Last week, Baron Fig continued the recent expansion of their product line by announcing that the Confidant hardcover notebook would be available in two new sizes: a "Plus" size and a "Pocket" size, similar to what they offer with the Vanguard softcover notebooks. They sent me a couple to test out, and I'm most excited about the larger Confidant. I've used the very large A4 Leuchtturm 1917 Master in the past, and enjoyed it, but the Confidant Plus (7" x 10") isn't quite as big, making it more portable and probably easier to use, overall.
I also recently received a pack of the "Snakes & Ladders" Limited Edition Archer Pencils. The theme is based on an ancient board game of the same name. According to Baron Fig, "the symbols help to encourage you through obstacles you may slither into as you climb to find success."
Like the original Archers, these are high quality cedar pencils. They feature a matte vermillion finish that give the pencils a nice grip, and I personally appreciate the slightly hard, toothy graphite most reminiscent of a European HB (maybe a touch darker). Archer pencils lack an eraser, which may be a deal-breaker for some but I do enjoy the clean lines of a capped pencil, and not being tempted to correct "mistakes" when I'm in the middle of a brainstorming session.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
As I've discussed before, Baron Fig has embarked upon a rapid expansion of their product line, centered around an ambitious, four-product limited edition subscription service. It remains to be seen whether this will all be too much, too fast. While I like what I see from the company - all of these recent releases have been high quality and, at least to me, well-executed - I do wonder whether the market has had time to process all of it. The pace of one limited edition per product line, per quarter, could make it hard for Baron Fig fans to keep track of them all, much less find the extra money to be able to enjoy everything the company is releasing. Right now, there are two limited edition Confidants and two Vanguards available, presumably with a new Confidant on the way soon. To expand the standard Confidant line on top of that could risk over-saturating the market with options and/or diluting their brand, not to mention being very expensive for the Company. That said, I have no inside information on Baron Fig's sales, the size of their releases, and any future marketing and/or expansion plans they may have, so I'll be watching alongside the rest of you to see how things develop.
All of Baron Fig's products are available directly from the company through their website. The Archer pencils are a standard $15 per dozen. The new Confidants are $22 for the Plus and $12 for the Pocket, coming in right around the Flagship Confidant at $18.
Disclaimer: Baron Fig sent me the products featured here at no charge for review purposes.