Baron Fig provided these pencils to me at no charge for review purposes.
The #2 from Baron Fig is their 3rd entry into their limited edition Archer pencil series. As part of the New School set, it was released along with the new Composition Notebook Vanguards I reviewed yesterday. Obviously the design cues are inspired by the most popular American yellow #2 pencil, the Ticonderoga.
The yellow and green paint combination is shorthand for capital-P, "Pencil". These are a wonderful homage to older pencils; they have a vintage look. Like the other Archers, these are made in Portugal and have no eraser. The body is yellow with green type and a green end dip. Instead of the standard minimal Archer branding, these actually say "New York City—Baron Fig—Archer Graphite Pencil" and have a nice HB/#2 icon. All on the same side, like a normal pencil. They're pretty light in the hand, just like the other Archers.
The cedar body holds a pretty decent core. No Snakes & Ladder crumble-fail here. It's the same core as the other Archers before it (save for the S&L) and it performs best on paper within the Baron Fig system, or something equally as toothy. This is not for something smooth like the Finch paper in a standard Field Notes. Because it's a tad harder and scratchier than a lot of HBs, it holds a better point on Baron Fig paper than most other similarly dark pencils. They've done a great job of not just making stationery items, but a full suite of products that work in concert and complement each other.
The pencils are great, they're the Archers you expect with a throwback design twist. If you haven't snagged a pack of Archers yet, these are a good start.
Now for the tiny nags: Archers are great, but a bit expensive. I'd feel better if these were $12 than the $15 they are now. Usually Baron Fig's stuff is priced pretty well, especially the paper products but the pencils are a stretch at $15. The other thing...I want to see something different. Maybe a B or 2B. Maybe a drawing set with multiple grades. An eraser. A round pencil. Something. At this point, if the color theme doesn't excite you, you're not missing out on anything different from a standard Archer. The original Archer design is very limited in the already limited world of pencil design. Play around!
Available from Baron Fig, $15.