The only thing that interested me was the stapler. The rest made me think I should be a member of the committee.
Every year at the International Stationery & Office Products Fair Tokyo (note: link now getting ready for next year) a select group of five people choose new products for the “Grand Prix” or top products of the year. The two main categories are “Functionality” and “Design”. Last year’s winners included Suito Cleaning Paper and an expensive tape measure.
This year’s nominees, and winners, were, for the most part, unimpressive.
The Lihit Lab standing pen case had potential but suffered from being silicon, which made it slippery. It also requires two hands to use. To open you had to unzip it, then you pushed it on the desk and a center tube pushed the pens and pencils up. When you went to close the case, you had to pull the tube down. I told them it would be really cool if I could squeeze it to open it and then squeeze back after standing it up.
The paper products weren’t that interesting. The “Design” Grand Prix winner featured Japanese manuscript paper printed with color unique enough that people apparently use it for wrapping paper. It’s not that useful, though, unless you write manuscripts in Japanese or wrap presents.
The Knoxbrain LUFT is a more traditional sized Traveler’s notebook (no surprise as Knoxbrain is owned by DESIGNPHIL which owns Traveler’s) It uses ring clips which makes it a thin Filofax. It was nice looking but was nothing special.
I liked the white board brush, but it’s more of a specialty item than something useful to the general public.
The lighted hanko/chop is interesting, and I like that all you have to do is touch the bottom section with your finger to turn on the light,but it’s more for people worried about getting things perfect than for the general public.
The ruler pen thing was well made, and reasonably priced, but not something I’d ever need.
I liked the bookends. The colors were great and they had a brushed texture that was cool. I’ll look for them in the future.
My favorite thing was the stapler. It’s made by Max, who also make an impressive small stapler capable of binding 40 pages with no problems. Th award nominee is the size of a thick USB thumb drive and designed to be carried loose in a pencil case. It handles 10-15 pages with only two fingers. I liked it enough I ordered one after I got home.
My only complaint about the small stapler was the name. Never call your product “gimmick” (says the man who calls his blog Mere Blather).