Mabie Todd Blackbird Inks: Robin Red

  • Where to buy: Blackbird Inks [Here]
  • Price: £5.95
  • Bottle size: 30ml
  • Price/ml: £0.20 (2dp)
  • Colour: Red
  • Shading: Some
  • Sheening: No
  • Recommend?: A nice mix of a vibrant red-orange mix – much like you’d expect from a robin itself, making it a very good name for the ink. I enjoy it!

Recently I have found myself down another rabbit hole, still in the pen hobby, but more niche. Mabie Todd fountain pens. Unfortunately, Mabie Todd ceased production, but now the brand has been resurrected and this begins with a line of inks: Blackbird Inks (to pay homage to Mabie Todd’s previous line of inks, Swan Inks). So to say I am really excited about this is an understatement as it brings new inks and new pens. I have an offering of six inks to review for you. These inks are made in England – operating in the same way Mabie Todd did back in the 20th century. The pens will also be made in England, which is why the release will be a bit later on because it’ll take longer to manufacture than outsourcing. Though, well worth the wait and stays true to the Mabie Todd brand that brought us the pen of the British Empire.

Mabie Todd Robin Red fountain pen ink review

All the inks are named after birds, which is a great theme. You can buy the inks here directly. Links to independent reviews will be uploaded as and when they’re made – all links open in a separate tab. You can find the reviews here (all links open to a separate tab)-

Robin Red was an interesting one for me because I was so shocked when I started using it. Not necessarily in a good, nor a bad, way just.. Surprised at the colour that came from the nib. Initially I thought that I had left too much water in the feed of the pen from a prior washing, so I proceeded to wash it again and make sure it was fully dry before inking it up again, and the same colour came out. I wasn’t expecting a vibrant blood red and the orange-red was sort of expected (because.. Robins) but I wasn’t expecting it to be so vibrant – more of a toned down muted orange-red. Autumnal.

Blackbird Inks Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Robin Red

That being said, I do really like this ink colour and I would be happy to use it in normal writing, as it’s not a typical red that I would associate with not being able to write with otherwise (I have a weird thing where I don’t like daily writing with red inks). This really is a nice colour and I don’t know of any other comparisons that you could make with it, other than KWZ Grapefruit, but this is a very vibrant orange with not so much red in it.

Here are a few comparisons:

Blackbird Inks Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Robin RedBlackbird Inks Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Robin Red

On cheaper paper I was very impressed with how this performed. I think this had the least feathering of them all, perhaps only rivalled by Blackbird Black. Though it does have more showthrough and bleed (a very small amount) than Blackbird Black, which isn’t difficult because the black had basically no show or bleed at all. So not very surprised on that front. Still a good ink to use I would say.

Blackbird Inks Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Robin RedBlackbird Inks Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Robin Red

Again, not waterproof.


This ink is a nice mix of orange and red, as one would see in a robin. This is a very apt name for it, instead of something like “red kite” (which is the only other red bird I know of, unless you were to see a very annoyed/angry flamingo, perhaps). The vibrancy makes it fun to use.


Disclaimer: I was sent this ink in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are my own.


6 thoughts on “Mabie Todd Blackbird Inks: Robin Red

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