Noodler’s Neponset flies off the shelves

At last the time has come. The Neponset is here. Or was here.

You’ll be lucky to find one now. At least until the next batch is released.

Noodler's Jade Neponset
Noodler’s Jade Neponset

After what seems like an eternity (four years according to Brian Goulet) the Noodler’s Neponset release was announced just before Halloween, by Luxury Brands, the distributor. Was the 10/31 shipping date just to scare up some more interest? Whatever it was it worked.

The pens shipped to retailers on Friday. How long would it take for retailers to get the packages and stock their websites?

First up, at least on Twitter, was Pen Boutique. Their tweet announcing they were sold out came in at 10:18am on Monday.

Who would be next?

Nobody else looked like they had stock on Monday, and it certainly was a bit early. I looked around again on Tuesday and made a call or two. Nothing locally. Anderson Pens were expecting them on Wednesday morning, between 10 and noon Central time (thanks Lisa! time to mark the calendar). My local store (Flax Art and Design in San Francisco, lovely place, do go if you can) weren’t quite sure when, but were confident they’d ordered some. I thought I’d check one more specialist pen and ink retailer online that I’m familiar with, and found that Vanness Pen Shop in Little Rock, AR were listing them. Cool. I snagged a Jade Neponset from them, with the advantage of free shipping on orders over $35. It maybe that Vanness concentrate more on their brick-and-mortar store than developing online sales. My order was number 500. But very glad I got one, and it arrived today, Friday. By Thursday afternoon Mike and Lisa at Vanness Pens only had a couple left in each of the three colors they ordered.

Jade Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen, from Vanness Pens. Noodler's Apache Sunset ink. 11/8/2014
Jade Noodler’s Neponset.

Wednesday rolls around. We know Anderson Pens is expecting them today. And I would have expected Goulet Pens to get their order today too. Both said they had more requests than the number of pens they were expecting. Far more. I had the “email me when back in stock” requests in at both sites. Anderson Pens loaded up their website about midday Pacific and quickly started to sell. Red Rebellion was the most popular, followed by the Jade. Black sold out next that afternoon, and by the morning there were a few Walnut and Chestnut pens left. Walnut hung on for a few more hours but was soon gone on Thursday morning.

Goulet did not get their stock loaded Wednesday. Goldspot did, and tweeted it. At the time of writing on Friday they say they have 19 left, but they’re all black. Henry Ford would have loved it.

The Goulets took an interesting approach. They’re probably becoming the most well-known US online retailer of fountain pens, inks and related accessories. They clearly knew how many people had expressed an interest. And they took the decision, a wise one I think, to stage a timed release on Thursday at 1pm Eastern. They’ve been hit by website outages on popular items before as all the eager customers sit at their computers waiting for it to come into stock and hitting refresh. An accidental DDOS.

So they announced it wouldn’t be in stock until 1pm Thursday. And very wisely took the website down and put it in maintenance mode before 1pm, only bringing it back up when they said. Good move.

And pens started flying off the virtual shelves. I don’t know how many they had in stock, but worldwide I believe this first release was about 500 pens. The Andersons got 100. I’d think GouletPens would have received the same.

According to Brian Goulet’s comments Red Rebellion, Chestnut and Walnut sold really fast – in about 6 minutes, followed quickly by Jade – with the black version selling out in 25 minutes.

So for those of you still hankering after one what do you do? Waiting might be a good move – the next batch will probably have some different materials and colors. Stephen Brown’s review of a pre-production model showed an interesting acrylic I believe. There might be a few out there if you’re quick. Vanness and Goldspot at the time of writing are the only two I know about. There are probably more, and certainly outside of the US you may expect to find some because of shipping time to the retailer.

And don’t give up on your local pen store. Noodler’s has a list of dealers – check your local listings and give them a call.

Next up – pictures and performance? How does it do? Saturday will tell…

The Vishnu Victory three tined flex nib.
The Vishnu Victory three tined flex nib.

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