The Platinum Preppy is a common recommendation for people interested in getting into fountain pens or trying out a fountain pen for the first time. At $3.00 per pen, it’s a great way for someone to hold, try and test a starting level fountain pen before investing in something a little more expensive. With that having been said, the Preppy is a good starter pen, but it is just that.
The Platinum Preppy Pen Stats
Type: Demonstrator Fountain Pen
Tip Size: 0.3mm, Fine
Nib Type: Steel Nib, Standard
Body Material: Plastic Body
Tested On: Kokuyo Lined, Rhodia Dotted & Staples Lined Paper
Review of the Platinum Preppy Pen
I had a fountain pen when I was much younger. It was a sac-fill system which means that you have a sac that you use to draw ink into in order to use. This was in the late-80s to early-90s in Vietnam. I remember having to clean it, dispel the ink after a week and soak it before re-inking it. This was a long time ago when I was in grade school so I don’t remember much about that pen, what make or model or even the kind of ink. And I only know what color the ink was because saw some of my old notes from when I went to school back then. For a long time, I figured fountain pens were too expensive to get into and I had resigned myself to pens that you could buy in a pack of 20 at the grocery store. So when I discovered the world of affordable, starter fountain pens, I was thrilled.
I noticed the Platinum Preppy was a common recommendation for beginners or people just looking to get started in fountain pens (it really can be a slippery slope) so I decided to give it a try. At $3.00 per pen, the Preppy is marketed as a starter and while you can buy refills for it and even use a converter (more on that later), it really works well as a disposable pen to test the waters before you dive in.
From my writing tests, the Preppy does very well for a fountain pen at this price range. I have two pictured above, but only tested the 0.3 or Fine nib. It will lay down a decent amount of ink, especially given that it’s a fine nib and has a fair amount of glide and smoothness. People who have gotten into other fountain pens will be able to tell you about this “buttery” writing feel where the nib glides so smoothly along the paper. The Preppy lacks that in my opinion. But at the same time, you can’t really expect it to have the feel and it does a good enough job that this will still feel better than scratching your way around with a fine tipped rollerball.
It skipped a couple of times on the Kokuyo paper, skipped several times on the Rhodia dotted, but was fairly consistent on the Staples paper, however I noticed a lot of unintentional line variations on the Staples paper. Probably due to the quality of the paper more than the pen itself.
When you purchase the Preppy, you’re getting the pen and an ink cartridge included. Platinum has a wide variety of colors and nib sizes. You can get the pen and cartridge in black, blue, green, purple, pink, red and blue black (as far as I know) and nib sizes come in extra fine, fine and medium. You can also get refill ink cartridges with whichever color you’d like, these are typically inexpensive and come in packs of 2, 6 or 12: Platinum Preppy Ink Refill Cartridges
If you decide that you really love your Platinum Preppy and want to keep using it but don’t want to use cartridges or feel like you need to have more color options, the Preppy is compatible with Platinum’s twist-style converter: Platinum Fountain Pen Converter
All that having been said, as far as writing feel for a fountain pen goes, pushing aside the price point and the fact that this is a starter pen, the Preppy is only OK. It’s not anywhere near as smooth a writer as other fountain pens, it has a nice form factor but there’s a lot of branding covering the demonstrator body (that’s when a fountain pen has a clear body so you can see through to the cartridge, converter and sometimes the other elements of the pen too) and a giant warning label on the side, so it defeats the purpose of a clear-bodied pen a little bit. It also skips more than other fountain pens I’ve used and tried, and it really struggles and skips a ton when I’m trying to lay down a line really fast like a signature for example.