Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen: Quick Look

This is the first of a brand new series of videos I’m calling “Quick Look”, where I touch on the highlights of the products I carry on in a very condensed format. This isn’t meant to go deep, but give you, well, a quick look at the key aspects of what makes this pen special and who would like it.

The Lamy Al-Star is a very popular fountain pen for newbies and experienced enthusiasts alike. This is a quick look at the pen with its key features.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Ocean Blue
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Ocean Blue
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Black
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Black
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Bluegreen
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Bluegreen
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Graphite
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Graphite

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Purple
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Purple

What I’m thinking is that since this video is so short, I’d probably hold off from doing a post every video, but maybe do a compilation every 3-4 videos and roundup a bunch of pens into a single blog post. I dunno, I’m still working all that out. But I thought since there are so many pens out there that people would really just love to know a little bit more about, this format will allow me to hit on a lot of pens in a short period of time. These will really be ideal for embedding on the specific product pages of, and that’s really kind of their intention. I wanted to share them here, as well, so that you could give me some feedback.

Do let me know what you think in the comments! I plan to shoot a lot more videos like this.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:34:02+00:00 April 22nd, 2014|Pen Reviews|25 Comments
  • Wendy Williams

    It's nice to get a short spurt of info, but it does lack your awesome personality and wit. I like it though and think it would be a nice short for every pen that you post on the individual web page for those pens. I went to a pen page the other day to see the disassemble video for a pen I have that needed cleaning. I think a video like this would be a nice addition. But please don't ever stop the laid back versions of your videos where your personality shines. Your enthusiasm is a big part of why you get so much of my money. You love your product as much as I do.

  • Julian Popp

    I like the idea of product specific videos for the product page and the wrap-up within a blog post. It is short… indeed.
    You could extend the duration to a maximum of two minutes and include specific aspects like ink flow and – beside all of the pro arguments – some cons as well. For example: the nibs are interchangeable but sometimes have flow issues. Without cons and your specific knowledge about the products it sounds more like reading the marketing brochure.
    Thanks for your inspiration and constant contribution to the community! Greetz from Germany!

  • Michele Harvey

    Yes. Excellent idea! And although Wendy may have something when she talks about time and value of personality to product, this is just a first or many to come and there will be no holding Brian back once he's got the format down.

    My only niggle would be to mention the price point (or range) and the biggest reason folks choose a specific model; perhaps in this case sheer numbers of users and buyers (I think you did cover a lot in a short amount here: nib swapping, converter, materials, colors etc.) As much as you're good to look at Brian, close focus on the pen & its accoutrement are all important to a buyer. Your voice is confident and pitch-friendly in itself.

    Good for you trying out the new format! Short & sweet! I like it! Look forward to many more!

  • BBurgess

    Short and to the point. Cut to the chase. Shakespeare & Rush Limbaugh, "Brevity is the soul of wit."

  • lililu

    Like it.

  • Dan

    Great Video, So true too. It was my first pen, and it is still one of my daily writers, even though i have gotten other more expensive pens, the Al-Star will always have a place

  • Chuck Roemer

    Very polished! I think it shows off the pen well.

  • Maggie B

    I like this for a quick overview or teaser, but I still love your full-length videos. I think they are a differentiator for your awesome brand!

  • Awesome feedback, Wendy, thank you! I definitely won't stop doing my normal long laid-back rambling videos ๐Ÿ˜‰ They do take a lot of time to prepare and shoot though, more than you'd think. So these shorter videos are meant to serve exactly the purpose you mentioned, as quick videos for the product pages on my site. This is the first one I've shot so part of the reason my personality isn't shining through as much is because I'm still figuring out exactly what I want to say. But I've already shot a couple more and I'm getting more comfortable as I'm doing them, so I do think they'll improve. But they're short, so they'll definitely be more to-the-point.

  • This is very true, and that's great feedback. I had actually originally planned to include things like pros, cons, and some other small details, but it became a really slippery slope and started pushing 5 minutes so easy. The point of these videos is to be short, short, short. I just have to cut it off somewhere. The idea behind these videos is that they'll pique your interest and make you want to learn more, at which point you'll read more in the detailed product description, watch my more in-depth reviews (if I have them for the particular pen), read customer reviews, read other bloggers' reviews, etc. These are meant to be a little glossy…honest, but really focusing on the positive and unique aspects of the pen.

  • That's an excellent point, Michele. Price is tough, because I want these videos to be as timeless as possible. The main purpose these videos will serve is embedded on the product pages on my site, in which case you'd already see the price. What's tough with prices is that sometimes they change, and my mentioning a price in a video outdates it as soon as that happens. Perhaps I could give a range? I'll have to think on this one, I agree that it would be really useful info to have includedโ€ฆas long as the info stays accurate ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • There you have it! And for anyone who's pretty much watched any of my other videos, you know that brevity is not something that comes natural to me ๐Ÿ˜‰ I've been trying to figure out how I can make a short video work for me for some time, and I think I'm finally on to something.

  • sweet.

  • Oh heck yeah. This pen I showed is my personal Al-Star that I've been using for at least 3 years. Still love it.

  • Great! I'm glad to hear that.

  • Aw, thanks Maggie ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, I'll definitely plan to do more long ones, but I have such a severe shortage of short videos in my library, I thought I should really give them a try. I plan to continue to do both to serve different purposes. Gotta keep things fresh, y'know?

  • Cathy D.

    Perfect for those who are new to your videos and the fountain pen world. A few additional details would have worked as well.

  • Leo

    Wow, it looks brand new. Do they keep their shine for long?

  • Leo

    Hey Brian, this format is a great idea. You could also add a list of specs like length, weight and if you can post the pen are all some examples you could add. Write On!

  • Freddy

    Brian, as far as I'm concerned you hit a sweet spot with this. Keep 'em coming. In the short time span you gave just enough information, in an attractive way, to make someone do just what you suggested, that is get more information and reviews on the Goulet site.

  • Michele Harvey

    Yes a range or descriptor like entry level or lower level, mid-range etc. and see the online store for exact pricing etc. When buying anything it's
    always helpful. There are times price doesn't matter (I think with the highest priced pens this is the case.) But especially with so-called entry level pens, (below $50) it does. I think also the fountain pen 'habit' happens because their is no 'perfect' pen. all have strengths and weaknesses. The reason to buy one pen more than another becomes important with so many competing choices. Personally I've tried the top entry level pens but have kept the lamy safaris (the plastic version of the Al-Star) around as my no-brainer pens. They are no worry pens. No leaks, interchangeable nibs, converter fill, unbreakable, easily cleaned and easily replaceable. The only downside (to me) is I personally find them unappealing visually. I've tried a number of competing entry level pens which were prettier but kept the lamys for their unwavering performance & quick nib switch out.
    Once a pen has down the options of nib quality, filling and cleaning ease, reliability/writeability, nib swappability and postability there's not much else but size and looks and that's subjective.

  • Yoganan

    Perfect–concise, enticing, just enough details. Nice 'snack' size viewing.

  • John Johnson

    Love the new format – video reviews are a BIG help on which pen to buy, and its usually a 10 minute video from you (if you have one) and a 30 minute video from sbrebrown (he always has one lol). A 2 minute overview in video form would be incredibly helpful for all of us. I think putting in a quick view of a writing sample would also be nice.

  • aaronwest

    I agree with others this "quick hit" format is very nice. Sometimes it's hard to find the time to watch a 15 minute (or more) video. The less than 2 mins approach might mean more views. I know I'd be able to watch more of the videos if they were a little shorter.

  • Indira

    I like the quick look approach as a basic introduction and overview to the pen. It was informative and hit some key points that highlight how the pen is unique. If I want more information I know that you have done other in-depth videos on the pen and since the website is so user friendly I can probably find those listed on the product's purchase page.