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Hero's Safari Clone


wieniawski

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So...Hero now has its own copy of the famous Lamy Safari, called "Summer Safari" (It's on Taobao for a little under 10 USD, cartrifges and converter included). What do you think?

 

Edit: The name has been changed to Summer Color (Maybe it was never official, the seller called it Summer Safari just to get search crawled) and there is more info (a summary of a review) and link a little down the post at replies #20 and #22. Spoiler: It's not that great of a clone.

 

Edit: Just for a laugh, I added the picture of (one of) the nib, picture courtesy of Hennessy at penbbs (used with permission).

 

Original post

http://www.penbbs.com/viewthread.php?tid=202474&extra=&page=1

 

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post-89668-0-31754600-1374674748_thumb.jpg

Edited by wieniawski

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If the nibs are as fair as the price, Lamy has a serious problem..

 

edit: Are they making the Al-Star too?

Edited by inotrym
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I think if I was Lamy I would sue them!

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Not really sure, but I would think they can't. The pen design is too old and the patent is possibly outdated.

 

Fellow FPN lawyers, englighten us please!!

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if the nib will be interchangeble with original nibs from Lamy, then this Hero pen is a winner!

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Hoho, that's very cheeky. I mean, even the converter looks the same. Its as if they sneaked into a Lamy factory at night and had a sneaky wee production run!

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : vintage Pilot Elite Pocket Pen review

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I think it's another example of Chinese design theft. It's one thing to make an updated version of a pen that hasn't been made in forty years (51) but something that is currently sold?

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Not really sure, but I would think they can't. The pen design is too old and the patent is possibly outdated.

 

Fellow FPN lawyers, englighten us please!!

 

International trade and copyright laws don't seem to apply to the good manufacturers of China.

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I am not really commenting on ethics here. Of course the design is stolen.

 

But I **think** that as long as the trademarked logo is missing (and thus the manufacturer is not misleading the public as to that they buy an original product) there is no legal problem.

 

Same goes for those magnet bracelets and colorful watches that were so much in fashion for the last two years.

If the (chinese probably) manufacturer copies the logo, he gets hunted. If he removes it, nothing happens.

 

 

edit: Of course my legal knowledge is limited. That's why I asked for an expert's opinion.

Edited by inotrym
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No (the news on the Summer Safari was just out yesterday)...Maybe I should say. "Not yet" ...

 

I don't care about the nib that much (well, I have one of each from the Safari and they should last me quite a while) but if the converter are straight up copy (as in totally compatible with Lamy Safari/Al-Star), I think I would like to buy a few...

 

If the nibs are as fair as the price, Lamy has a serious problem..

 

edit: Are they making the Al-Star too?

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And now we wait for Hero to release Spring Savannah Green, Winter Terracotta and Autumn Flame colours :)

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Hhmmm ... purple.

Tenet insanabile multos scribendi cacoethes.

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Juvenal

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I looked at the Taobao website, and the real Safari basic colours are only the equivalent of $2 more, so the Hero bargain is less a bargain than it might seem.

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I think it's another example of Chinese design theft. It's one thing to make an updated version of a pen that hasn't been made in forty years (51) but something that is currently sold?

If I am not mistaken, Hero became a well-known brand in China simply by copying Parker (they have a rosier name for that though, something like "Reaching the foreign standard with local resources/worker") , and they have been doing it since the 1950s -1960s (before Parker ceased the production of 51). So I suppose business ethics was never an issue for them.

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I'm perfectly happy paying a few dollars more and getting a genuine Lamy. It isn't much more expensive and I know their quality control is good.

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Yeah, I saw the prices on actual Safari as well (and I am not sure why they are so cheap, I kind of don't want to blow 80RMB to find out) . Anyway, the Hero pen might have an even lower price because somebody at Penbbs.com spotted them at the supermarket at Tianjin (Chinese supermarket usually don't sell pen that are over 30 RMB/5 Bucks...)

 

I looked at the Taobao website, and the real Safari basic colours are only the equivalent of $2 more, so the Hero bargain is less a bargain than it might seem.

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If I am not mistaken, Hero became a well-known brand in China simply by copying Parker (they have a rosier name for that though, something like "Reaching the foreign standard with local resources/worker") , and they have been doing it since the 1950s -1960s (before Parker ceased the production of 51). So I suppose business ethics was never an issue for them.

 

Ethics is a matter of subjectivity.

 

In The West, we are encouraged (in school) to think for ourselves, write opinion papers, analyze events, and it is pounded into us to always give credit for our work. Failing to credit a source in a professional setting can ruin a career.

 

In China, school children are taught that they have no good, original ideas. In order to become smarter, they must copy other, greater people. In fact, if you are someone worth copying, you should feel flattered. Blatant copying is common within China, and no one really sees it as a reprehensible act.

 

Although there are copyright laws in China, anyone trying to pursue a copyright case there is up against a lot of challenges. If anyone even takes you seriously enough to respond, the punishments for infringing copyright are barely a slap on the wrist. Microsoft went up against a Chinese company a few years ago for some $30 million in damages. They were rewarded less than $300. Apple products are blatantly copied (look up "ChinaPad" on google) and as sue-happy as Apple is against other tech companies, they have done nothing to challenge a single Chinese company. That should tell us something. LAMY would be wasting time and money by going after Hero, even if their patents were still active.

 

On the plus side, most of these offenders do not market outside of China and some Eastern European countries, so it could be argued that they are targeting a different market. The problem, of course, is that technology has made the "target market" thing kind of irrelevant.

 

As for the pen, I am curious to see how it stacks up against the real thing once it makes it's way into the hands of FPN members. I'll look forward to a review...

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I think its time for Stephen Brown to post a Hero Safari versus Lamy Safari Shootout video on YouTube lol. All kidding aside, I just cant believe this chinese copy.... Hero even slapped on their logo on the pen in the same style as Lamy. That is like giving Lamy the "up yours" middle finger gesture and going, "Neener, neener...cant sue us here in china." lol

 

I guess for some who are considering a tight budget on pens... or would just love to have a throw around pen for daily use... Then i guess this Hero clone is an alternative to consider. Then again.... why would you buy a Lamy Safari clone when it only costs like less than $30 to buy the original... and around $25 to buy it on Ebay with free shipping.

 

Just a thought, I wonder if the nibs are interchangeable with Lamy lol. Frankenpen... Hero pen body with Lamy nib?

Edited by cednocon
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Ok, somebody in Pensbbs.com already bought and reviewed the pen and there is a summary for the review.

 

1. It costs around 20-30 RMB in super market (so the Taobao price is jacked up)

The plastic of Hero summer safari is indeed, very cheap-looking (worse than Pilot 78g) and the casting is a lot less angular (doesn't look sharp) and the seam is obvious.

2. The tip of the feed is a tad more pear-hourglass shaped than as opposed to being triangular (it also looks thinner)

3. The body is indeed molded after Lamy (because a Hero barrel can screw on a Lamy grip with no problem)

4. Unlike Safari, which as special shape (where it holds converter) that would snap-close with the two knobs on the converter, Hero doesn't.

5. The label on the nib (Hero M) is etched on, not tinted. It was also very difficult to remove (the OP didn't manage even with tape)

6. The converter (seems to be a standard international opening, not Lamy proprietary) was defective. Basically when he twisted the knob, the metal part came off while the piston remain motionless...

7. The medium nib is a fairly good writer that lays down a 0.7mm line

 

Overall: The user said it wasn't that great of a deal (for 20-30RMB/ 4 or 5 bucks) even thought it did write OK.

 

Here is the forum link (for the Chinese who can register the account)

http://www.penbbs.com/viewthread.php?tid=202436&extra=page%3D1

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