One of the joys of collecting pencils is that it is easy and cheap to do. It’s not like they are sold exclusively in specialty or online stores (although those are not sources that should be excluded). Just go down to the local Walmart and head straight for the school or home office supplies aisle. Walmart, being what it is, is probably one of the cheapest places to check out. This is exactly what I did during a recent business trip to Phoenix, Arizona. I had plenty of time to kill in the evenings and walking to Walmart was one way to do it.
I was actually very surprised to see the selection of pencils available at Walmart. There were extremely inexpensive Asian made pencils of a non-recognizable brand, Dixons, Mirados, and Paper Mates among others. I decided to “splurge” and for around $8 I got a pack of Dixon Ticonderogas, Mirado Black Warriors, Paper Mate American Classics, and Mega USA Golds. Now I have 70 pencils in my possession. In normal circumstances, this would be a life time supply of pencils. Not in this case. Here, quantity gives me the freedom to test for consistency! Examining the characteristics of one pencil is a somewhat limiting but when I have 24 pencils then I can increase my sample size to 10 and still have room left over.
This should be fun. Let’s see what we can ascertain from our first pack of pencils. Stay tuned!