I had a post that I have been looking forward to writing, as it is about a set of pencils that I had never seen before December of last year. I found, though, that there was certain information that would make more sense if I first wrote a blog specifically about it. This is that blog.
When I first started collecting the P200 pencils and their variants, I kept track of the letters and numbers that were in the second line of the cutout. But, until this year, I had not put together the ranges of information and how it can help to determine what Generation a pencil is.
Another thing I never really paid attention to, either, was the stickers on the pencils. For the most part, I kept track of the barcodes that were on the stickers, but I had very few of the stickers that had prices on them. As I have collected more of them over the years, I have started to do some more investigation into these.
First off, when I talk about the Mold Mark, what I am talking about is the letter (sometimes) and the number on the second line of the Cutout. The letter (if there is one) tells what mold is used for the injection of the plastic to make the pencils. These molds have multiple cavities that are identical. In the case of the Pentel P200 type pencil, they have a small plate that they put in the cavities that contains the information in the Cutout, including the company, country of origin and the Mold Mark. Each of these plates has a different number, so that if something goes bad on a specific cavity in a mold, that number can be pulled out of production.
Now, as the generations have changed, so has the range of numbers for these Mold Marks.
Generation 1, 1a & 1b
Above are 2 different Generation 1 Cutouts. The top is Generation 1, when they still had the “P205” molded into the pencil. For Generation 1b, they removed the “P205”.
In my experience, these pencils all have Mold Marks between “1” and “8”.
Generation 2 & 3
Generations 2 and 3 are combined as far as looking at the Mold Marks, because the only difference between these generations is they started printing the text on the side with Generation 3. At the top is a P205 with a Mold Mark of 17 and at the bottom is a P207 with A4.
I find that the P207 pencils all fall in a range of “A1” to “A9”, and all of the other pencils are numbered between “9” and “18”.
With the change to Generation 4, the Mold Marks are generally in the range of “19” to “36”, with a few exceptions. Of the 47 Generation 4 pencils I have handled over the years, 42 fall in the above range. Five pencils (1x P533, 1x PF335, 2x PF337 & 1x PF339) are outliers with marks ranging from “3” to “9”.
Another thing I only noticed this year, is that some of these Generation 4 pencils have a dot after the Mold Mark. A little under half of the Gen 4 pencils I currently own (16 of 38) have this additional mark. At this time, I do not know it’s significance.
Generation 4.5 & 5
Since the Generation 4.5 pencil is made of a Gen 5 outer body and Gen 4 inner parts, this is grouped with the Generation 5 for this.
This generation seems to have the widest range of numbers, falling (again, in my experience) between “25” and “88”. Late in Generation 5, there were some pencils with Mold Marks starting with a “P”, and these go from “P1” to “P16”.
For pencils manufactured in Japan, all of Generation 6 have a letter at the beginning of the Mold Mark.
P203, P207 and PS315 pencils all begin with a “K” with a range of “K1” to “K16”. All other pencils begin with a “B” and range from “B17” to “B48”.
Pencils manufactured in Brazil, do not have a Country of Origin listed, and their Mold Mark ranges between “1” and “8”.
Most current P200 pencils that come for sale individually have a barcode sticker on them. Some of the Japanese pencils have a price included on them.
P200 for Clena series
P200 for Boys & Girls – Original release at top; Loft release at the bottom. Note the change in barcodes for these two White pencils.
The above labels are all modern Generation 6 labels with a price of ¥300.
But the ones to find are the older Japanese pencils with JIS price stickers. I have pencils with 3 different style of stickers. These seem to change with the generations of the P200 family.
The oldest is a rounded triangle sticker with the size, then Pentel, then the price. These stickers I have found to be on Generation 3 pencils.
These stickers appear to be on Generation 4 pencils, and
at least one early Generation 4.5 P323 early Generation 4.5 and 5. Again, these stickers have the size, Pentel, then the price. They also then have “JIS S 6013”, which is the JSA (Japanese Standards Association) standard for Mechanical Pencils. Below that is “表示許可 375127”, which translates as “Display Permission 375127” or (I believe) “Permit 375127”. The last item is the official JIS logo.
Now, most of these stickers spell out Pentel in the Latin alphabet, but I have at least one label that has it spelled out in Japanese.
The name “ぺんてる” translates as “Penteru”, according to Google, which is why you will sometimes see Pentel spelled that way on some websites.
Last are the Generation 5 labels that you can find on most of the P320 series pencils with the italic size text written on the side.
All of these are the same basic style, with Pentel on top in red, a black band in the middle with the price, then, in a color block, which, with the exception of the 0.5, use the same color scheme as the older JIS stickers. The 0.5 was red, but is now silver. On this bottom color block, is the size, then the JIS logo.
The 0.9 sticker is slightly different from the other 3, with the Pentel being printed smaller, the price not being a bold font and in a slightly narrower band, then the inclusion of the permit number below the JIS logo. I tend to think that this may be a first iteration of this label as that would make the permit number something that was carried forward and then later dropped, rather than required, not required, then required again.
The above stickers are just from my collection of P200 family pencils. I do have other Pentel pencils with other variations of these, for example, I have a Generation 5 0.5 label that matches the style of the 0.9 above. I also have another Generation 5 style label for a 0.4 mm pencil that does not have the JIS logo included. I may put together another blog post about these at some point, but right now, I am still concentrating on the P200 pencils in this blog.
2019-10-15 – Added information about the Generation 4 price sticker running into early Generation 4.5 and 5