I recorded a quick video review of this pen a couple of days ago and made a blooper in it. I misremembered the RRP as being $150-160, (when in fact it’s $139), and in my head I expected it to be showing up at £120-130 in UK stores after our usual punishing conversion rate. In fact, Cult Pens has it for £100 dead, before any discount codes.
This blooper is revealing, because I was already impressed by the Mistletoe, and now I find that it’s about £20 cheaper than I thought it was… I like it even more. So you know the drill, people… run, don’t walk. This is a limited edition of 300, and it won’t hang around long, especially after it’s been in my Christmas gift guide.
This review will be a familiar story if you’ve read my review of the Talisman Foxglove, or even the Euphoria before it. The Mistletoe is part of the Talisman range, which means it has a #6 Schmidt steel nib and sits as a midsize pen in my tray.
As a Talisman pen, it also has a party trick that it has some of its namesake material — Mistletoe — baked into the resin.
You’d be best advised not to kiss anyone under this pen, though, because you’ll look like an anglerfish. This Benu has another party trick, which is its ability to glow an eerie green in the dark.
The lume is better than most of my watches: once charged by any kind of light, it glows strongly and for quite some time. My eldest daughter practically exploded with excitement when she saw it.
Leaving aside the holiday season party tricks, the Benu Mistletoe is an attractive pen for all year round use — if you like your pens glittery.
I was pleased that Benu didn’t go for the full Christmas colour scheme with red, gold and green… instead, the white and green with silver sparkles is actually quite tasteful, and doesn’t automatically scream jingle bells.
I am also pleased to see that Benu has opted for a body-colour (green) cap band and section on this design, which I much prefer to the big thick black bands on some of its designs. The limited edition number is neatly engraved and silver filled on the cap band, too.
Looking at the pattern of the resin around the pen, there are a couple of blotches and smears where the white and green mix, but nothing that upsets me. It shows that each of these blanks is made by humans.
Just like the Foxglove and Euphoria before it, I found the Mistletoe to be exceptionally comfortable to hold. It’s not heavy, but feels chunky and solid. The section is long and flared.
You can feel the square threads and barrel step, but not in normal use.
Practically speaking, the Mistletoe is a strong performer. The hinged clip is easy to get over winter jumpers, the cap spins off quickly to dash out a Christmas card, and if you leave it capped, it probably won’t dry out before next December, either.
Best of all, the nib. I moan about QC all the time, and Benu is one of the strongest performers.
The Schmidt nibs it provides are almost always perfect out of the box. This medium writes wonderfully, wet and smooth while well within the bounds of a western medium in thickness.
Like all Benus, the Mistletoe comes in a paper box with shredded paper packaging, with a converter installed. It’ll fit easily into a stocking and the box recycles easily with the rest of your wrapping paper.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m still really impressed with Benu. Functionally its pens do everything I always ask for on my Christmas list: they’re comfortable, the caps come off quickly, they don’t dry out, they write really well out of the box. Benu pens also happen to bring a huge amount of fun and festive joy to the proceedings: glitter, colour, even luminescence. There aren’t many pens at £100 that tick all these boxes. If you like the Benu aesthetic — and I can understand that not everybody does — you’ll love this pen.
Benu sent me this pen for free. If they hadn’t, I’d have bought mine from Cult Pens.