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Bright Boss


bright colours, long lasting


Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Value for money



34 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (8%):
  1. pgn0
  2. jesi
  3. alexcatt97
very helpful by (93%):
  1. KathEv
  2. anonymili
  3. koshkha
and 34 other members

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Every second two STABILO BOSS Highlighters are sold in 100 countries all over the world, 60 million a year. If all these highlighters were put end to end, they’d reach round the globe one and a half times. How many of the customers know that this stationary product was invented and is produced in Germany, in the town of Weissenburg, Bavaria, to be precise?

The trade logo is a red swan in a red circle. The swan was chosen in 1875 for the factory producing pencils because the name of the founder of the firm was Schwanhäußer (Schwan meaning swan in English), and also because the swan is considered a beautiful animal. The Schwanhäußers - the firm is still a family run enterprise - hoped the attributes beauty and purity associated with it would rub off on their products.

The STABILO BOSS was born in 1971 and has become the unchallenged market leader in the field of highlighters worldwide, a real BOSS. It comes in nine colours, the most widespread seems to be yellow. I conclude this from the facts that firstly, the homepage and the video on The Making Of STABILO BOSS only show yellow specimens, secondly, that in the biggest and best stationer’s shop in our town they only have yellow refills, thirdly, that when I told my students to underline the main idea of a text, most took a yellow STABILO BOSS out of their pencil-cases and rarely one in the other fluorescent colours blue, green, red, grey, orange, dark violet, pink or light violet. Last but not least, I mostly use yellow myself. I usually have a yellow highlighter in the drawer of my desk, occasionally a pink one for a change.

The intelligent students can use their highlighters a long time, the main idea can be expressed in a half sentence, the unintelligent ones, who underline everything, use up the ink, which according to the STABILO BOSS people lasts for a line of 400m, much more quickly, of course.

The whole STABILO BOSS highlighter is 10,5 cm long. It‘s 2,5 cm wide and 1,5 cm thick where the body and the black cap meet. The ends are slightly narrower and thinner. Because the body isn’t round it can’t roll away on a smooth surface. The cap must be pulled off and clicked back on with a bit of force, there’s no danger of the colour ever running out and ruining something. The body of each specimen has the swan logo and the words STABILO BOSS ORIGINAL on one side and the article number and a bar code on the other one thus fighting copycats.

The tip is surrounded by a black piece of plastic, that means that all STABILO BOSS highlighters come in black and one of the nine fluorescent colours which looks quite stylish. The felt tip is 5 mm wide and slant, you can highlight a text either with its whole breadth or turn it round and use the fine end for fine lines.

The STABILO people maintain that highlighters don’t belong in children’s hand. Right they are, what is there to highlight if someone can’t read or write? Yet, should a child feel it can express their creativity only with the help of highlighters, no harm will be done. In manufacturing its colours STABILO uses only environmentally compatible solvents and guarantees no poisonous materials. It is stressed explicitly that environmental compatibility is taken into account and that constant research is conducted in the laboratories for materials which are even easier on the environment.

I’m all for saving superfluous material and money but I must confess that I only bought a refill for the sake of research. The difference between a new STABILO BOSS and a refill is less than 10 cent. If a highlighter is empty, I usually buy a new one. When is it empty? That’s not so easy to say. The colour loses its brightness and the line becomes weaker, but if the highlighter is kept upside down for a while, it’s possible to use it for some more lines. This can be repeated several times. Thus the intelligent students who know that they don’t have to underline everything can use their highlighter a bit longer.

So everything is fine with this product? It seems so. The idea that STABILO BOSS triggers off jaundice didn’t prove to be true. An English prisoner highlighted his whole body in yellow hoping to be sent to hospital for some days of relaxation, but nobody fell for it.

To prove the universal appeal of the product the homepage informs us that there’s a Canadian rock band with the name STABILO BOSS and that the French have coined the phrase ‘stabiloter quelque chose’ for highlighting something.

I’ve tried other brands but have always returned to STABILO BOSS.

Amazon sells a Wallet of 8 Assorted Colours for 5.13 GBP.

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Comments about this review »

pgn0 05.11.2010 22:40

Those two STABILO BOSS Highlighters must have a transport mechanism similar to that of Father Christmas to be in all those places in that short a space of time... ;o) They are the elite of highlighters, it has to be said - well reviewed!

paulpry118 29.10.2010 22:05

They've got legs in this house, I buy and pack and they disappear probably into my Hubby's van

brereton66 29.10.2010 12:31

I think it's fair to say that everyone loves highlighting stuff.

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The original highlighter with the distinctive shape and high long lasting fluorescence Line width: 2-5mm Assorted p...

Product details

Type Highlighters & Markers
Long Name Boss Highlighters
MPN 70/10-1


Listed on Ciao since 11/02/2009

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Review Ratings »

This review of Stabilo Boss Highlighters has been rated:

"exceptional" by (8%):

  1. pgn0
  2. jesi
  3. alexcatt97

"very helpful" by (93%):

  1. KathEv
  2. anonymili
  3. koshkha

and 34 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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