The Menlo is definitely my favorite of all of the Edison pens that I've tried to date. I prefer the more slender torpedo shape that sits well in the hand and is comfortable to write with posted or unposted. Since this pen does not have the brass pump filling system that the Menlo is known for, it's extremely light and perfect for longer writing sessions. I have it filled as an eyedropper, so it also has an enormous ink capacity. I haven't measured it yet, but my best guess would be around 4ml. The ink lasts a long time on one fill.
The Material: Discontinued Tibaldi Celluloid
This pen is made from Tibaldi "Impero" celluloid, which is no longer available so I snatched this pen up as soon as I saw it come on the secondary "Slack" market. This particular celluloid might be the most beautiful material I've ever owned. It's a mixture of black, graphite, and gray pearl intermixed with veins of bright blue (think "Bung Box Sapphire" blue). Photographs don't do the celluloid justice: the material appears much darker on the screen than it does in real life, and you can't get a good sense of the depth of color and complexity of the design.
This custom pen also features a clear acrylic ink window, which can serve as both a reminder of the color ink you have in the pen and a "warning light" to let you know when you're about to run out. A big thank you to my friend and fellow Pen Addict "Slacker" Phil for commissioning this design, and then passing it along for sale!
A word of caution about celluloid pens: they can stain. Usually, I would not use a celluloid pen body as an eyedropper (or even as a Menlo pump-filler) because the ink is constantly in contact with the material, and will eventually cause the pen to discolor. Because the Tibaldi celluloid is so dark, however, I haven't had any problems with noticeable staining from blue, black, or blue-black inks.
A Note about Edison Nibs
You observant readers may have noticed that I've already reviewed the nib on this pen. The GREAT thing about Edison Pens (and Franklin-Christoph pens, and Scriptorium pens, and Newton pens) is that the nibs are interchangeable. The Edison Menlo accepts #6 JoWo Nibs, so I swapped out the stock extra-fine that came with this pen for my Franklin-Christoph Masuyama Broad Cursive Italic that I purchased with my Pocket 66. I love this nib. The cursive italic grind has excellent line variation, and is a slightly drier writer than a stub nib, which makes this nib an excellent choice for work.
The Menlo is an Edison "signature line" pen, meaning that it's custom-made to order, and because the standard Menlo has the fancy filling system, prices start at $350. You would need to confirm with Brian Gray of Edison, but I believe the price for an eyedropper or cartridge/converter Menlo would be $250, since you would not have the added cost of the pump filler. You also may have added cost depending on the material you choose and whether or not you opt for a gold nib. Brian's pricing is standard for a custom pen, and to me represents good value.
I'm a big fan of what Brian is doing over at the Edison Pen Company. His pens are of excellent quality, and he has a wide range of offerings suitable for many different tastes. He will also work with you on completely custom designs. I highly recommend you check him out.
Disclaimer: I purchased this pen with my own funds for my own collection. I have not been compensated in any way for this review.