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"The Portly Pen" Novelty Pen from Brookstone

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Ballpoint Pens7 of 36Handmade Hello Kitty Pen Anson 360 Sterling Purse Pen, made for Tiffany's & Neiman Marcus in the 70's, I think? Help with refills.
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (1 item)

    I was going through some stored items and I found a pen I had been gifted years ago. It is a stubby, fat, ballpoint pen, labeled: "The Portly Pen" in a small, white box from Brookstone. The pen has a black, matte finish with "gold" trim. It is 5" in length. The box is 5.5" x 1" x 1". There is a small "MADE I N JAPAN" sticker on the body of the pen. The box also has a sticker that reads: "#15883-00 JAPAN". There is a clear plastic sleeve containing a spare ink refill inside the box.

    I've tried all kinds of searches on collectables websites and have found nothing about it. I even tried searching Brookstone's website through's The Wayback Machine, but I had no luck. I found an old listing with no pictures on eBay Italy, but that's it.

    It is not a fine pen by any means. It was gifted to me years ago and I used it once and put it back in the box. I can't recall when I was given this pen, but I guess it might have been in the 1990s.

    UPDATE: I have found through various web searches that the design is inpired by, very similar to, or a copy of the the Tombow Zoom Egg.
    I inquired with Tombow (a pen manufacturer in Japan since 1913) but the customer service person gave very short and not very helpful answers to my questions. The Tombow Zoom Egg is no longer made. So I still have no real answers. I will inquire with Brookstone.

    Any help in learning more about this pen would be greatly appreciated.

    Unsolved Mystery

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    1. thumbsup thumbsup, 5 years ago
      I'm having trouble putting the proper ink refill in the barrel. There's a secondary sleeve that is troublesome,
    2. Windwalker, 5 years ago
      all I saw on it was it was made in 1970 in japan...
    3. whu, 4 years ago
      I have a similar portly pen from Brookstone, with different finish. The box is exactly the same with a sticker readf #158840 JAPAN.
    4. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
      I would think these pens were probably late 1980's or early 90's. Brookstone opened their first store in 1973 in my old home town of Peterborough, NH. Up into the 80's they sold specialty tools, medical clamps etc. that were not commonly available. as an example I bought a dowel threader at their store which couldn't be found elsewhere. I believe it was around the 80's that they expanded into a little of everything. Their stores were really unique because you could go in and try out anything in the store before you bought it. The first store was across from the high school and way bigger than the school. It was a fun place to go and shop but also expensive. When they expanded and started selling cheap stuff it kind of backfired on them. After their first bankruptcy they never really made a comeback.
    5. hunterqlee hunterqlee, 4 years ago
      Is this a ballpoint or fountain pen?
    6. Vynil33rpm Vynil33rpm, 4 years ago
      Well if it is a pen ,designated
      to be used in a Fountain Only ..
      It would be a Fountain Pen...
      But what if you used the term
      Ink Pen
    7. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
      The term ink pen would indicate it isn't a pencil or crayon.
    8. hunterqlee hunterqlee, 4 years ago
      I guess if I would had read the description closer, I would have known it was a ballpoint. My bad.

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