"Golden Axe": brand, sub-brand, sub-sub-brand, or what?

After some searching on this forum and online, I could not find much information about this query, so here I am, hoping that you may have the missing pieces of information I’d like to get.

So, apart from the name of an old video-game (those hand-held micro-games with liquid crystal screens, mimicking arcade games but in portable size, from the early 90’s… gosh, I feel old), “Golden Axe” is what I see imprinted on the body of just two pencils I own. See picture below.

The top one is a 0.3mm drafting pencil with plastic body and metal grip, with occasional (plastic, I suppose) brass accents; I found it in Milan a couple of years ago, in a remote drawer of a stationary shop selling much newer stuff. It might have had a clip at the beginning — a clip which might be in my clip cup — but I’m sure it was unbranded.

The bottom one is instead a 0.5mm pencil with a protecting sleeve too short to be dedicated to drafting; the body is in an old-style black plastic, with hexagonal shape, but the edges are not that sharp, being instead gracefully smooth. It came via a bulk purchase on Ebay without the clip, and I have no idea whether it originally had one or not.

Quick closeup picture…

Apart from that, I don’t know much about these two items: the colour scheme for the 0.3 looks suspiciously close to the one sported by Mitsubishi pencils, to the point that I don’t know whether I’m looking at a ripoff, or an early model. I could not find any reference to era or year, but I admit I didn’t try disassemble the objects to search the cavities for finer prints/engravings.

Finally, some of you might have already said something along these lines: «Hey Leonov, your 0.3 Golden Axe looks exactly like a green pencil I know/own/have seen!», and you are undoubtedly right: the 0.3 model is clearly a repainted and refitted version of an A.W. Faber-Castell TK 9555, as can be seen by this picture:

The resemblance is truly striking, perhaps too striking, and I’m confident that there must be some sort of relationship between the two models (again: intended, or malicious?). Which opens up a different can of worms: specifically, I’ve only seen the (original?) German TK 9555 in 0.5mm, as opposed e.g. to a TK 9705, which I think also came in 0.3 and 0.7. So, either the 9555 had at the time a 9553-or-so companion which I’ve never seen listed, or the Golden Axe company/brand/division decided to modify the design to provide a 0.3 version, otherwise unseen in Europe.

I’m very confused. But then again, this was precisely my point. Any help would be much appreciated. :slight_smile:


Looks just like Uni’s Hi-Pitch.

Also, there is a 0.3 TK 9555, it uses gold for the clip, lettering, tip and grip instead of silver, TK9503.

Photo posted on reddit by @2nd_astronaut


Probably some Mitsubishi OEM? The lettering is theirs, the models too, at least the first one. I believe the Fabers were made by Mitsubishi also. I once got 3 unbranded ones in an auction. I assume they were those M3-50 models that would be later imprinted and sold to others brands.





I also tend to believe that Uni made those models, but not long ago I read here an opposite statement (unfortunately I don’t remember from whom or which thread)…

It would be nice to hear it.

But adding to the “uni” camp, there’s also the fact that 0.3mm wasn’t/isn’t very popular or useful in Europe and the US. Most western manufacturers tend to limit their production to 0.5 or 0.7mm — and 0.7 alone in luxury writing instruments.

But they are always priced higher? And sell?

I’m 0.3mm to the core, settle for 0.5.

If only that lack of desire existing towards current products was also true for the vintage market.

After a few days of me leaving this thread on its own, and gorging on your excellent answers, I’d like to thank you all, wholeheartedly, for all the insightful information and valuable data regarding the Golden Axe pair of MP’s I reported here.

Another thing comforting me is that, for once, I don’t have to add another item to my “wanted” list: no matter how much I love the idea of completeness, and the amazing golden finishes on the TK 9503, I’ve never been able to grip my 9555 properly, and get any positive vibe from it, so I won’t look for its 0.3 companion — also given the fact that I already have a clone in a colour I prefer.

This forum does deliver, as always.