel idea that didn’t really pan out. It’s half pen, half toy and neither half works as well as it should, especially at this price.

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