Iconic “Retro” Pen Set Review

They other day I realized that, with alllll my markers, I didn’t have a single one I’d call a “mustard” color. I bought this set of 80 Crayola Markers (including 12 scented markers! Hellloooooo 4th grade!) and between that pack and some other more expensive pens I had, I thought it would be years before I needed to buy more. 

But I was missing any kind of mustard colored pen. So of course I went to my favorite shopping site during this pandemic: Amazon. I searched for a “mustard pen”… The first response was this Copic Marker… a good quality choice, but it was $8 for one pen, plus they wanted me to pay for shipping! On Amazon? No thanks. 😜

But there was another result that intrigued me… 

This 5 pack of markers – including the mustard color I was looking for, not to mention some other super cool colors – for under $7 for the whole set! 

With a 4.5 star rating, and the free shipping I’ve grown accustom to with Amazon Prime, I thought it couldn’t hurt to give them a try for myself. 

I think the overall consensus in the reviews was quite accurate.

Here is an overview of what I read that I agree with:

Iconic “Retro” Pen Set Pros

  • The colors are amazing
  • The price is right
  • I love the dual tips
  • The chisel tip allows for extra creativity 
  • They’re water-based so you can use them almost like watercolor pens
  • Even on my very thin planner paper, there wasn’t any bleed-through until I made 5+ passes in one spot
  • Did I mention the amazing, on-trend colors?

Iconic “Retro” Pen Set Cons

  • The small tip is so small, and the colors are so light, it’s hard to read if you’re using it for lettering
  • The chisel nibs are rough, so if you go over a spot more than two times (or more) there will liking be some piling on your paper (see video below)
  • While I listed being water-based as a pro, some art journalers might consider it a con, as they’d rather have a permanent ink. So this one comes down to personal preference
Based on my personal experience…. well, I’m in love with these pens. They do offer other color sets, which you can be sure I’ll purchase in the near future. 
I mentioned the set I purchased is called “Retro”, but check out these delightful color names:
  • Cloudy Blue
  • Brownie Pink
  • Mustard Yellow
  • Pale Vermilion 
  • Warm Grey

Here’s a quick video that shows how the colors layer. I like that you can create a gradient, but there is some piling due to the chisel tip being so rough.

As I mentioned before, there was no bleed-through on  any pages, including my thin planner paper, which is great because I will definitely be using them in there. The other Iconic sets I’ve saved to my wish list now that I know what to expect:

  • Deco
  • Retro Mild Highlighters (which is a larger pack that includes the five colors I’ve reviewed here, plus five more – I’d say- brighter colors)
  • Pastel Retro (which also includes the five colors I reviewed here, plus five more light colors)

And just so you know, the little journal I used in these photos is an amazing mixed-media sketchbook from Bee Paper Company. They’re a little on the pricey side, but SO worth it! 

Well, that’s all for today… I just had to share because I’m seriously so obsessed with this pretty pen set! I hope you love it, too. 

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