The Richard Best Company is widely remembered for their Try-Rex pencils and the shape that they patented. Depending on who you ask, it's either an elongated hex or a chamfered triangle. I see it as a triangle shape on the standard width pencils, but on the jumbo I see more of the hex shape. Many of the Richard Best pencils were made in this shape, including the Futura, a lovely Pink Cadillac of a pencil. JR Moon, now Moon Products, owns the rights to the Richard Best catalog. The Try-Rex pencils are currently still in production, and their shape is used in other Moon pencils, like the jumbo USA Gold.
The Futura pencil has now been brought back through a collaboration with CW Pencil Enterprise, available exclusively through their shop.
This pencil is gorgeous. It's pink. Not Millennial Pink, Eraser Pink, Salmon, or any other hip names for pink thrown around these days. It's just pink. The ferrule is light purple, metallic. A shame they couldn't match the older silver ferrule with a pink stripe. A standard eraser sits atop the pencil, looking red compared to the pink paint on the pencil. The printing is black paint, stamped into the pencil. One of the other things Best was known for was the printing on the pencils crossing multiple sides of the body. The F in the old Futura spanned across 2 sides, and the "Futura" script was larger than it is on the current pencil. The printing on the old one was reddish, instead of the black we have now.
The shape feels lovely in the hand, and it's no wonder the Try-Rex has remained in production: it's an excellent learner's pencil, grip-wise. I find them very comfortable to hold.
In the dozen I purchased from CW Pencils, I found the cores to be pretty well centered. They're encased in a very fragrant cedar. The mark laid down on the page is dark, a core similar to the Crown Cedar pencil I reviewed a while back. While it is HB, it does sit on the softer side of that grade. It's a tad scratchy, but not in a bad way. Point retention in my Leuchtturm1917 was pretty good, though on something a little bit more textured, it doesn't hold up as well. I've never used a vintage Futura, so I can't compare this modern remake to it in terms of core.
The eraser is Musgrave-style trash. Hard, gritty, and it left a little bit of a red smudge on the page on my writing test. Getting further down into the eraser usually solves the issue, but it didn't in this case. I'm willing to give the overall pencil a pass because of how cool it is, but beware of using the eraser if you're writing with it on something you care about. Stick to handheld erasers.
Overall, I'm glad this was brought back. I hope to see more fun vintage pencils get an update or remake in the future. It's not the most well-made pencil out there, but for the price, the core is great and the looks are definitely cool.
Available from CW Pencils. 60¢ per pencil.