Lamy Al-Star Vibrant Pink: Pen and Ink

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Lamy did not hide the ball here: the color of this pen is indeed pink.

Of course, one could quibble. To me, it’s probably more “shiny” than “vibrant,” and it’s more “magenta” than just “pink.” It’s fairly dark. And it’s fairly reserved.

To give you an idea, here it is with the Charcoal Safari.

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This is not a barnburner of a pink. It does not leap off the table and accost you with pinkness. It would be, I dare say, just fine for anyone to take to work.

But it’s nice. I think it’s more attractive, and fun, than Lamy’s two prior attempts at something similar — the discontinued Al-Star in Raspberry, or the currently available Al-Star in Dark Purple. Though I don’t think the Vibrant Pink is quite as gorgeous as the (unaccountably) discontinued Ruby Red Al-Star.

All four look nice together.

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From left to right is the Ruby Red, of blessed memory; the Raspberry, which looks better in this company, but insipid on its own; the Vibrant Pink, looking fairly vibrant here; and the Dark Purple, another nice color, but more of a burgundy than a purple.

Kudos to Lamy. Also for the last four annual Al-Stars, all of which have been high on the “attractive and fun” quotient.

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It sure looks like Lamy has used these recent annual editions to make the Al-Star more fun, and less business-like. Exactly the opposite of what it has done with the recent annual Safari models — which have been less fun, more business-like.

I’m getting the sense that Lamy made a strategic decision a few years back, to broaden the market and increase sales for both ranges. Huh.

Well, good for them. Though I miss when the Safari was always fun, I’ll take a fun Al-Star or two.

I wonder, though, how much farther they really can take the Al-Star. It’s made of anodized aluminum, which means a more limited range of colors. And Lamy has used a lot.

Here are some of my Al-Stars, with the Vibrant Pink to the left.

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And some more.

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My absolute favorites? Ruby Red (top photo, third from left), Ocean Blue (top photo, far right), Pearl (bottom photo, fourth), Coffee (bottom photo, fifth), and, surprisingly, the Charged Green (top photo, in the middle).

I don’t think the Charged Green was very popular, possibly because it was Lamy’s 900th green pen in a row, give or take. But unlike most Lamy greens, the shiny chartreuse of Charged Green is stunning. It’s one of the few I’d feel bad about losing.

And I should mention the Vibrant Pink ink, too. With the new pen, I also bought a bottle of Vibrant Pink ink, and a box of Vibrant Pink ink cartridges. The ink is good. But I have reservations.

One, I have a lot of pink ink. And I use pink ink much more than the average person. Still, I’m not sure how much more pink ink is necessary.

Two, and this is the main thing, Lamy added some sort of sparkles to the Vibrant Pink ink in bottles. If you remove the plastic base of the bottle, you can see at the bottom of the glass a thin layer of bits of … something. Sparkles, apparently. It looks like something you want to scrub out, or even like bubbles in the glass.

At least there isn’t much of it.

I don’t understand the sparkles. The feed used on the Lamy Al-Star (as well as the Safari, the Vista and the Lx) is too stingy to get the best from a sparkle ink. So, why? Is it for a sheeny effect? Or did they think a pink ink might as well sparkle?

I mean, this is a Lamy, which gave us two (I think) neon yellow-green inks over the past few years.

I am the world’s biggest, and often only, Lamy fan. But I think it’s possible the Lamy Ink Department is someone’s crazy Aunt Mildred, or a few mid-level executives “brainstorming” late at night in a bar the night before it’s due.

Basically, the sparkles confuse me. They even annoy me, slightly. It’s a riddle, but one wrapped in a “don’t care,” inside a “keep it.”

Instead of dealing with the sparkles, I just inked up a sparkle-free cartridge. Lo and behold, Vibrant Pink ink doesn’t need sparkles. It does just fine. Here’s a quick writing sample.

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Yes, I have two pink inks in use. What is your point?

My Vibrant Pink pen has an extra-fine nib. I wasn’t sure a pink ink would work well in a Lamy with an extra-fine nib. But Vibrant Pink works perfectly. It’s bright and legible, but not eye-searing. Vibrant Pink ink is more of a bubblegum or hot pink, to me, less like the reddish pinks I tend to favor. But it’s a very pleasant pink.

By the way, look one more time at that writing sample up there. As noted, Vibrant Pink is in a Lamy extra-fine. The other ink is Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline, which is in a modern Pelikan with … what nib, do you think? Is that a nice juicy medium? Or maybe a broad? Yes, very close! That’s a modern Pelikan fine.

25 thoughts on “Lamy Al-Star Vibrant Pink: Pen and Ink

  1. Thank you for the great review. 🙂 I came late to the Al-Star party – quite like the Vibrant Pink, but it’s a shame I missed the Ruby. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your collection! Your perplexity over the pink sparkles made me laugh because right now I have 2 Lamys of very boring non-colour…inked up with sparkling golden and teal inks. (They write very smoothly and spark…li…ly, you’ll be pleased to know.) And I love pink inks too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice post! I love the photos! I also collect AL-Stars, and am still missing the Raspberry (if you know someone…let me know). The ruby red one is also my favourite! Got lucky when I found mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review! I’m sad that when I took a slight fp break, all the cool AL-Stars emerged! I do
    Wish they would bring back more colored clips. I bought both the fp & the ink, but the ink is not for me. So, I have it inked with Callifolio Andrinople, which is a good match, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andrinople seems like a better match color-wise. 👍🏻 I took the Vibrant Pink to my pen meetup yesterday. Everyone liked the pen, though most of the men didn’t seem inclined to buy it. 😁 The ink got a more mixed response — I think because the color isn’t really so much of a match. I do have it in an EF nib, though, which doesn’t really show off an ink. 🙂

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  5. I’ve only been into fountain pens for a couple of years, so I had no idea Lamy had put out so many colors! I favor Al-Stars; I like the metallic finish and feel. And tray #1 makes me happy, too. Only, I’d be happier if they were in my drawer! -lol- I do have several, though. I have Purple, Pacific, and Blue-Green. Of Safaris, I have Yellow and Coral. After two, I decided I liked Al-Stars better. I wish I had the Ruby Red and Raspberry. I love that Raspberry shade of pink; it’s a warm shade. And I also like the light green next to Charged Green. But that’s what happens when someone is new to a hobby, though. I guess it’s inevitable that I’d be wanting colors that are no longer available. Sigh….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      I’m more of a Safari fan, historically, but lately I’ve liked the Al-Star colors a lot more.

      With the Raspberry, I should warn that it looks more saturated in those photos than in real life. I’ve always been meh about the Raspberry. But I really like pink, and I really like crazy, fun colors. The Raspberry is more tasteful.

      Honestly, I think we all want a few pens that aren’t available, or are only available for an arm and a leg. But luckily, they keep making more. 🙂

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  6. Your enthusiasm is definitely contagious- thank you for showing us the whole collection and not just the Pink.
    I confess that I probably have them all but they live in pencil cases with their similarly-coloured cousins so don’t go to many AL reunions. Your support for Ruby has prompted me to move it into the fresh air of the pen pot. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! As it turns out, the luckiest good choice I ever made in pens was to buy two small pen cases with drawers, made by another lovely person from England. That’s where those Al-Stars in the photo are sitting. And sometimes when I’m pulling up drawers, looking for a pen to use, I’ll get a little jolt of happiness just seeing what’s in there. It’s a nice way to enjoy them aesthetically without having them all in use.

      And how nice to hear that you are using the Ruby! I should do the same. I’ve only got the one Vibrant Pink Al-Star inked up right now. In fact, my whole pen cup is really boring right now. It needs a shot of Charged Green, at the very least. Maybe I’ll go all Al-Star next week. 🙂

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  7. Your photo of “last four annual Al-Stars” is a 75% match for the color scheme of my travel wardrobe. Seriously, the sneakers I’m wearing as I sit at a gate waiting for my plane coordinate perfectly. (It’s the three colors on the right, minus the orange.) Maybe I should work in that Lamy color selection department…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awesome! Because the three colors on the right are my favorites of the four! We should pitch Lamy.

      Kudos to you for a jazzy travel wardrobe. Mine, such as it is, is black, white and gray. Like a newspaper.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for the review! And, y’know, I quite like some of those colors. I think your enthusiasm is contagious.

    I love how the color inks we have are a bit of a “tell”. You have two pinks, and a whole range of amazing colors… I have three browns, three blues, three blacks, two reds and a green. But I must confess, before I gave my daughter her pen and purple ink the other day, I inked up a spare Platinum Plaisir with a converter-full of her sparkly purple Diamine Lilac Satin.

    Purely for research purposes you understand.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That soft green with the black clip is beautiful! Also, all of the colors look so much prettier when next to each other than solo. I really like the raspberry, it reminds me of a more subtle NeonCoral Safari (which I bought in my sleep and have used probably one time because me and pink aren’t friends). I like the lil bit of sparkle in the ink. It gives it a little extra flair without being another shimmering/sparkling/glistening ink.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad to hear something positive about the sparkles. I’m nonplussed, but not for any rational reason. Maybe that’s just me, circa 2018. The more upbeat and chipper person I used to be probably would have greeted the idea of sparkles in a Lamy pink ink as the greatest combination of things ever.

      But, see, as a fan of pink, and of anything outrageous, I adore the Neon Coral Safari. So I’ll probably like a little flair in the sparkly ink, too. Thank you for that!

      That’s so true: all of the colors look much nicer together. Seeing them all in a row like that makes me happy. Hopefully other people feel the same. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The new ink and pen look pretty good. The pen should look good with Pilot Iroshizuku-Yama budo!! I seem to like magenta more than a regular pink though. I liked the colors and comparisons. Excellent photography as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, I’m sure Yama-budo would be perfect. Another good match would be Colorverse Andromeda, which I should try with it. But I like the Vibrant Pink ink, too. It’s really good on poor paper, too — of course, I’m using it in an extra-fine nib…. 🙂

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