Posted in P200 Family, Pentel

What is a color? A color by any other name…

I had an issue come up this past week when I was asked to purchase some pencils for someone from another country.  He was asking me to purchase some P207 Blue Green Metallic pencils from a retail chain for him, and he would purchase the P207 Mint Green Metallics from a dealer online.

Now, I had no problem with him purchasing some of the pencils from someone else, as I did not have them, and he could not order specific colors from the retail chain, and they are local to me. What I did have a problem with, was him asking me to purchase the Blue Green Metallics, or what I had seen called Mint Green and him ALSO purchasing the Mint Green from someone else. So, I started digging into what he was actually asking for.


web-colour-code-listTo start off with, Pentel assigns color codes to their models of pencils, when there are different colors available.  For example, black is code A, so a black P205 is P205A (or sometimes P205-A), and blue is code C, so the standard blue P207 is P207C, etc.  Above is the standard color code list that you can find around the internet, and applies to most of the Pentel line, although there are more colors than this, such as code K1 (Mint Green).

The good news is that the pencils he is ordering from this other company were Light Green, so we were not ordering the same colors.  The bad news is that the code for these pencils was P207MK1, not P207MK.  I went to my pencils and pulled out my pencil from this company, and sure enough, the Light Green was P207MK1.  I thought about this for a few minutes and then went to my P209 pencils and looked at the Mint Green pencil, and it is coded P209M-KX.

This got me thinking; had I had these wrong the whole time?  And if so, where did I get the information in the first place.  So I started to dig into the database of my pencils, and found that the P205 had these pencils as well.

P205 Initial Release

So, back in 2012, Pentel released a limited run of 13 colored P205 pencils.  These pencils were released singly, and in retail packages, but in all cases, they had a sticker on them with their barcode and the item code, so I know exactly what color went with what code.
P205M-BX (Red Metallic)
P205M-CX (Blue Metallic)
P205M-DX (Green Metallic)
P205M-KX (Light Green Metallic)
P205M-K1X (Mint Green Metallic)
P205M-PX (Pink Metallic)
P205M-P1X (Rose Pink Metallic)
P205M-SX (Sky Blue Metallic)
P205M-VX (Violet Metallic)
P205M-X (Gold)
P205M-YX (Rose Gold Metallic)
P205M-Z (Silver)
P205-WX (White)

I believe that they added the X to the end of the color to differentiate the first three colors from the Marble pencils that were released in 2010 (P205-MB, P205-MC, P205-MD) and carried it through the rest of the line.

P205 Later Release

In 2016, Pentel re-released 5 of the original colors (with new item codes), plus a new color.
P205MBX (Red Metallic)
P205MCX (Blue Metallic)
P205MDX (Green Metallic)
P205MVX (Violet Metallic)
P205MZX (Silver)

P205MNX (Metallic Graphite)

P207 Initial Release

In 2016, Pentel released 8 colored P207 pencils.  In this case, they were only released in retail packaging and did not have any stickers on them, but these colors matched the colors of the P205 pencils released in 2012, so I assigned the same color codes, except for the Metallic Graphite and Silver, which I received with stickers and item codes.
P207M-KX (Light Green Metallic)
P207M-K1X (Mint Green Metallic)
P207M-PX (Pink Metallic)
P207M-P1X (Rose Pink Metallic)
P207M-SX (Sky Blue Metallic)
P205M-YX (Rose Gold Metallic)
P207MN (Metallic Graphite)
P207Z (Silver)

P209 Initial Release

In 2017, Pentel released 4 colored P209 pencils.  These were released individually, with stickers having the barcode and item code on them.  There was a limited release of retail packaging, but I have not found anyone who carries them locally.
P209M-KX (Mint Green Metallic)
P209M-NX (Metallic Graphite)
P209M-PX (Pink Metallic)
P209M-ZX (Silver)

P207 Later Release

In 2018, 4 colors were released as individual pencils (along with the P207MN & P207Z).
P207MK1 (Light Green Metallic)
P207MP1 (Rose Pink Metallic)
P207MS (Sky Blue Metallic)
P207MY (Rose Gold Metallic)

 

So, if you look at the above pencils in Bold typeface, these are the ones I am concerned about.

Light Green PencilsIMG_0905

The bottom pencil was the original 2012 release of the P205M-KX, and the top was the 2018 release of the P207MK1.  You can see that Pentel flip-flopped the color code.

Mint Green PencilsIMG_0906

They may have changed the color very slightly, but it is still the Mint Green that started out at the bottom with the K1 code for the P205 and ended with the K code for the P209.  The P207 never had a sticker for this color, but i wanted to show it in the image.

As the P205 in these colors was never reissued with these colors, and a span of 5 years (2012 to 2017) between when the color codes were made public on the pencils themselves, it looks like someone got confused at Pentel USA and assigned the wrong color code in 2017, and has stayed consistent in later releases.

It does make it a pain, as I have to go back and change the codes in my database on all of the P207 initial release pencils that I have, so they stay consistent with the later release. I never caught this, as I did not go back and check the code against the colors on later pencils vs the P205.

 

This is not the only time that Pentel has done this, although this second time was between different divisions.  In 2016, Pentel Japan released the P200 for Boys & Girls, and in 2018, Pentel Brazil released their versions.  But, Pentel Brazil changed the codes to something that I cannot make heads, nor tails out of.

Japan Code Color Brazil Code
P205BG-C Navy P205-BM
P205BG-P Coral Pink P205-SA
P205BG-P2 Baby Pink P205-LP
P205BG-S Serenity Blue P205-LB
P205BG-W Off-White P205-CW

I can figure out some of the Brazil codes, such as LP for Light Pink, LB for Light Blue, maybe Cloud White for CW, and (stretching it), Salmon for SA, but I have no clue for what BM would stand for.

 

But, in any case, after this research, I now know what I am supposed to purchase, and what my friend is purchasing for himself.

Here is a PDF of where I know the different pencils are available in the United States.  United States Availabilty of P200 pencils.pdf

Author:

I work in the Information Systems industry, but outside of that I am interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy and collect Pentel P200 Sharp Family Pencils.

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