This review is for the Inkredible Collector Premium Subscription. I think it's a great subscription that gives me exactly what I'm looking for in a mystery box -- a good quality product that I probably wouldn't have chosen on my own at a good price. I've subscribed to the Penthusiast box in the past, and I think the Collector Box is more interesting if you can (and care to) afford it. Every month, I compare what I get to the prices on Truphae's site and to other sellers, and the contents are always worth the cost of the subscription, providing good value versus MSRP and usually also decent value versus cherry picking from online discounters. If you are looking for a specific pen with specific parameters and just hoping you'll get it at a discount, this is not what you want. Go buy that pen instead -- you'll be happier! Me, I immediately ink up each month's pen with the ink that shared its shipping box, and I enjoy the surprise.
My stated preference is for the box to focus on a pen and a bottle of ink. I occasionally receive other things, most often sleeves, but most of the time I just get a pen and a bottle of ink. I also prefer fine or stub nibs, and I usually receive a pen with a fine nib. Occasionally, I receive a different nib size. That's okay with me -- this is a mystery box, after all, and I assume that like virtually every mystery box that focuses on value (as opposed to charging extra for curation), they are able to make it happen by making deals and purchasing in volume, and that those deals don't always provide a perfect distribution of body colors and nib sizes. Besides, it's good to change things up; the types of nibs I enjoy have evolved over the years, and also vary from brand to brand.
I do notice trends in the boxes, at least from my perspective. Most of the pens are European or American; that's not surprising, Truphae seems to focus a little more on those pens and probably has a stronger relationship with those distributors. Often, I seem to get a boutiquey pen with a steel nib or, occasionally, a more basic pen from a large company that features a gold nib. I believe I usually get more expensive bottles of ink with slightly less expensive pens, and vice versa, but that could be my imagination. There are also trends in the brands; I've gotten multiple Esterbrooks, for example, although they've all been different models. I have received one pen model twice (a LeBouef model), ten months apart (in two different color ways, both of which, I believe, were Truphae exclusives), but that has been the exception. If I get to the point where I feel like I'm getting the same thing over and over, I will quit the subscription - it's not like I really need more pens. But I'm not there yet. This is a fun box that I look forward to receiving.
I subscribed to this box to try to expand and vary my collection but kept receiving similar pens. I subscribed to the $150 box for 5 months. During that time I received 3 medium-small black pens: a Lamy Studio in Piano Black, the Lamy Accent in Black Diamond and an Aurora Ipsilon. They are very similar so they didn't add much variety to my collection. The other two pens I got were Esterbrooks (an Estie Jr. and Accutron steel nib) and I liked those better. Based on these issues, I think that I would be better off just buying what I like. I really wanted the red Benu that was exclusive to Truphae. In the reviews of that pen someone said they received it in the monthly box which is what got me to try this hoping it would end up in my box. I think I mentioned that in my preferences. That was the pen I really wanted and now it is out of stock :(. Maybe this will work for you but it doesn't fit my shopping style. The customer service and shipping were good.
Had more expectations for this pen. Perhaps it was the nib and feed. Hopefully… the next will be better.
I have received this box for several months.
Most were great.
I was sent a product that I didn't want, but they accepted an exchange.
There is a note to fill in the request first, but it's possible that it's not working, so it's better to email it separately.
Very nice. I was very pleased and looking forward to the next box.