The color is a nice, dark purple with some lighter and darker swirls mixed in. The lighter swirls have an iridescent quality, giving the pen lots of shimmer. It has "Bexley '05" imprinted on the barrel. The trim is silver-colored.
Capped, the pen is about 5.4 inches long. Uncapped, the pen is 4.7 inches, and posted it is 6.4 inches.
One design issue, noted by Maja in a previous thread about the Fun Time, is that there is a significant change in diameter between the barrel and the section. The barrel is roughly .44 inches across, but the section drops by about an eight-inch to .31 inches in diameter. Depending on how you hold the pen, this could be a bit awkward or uncomfortable.
This is a very light pen. It weighs in at about .7 ounces. Its balance point unposted is roughly 2.5 inches from the nib, but it moves up to 3.75 inches from the nib when posted. This shift makes the pen very top-heavy and, to me, very unbalanced when posted.
The fact that the pen is so light seems to me to lend itself to extended writing sessions without the worry of hand fatigue. I've written with it a lot over the last
According to the Bexley web site, the Fun Time is their first clutch-capped pen. The cap requires a fair amount of force to remove or to replace. When it's replaced, however, there's very little chance that the cap will come off by accident. You have a better chance of having the barrel unscrew from the section (I've done that a few times when I've forgotten that the cap isn't threaded).
The Fun Time is a moderately wet writer, but it doesn't gush at all (at least not with Noodler's Polar Blue -- another Christmas gift). The Schmidt nib is, as commonly noted, very smooth. It has some spring, but could not be described as flexible in any way. The line is a little broader than I expected from a fine, just the faintest bit narrower than the medium nib on a Pelikan M205 (with the same ink).
The pen is a consistently good writer with any ink I've had in it. My only complaint with its writing is that it seems somewhat temperamental with respect to nib-angle. The sweet spot on the nib is a little bit small, and just about any deviation from the optimum angle results in ink flow being cut off abruptly. This is a problem for me as a lefty over-writer; I have a tendency to rotate the pen slightly as I write. (Maybe this is the time to start thinking about getting into oblique nibs....)
Overall, it's a nice pen -- a very good choice for an entry-level/gateway pen. It's certainly piqued my interest in some of the higher-end Bexleys (as any good gateway pen should...).
(click on image to see a larger version)
[edit: posted picture; added more detail about color and writing characteristics]
Edited by dwmatteson, 09 January 2007 - 12:54.