I have one irrational complaint against this pen: the use of all lower-case letters in its name. That’s the way Lamy wants it, though, so I’m stuck with it. The abc is a beginner’s pen, aimed at kids who are only just starting to use more than a crayon. It was designed by the same team responsible for the Safari. The big ball at the tail is there as a safety measure, reducing to one the number of ends the kid might stab himself one (I use the masculine pronoun only because I bought one for my son).
The remaining stabby portion, the point, is also specific to the early writer, being extremely firm and rather bold. The size indicator on it is “A” for Anfänger, which is simply German for “beginner”. It’s set into a section which, like that of the Safari, is shaped to urge a specific grip on the pen; it shares with the Safari a clever ambidexterity which Pelikan seems to resist in its efforts for the youth market.
Apart from my frivolous opening complaint, I have one small beef about the abc. The protective tail prevents the cap from posting, which requires that the cap must be set aside when the pen is in use. This means that a 4 to 7 year old child must be relied upon to not mislay the cap. This is a degree of care which may be common in German children, but which strikes me as somewhat optimistic. The cap is also without a clip, suggesting the pen is meant to stick close to the work-space; a more sensible piece of design.
Production Run: 1987 – present.
Cost When New: $26.00, MSRP for 2011.
Size: 13.3 cm long capped, 12.5 cm open.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 1.0 ml.
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