Hello Hello Kitty // Kaweco x Hello Kitty AL Sport Fountain Pen [REVIEW]

Kaweco AL Sport – Limited Edition Hello Kitty Collaboration – Sakura colourway
F Steel nib
$158USD (Pen & Tool) (10% Discount with code: HELLOKITTY)
Currently Inked: Ferris Wheel Press Lady Rose
$48 CAD (Ferris Wheel Press)

It is no secret that I like cute things. Maybe it wasn’t made specifically known here on the bloggy, but let it be known now, that I do like cute things. ๐Ÿ™‚ Among these cute things, from as long as I can remember, I have loved Hello Kitty and basically all things that have that generic white cat face on it. When I first saw this pen on the Well Appointed Desk back in February, I literally could not help myself. I probably purchased one for myself within the hour because I was so worried it would sell out and I would never be able to get one again. Of course, there does still seem to be stock left โ€” get yours now! โ€” so all was not lost a few months later. In any case, I am very happy with my purchase, and it is also my first time trying an AL Sport vs the entry level edition (link) that I reviewed a whiles back. So let’s get to it, the Limited Edition Kaweco x Hello Kitty AL Sport Fountain Pen review!

Looks
Does this pen look super awesome? You bet it does!!

I should probably have prefaced this with the fact that this is going to be a very biased review from the get go. I love anything that has hello kitty attached to it. It’s the collector and materialist in me that drives this sometimes irrational decision making. Take those wireless earbuds in the photo for example. Do I need wireless earbuds? No, not really. Working from home, I usually just use speakers. And when I commute, I usually need the car, so the radio’s on. But slap a Hello Kitty on it (plus I actually used points to redeem these), and I’m about 70% more likely to consider it.

In any case, I think it’s safe to say (spoiler alert) this pen still meets all the expectations of the pen enthusiast in me on top of having the Hello Kitty stamp. This is a pocket fountain pen, one of very few that I own. It’s very small in size, measuring 10.7cm (4 1/4″) in length with the cap on. The pen uncapped is about 10cm (4″) long and 12.8cm (5″) posted. It’s fairly hard to use unposted, and for someone who doesn’t usually post their pens, posting is definitely required to comfortably use this pen. I think I inherently always have a fear that I will scratch the pen surface when I post. Also I generally don’t like the added weight towards the back when drawing with a fountain pen. But for pocket pens it’s basically required, and I don’t mind it. Kaweco Sport pens also have a very unique and recognizable design to them, so I can’t argue with how they’re intended to be used!

The nib is absolutely adorable. Gold plated steel with a big Hello Kitty face etched on. They really went all out on the collaboration and it’s very much appreciated. The nib is small, to match the proportions of a pocket pen, measuring about 1.7cm (5/8″). The pen also comes with a matching gold clip. I’m not familiar with AL Sports, but all my regular plastic Kaweco Sports did not come with a clip so this was a nice addition. “Kaweco x Hello Kitty” is engraved on the cap as well WITH her little bow too and I love little details like this. They could have just went with the lettering, but to take the added step of putting the bow, is very wonderful to see.

The material of the body and cap is machined aluminum in a light blush/sakura pink colour. It’s a bit of a ever so slightly dirty pink when it’s applied to aluminum but I don’t mind at all. Maybe my eyes are getting tired of bright pink, so seeing a light take on pink was quite soothing.

Lastly, the packaging was also very nice. A special Hello Kitty branded sleeve to go with the classic Kaweco metal case. Inside there are the usual booklets and a spare universal mini cartridge. I opted to use my spare converter since matching an ink with this pen was too important. ๐Ÿ™‚

Feel
Pocket pens are a curious type for me. I have relatively small hands but proportionally longer fingers so smaller pens are usually no problem for me. However I always found pocket pens to be on the slightly too small end and my laziness in not posting pens generally has me avoiding them. Regardless of that, this is a wonderful feeling pocket pen and it writes and behaves as I would expect of a quality brand like Kaweco.

My initial use of it was wonderful. Very smooth flowing ink and rarely any skips and hard starts. If I leave it uncapped however, it will definitely have some hard starts. This pen is also a little picky about what paper is used. I actually had a lot of trouble when I used the watercolour paper in my new review book (see Bloggiversary IV). It was a real struggle and I had skips and hard starts regularly while trying to finish up the drawing. When I went back to smoother paper however, the pen had no issues once again and was buttery smooth. I can’t say this is specifically a this-pen problem, since generally very toothy paper like cold pressed watercolour paper will inherently always cause more friction with a fountain pen. But it was fairly noticeable for this one, versus say my previous pens I’ve used in this notebook so far. (see monthly inked)

Regardless of this though, the weight is great in hand, not too heavy for a metal pen, and not too light like their plastic versions. There is enough weight for it to feel like you’re holding something valuable though! balance is of course slightly towards the back once posted, but since the overall length of the pen is so small, the pen still feels balanced in hand. Reverse use of the nib works, but not amazing, and is almost non-existent when used on the toothy paper. Not a huge deal.

The ‘F’ nib on the pen is a typical western thickness, not ultra thin like I usually like it, but since this is a pocket pen, it’s not something I would use for extended drawing periods anyway. It’s a great pen for desk display and on the go writing since the cap untwists fairly easily (1-1.5 turns) and I’ve posted it enough times to admit I won’t be scratching the pen by posting.

Value

A typical Kaweco AL sport ranges from maybe $80-$100USD, so this limited edition pen at a premium of $158 is definitely on the upper end of things. Is it worth it though? If you like Hello Kitty like me and maybe are a Kaweco AL sport collector, then the slightly higher price tag is probably worth it. Is an AL sport worth the price tag without the collaboration? I’m not sure I’m the best judge of this since I don’t use pocket pens often enough. If I put myself in a pocket pen-user’s perspective, then this is an excellent pocket pen. It is stylish, easy to use, very durable and balanced well. Machined aluminum pens are also not cheap, and in a way I can’t be shocked at the rising prices of machining metal pens these days.

Conclusion

Pros/

  • Pretty and limited edition colour
  • Hello Kitty engraved nib and cap with great attention to detail
  • Balanced and easy to use pocket pen
  • Smooth writing experience on the right paper

Cons/

  • Doesn’t work too well on toothy paper
  • Higher price tag for the collab and LE premium
  • Pocket pens aren’t for everyone

Ink

I’ve been waiting to use this ink in a pen for review forever! Actually I had this ink lined up for a different pen (the lil grail that’s been in hiding since I bought it years ago…), but this one felt way too appropriate. Lady Rose from Ferris Wheel Press! Perhaps the timing is just right, since Ferris Wheel Press will be releasing a LE version of their Lady Rose ink this month with sparkles! Will I buy it? I’ve been trying to avoid stationery purchases for a bit now (by a bit, I mean…a month?), but this sounds like a must-buy for me.

Anyway, the ink is an interesting grey-ish dark pink with really beautiful shades when dried. It kind of looks really dirty pink sometimes, which isn’t the most attractive, but sometimes it’s nice to have a darker pink coloured ink that is actually visible when using, so I quite like it! The ink is on the wetter side, and runs very smoothly. The bottle is 80mL, which at the time there was no 38mL option. It’s basically enough ink for a lifetime – unless it’s used for painting? – but the packaging and shape of the bottle is just so lovely, I quite enjoy owning a couple of these little globes of bottles.

Anyway, thanks for reading and joining me whenever I have the chance to review a pen! The todo list is still quite long, but I’ve got some exciting ones to review coming up, so look forward to that! So long.

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