That’s right, FREE. Noodler’s gives away the Platinum Preppy with their inks.
As for my review, it’d be tempting to say “what do you want? it’s a free pen.” But the fact is, this pen over-delivers in every way and outperforms most pens under $50.
The Writing Experience
…is awesome. I’m gonna be controversial and say this writes better than everyone’s favorite budget pen, the Lamy Safari. But it costs five times less than the Lamy.
The nib isn’t overly springy but it doesn’t feel like writing with a nail either (cough cough –Safari–cough cough.) Like other Japanese nibs, this one lays down a fine line. There is an “05” (medium) option but that’s harder to come by. The default is a western fine.
There’s no line variation whatsoever. So the preppy is not a budget option for fine writing.
Design and Looks
The barrel is covered in Japanese writing–at least on mine, which I bought in Japan–this is kind of fun, but it definitely marks it as a cheap pen. Like the Varsity, there’s a barcode on the barrel.
On the plus side, the barrel is transparent, so you always know exactly how much ink you have left.
The best feature of this pen–the one I wish other manufacturers would copy–is the air-tight cap. I’ve picked up my Preppy after many months of neglect and disuse and the nib was still wet. This makes it no more temperamental than a ballpoint pen.
The Preppy uses a proprietary cartridge that has a tiny metal ball in it.
Not sure what that’s for, but it means This is to break the surface tension of the ink and improve the flow, but it means there’s a slight rattling in your pen.
I haven’t tried the Noodler’s option, but the Heart of Darkness, that includes this pen, is one of the most praised inks out there. It’s made in the USA and it’s permanent.
The coolest option is to convert your Preppy into an eyedropper pen. With a simple modification, you can fill the entire barrel with ink. Doing it this way gives you 2-3 times the capacity of a cartridge or or converter. The Noodler’s bottle comes with an eye dropper for just this purpose.
This video from Goulet Pens shows you how to convert your preppy:
The Bottom Line
Get yourself a Preppy, no matter who you are:
New to fountain pens? Start with the Preppy, it’s the perfect first pen.
So into fountain pens that you don’t want to write with anything else? Make the Preppy your everyday beater, fill your cup with Preppys.
Can’t justify an expensive pen but don’t like throwing your Varsities away? Get a preppy for $2 more.
Gifting a fountain pen? Buy a dozen Preppies and give them to all your friends. That’s what I did when I was in Japan.
Want to modify your pen or covert it to an eyedropper? the Preppy’s price means your experiments will never be too costly if they go wrong.