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Moonman 80 Vs. Parker 45



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I finally recieved my Moonman 80, a Parker 45 clone. It is in fact so much of a clone that the caps, bodies and converters are all interchangeable. There are 3 cap patterns, I got the striped. They fit perfectly on each other. Except for the metal part at the bottom of the Moonman, this is a near exact replica. It writes nicely, no issues with the nib either. I've compared it here with my father's old P45 that he wrote with so much he wore finger divets into the section. No idea how to fix the P45, but the Moonman will do for me in the meantime! Also, the box was really nice, which is somewhat unusual for Chinese pens.

 

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Interesting. How does the metal bit at the tail affect the balance compared to the original? What's the filling system? How's the nib?

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Interesting. How does the metal bit at the tail affect the balance compared to the original? What's the filling system? How's the nib?

 

As I mentioned it's a C/C pen, Parker compatible. Incidentally the piston converter is the exact same one that comes with the PenBBS 308....maybe there's a connection. The nib is great, smooth and easy to write with and although the pen feels a bit heavier unposted due to the metal bit (which I actually like, an unposted P45 is really light), posted I don't feel a difference from a P45.

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Thanks for the review.

 

Incidentally, the damage to your dad's pen's section is the shrinkage to which "45" polystyrene sections are prone (the indentations are from the clutch fingers inside the cap, not human fingers).

Edited by Tweel

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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Thanks for the review.

 

Incidentally, the damage to your dad's pen's section is the shrinkage to which "45" polystyrene sections are prone (the indentations are from the clutch fingers inside the cap, not human fingers).

Oh that's interesting. Do you know if there is a way to fix it? (other than buy a new pen)

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No, I've never heard of any way to undo the shrinkage. Now if the Moonman 80 were just made in that color, you'd have a perfect source for a brand-new donor section...

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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No, I've never heard of any way to undo the shrinkage. Now if the Moonman 80 were just made in that color, you'd have a perfect source for a brand-new donor section...

Is acquiring a new section all that's needed? Someone is selling them for $22 on ebay - seems a bit steep.

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Your father's 45 may have a solid gold nib on it. Also looks to have a broadish tip.

 

Just a trick of the light. It's steel and marked F.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your review. I've been wondering about this pen ever since reading about it on Frank Underwater's pen blog (a blog focused on modern Chinese pens and the state of the pen market in China; there are some pretty fascinating reads in there.)

 

Interestingly the Moonman 80 seems to be getting mixed reviews in the Chinese fountain pen community - on PenBBS as well as the Chinese blogosphere. Just yesterday I read a scathing review here (note: linked blog is in Chinese), which criticized the Moonman 80 primarily on grounds of poor finishing, plus some concerning weaknesses in build quality. Specific points of criticism included:

 

- Poor grade of steel used for the nib resulting in excessive softness and fragile, easily-sprung nibs

- Metal pitting in the clip resulting from poor finishing of the base metal before plating

- Poor surface finish of plastic in the section, resulting from the use of coarse molds in the injection molding process

- Abysmal, coarse finishing of the feed

- The manufacturer appears to be attempting to market the pen primarily by hyping up nostalgia for the P45 and Hero 800 (which this pen is based on), while diverting attention away from QC issues

 

It seems your experience with the Moonman 80 was at least somewhat better than this?

 

Also,

 

Is acquiring a new section all that's needed? Someone is selling them for $22 on ebay - seems a bit steep.

 

Yes, that's all you need to restore your father's old P45. My usual source of P45 spare parts was Five Star Pens, but I just checked and they seem to be out of replacement sections in red. Another site, Dayne's Vintage Fountain Pens, seems to currently have red P45 replacement sections in stock for $10 each, but I have not dealt with that seller before, so I don't know if they are reliable.

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Thanks for your review. I've been wondering about this pen ever since reading about it on Frank Underwater's pen blog (a blog focused on modern Chinese pens and the state of the pen market in China; there are some pretty fascinating reads in there.)

 

Interestingly the Moonman 80 seems to be getting mixed reviews in the Chinese fountain pen community - on PenBBS as well as the Chinese blogosphere. Just yesterday I read a scathing review here (note: linked blog is in Chinese), which criticized the Moonman 80 primarily on grounds of poor finishing, plus some concerning weaknesses in build quality. Specific points of criticism included:

 

- Poor grade of steel used for the nib resulting in excessive softness and fragile, easily-sprung nibs

- Metal pitting in the clip resulting from poor finishing of the base metal before plating

- Poor surface finish of plastic in the section, resulting from the use of coarse molds in the injection molding process

- Abysmal, coarse finishing of the feed

- The manufacturer appears to be attempting to market the pen primarily by hyping up nostalgia for the P45 and Hero 800 (which this pen is based on), while diverting attention away from QC issues

 

It seems your experience with the Moonman 80 was at least somewhat better than this?

 

Also,

 

Yes, that's all you need to restore your father's old P45. My usual source of P45 spare parts was Five Star Pens, but I just checked and they seem to be out of replacement sections in red. Another site, Dayne's Vintage Fountain Pens, seems to currently have red P45 replacement sections in stock for $10 each, but I have not dealt with that seller before, so I don't know if they are reliable.

Thanks for the info. I now have 2 Moonman 80s, so I went over them with my loupe. On my two examples, the clip is perfectly smooth, as is the plastic barrel and section. I haven't pulled the feed, but they write fine. After a week of hard usage, the nib is fine, quite stiff. To spring it, you'd really have to apply a lot of force (way more than normal writing force)...are they trying to flex it? Maybe someone is selling the 1st quality pens on Ebay and passing off the seconds in China, because I have nothing like the issues you describe. Someone on Facebook took me to task today, saying it was "overpriced Chinese junk" - but at $15 - even if it is half the quality of a P45 I wouldn't say it is overpriced. But to reiterate, I literally have none of the issues you describe. Edited by DasKaltblut
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Ok I don't read Chinese but looked at the pictures and honestly don't even see what is so horrible. It looks to me like that particular sample is perhaps a little less nicely finished than mine and oh my they must have pounded the heck out of the nib to make it do that.

 

No one expects this to be EXACTLY the quality of a vintage P45, but I still think it is an excellent value for what it is.

Edited by DasKaltblut
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No one expects this to be EXACTLY the quality of a vintage P45, but I still think it is an excellent value for what it is.

 

I don't really know about value. If you keep your eyes open it's often possible to buy good condition Parker 45s for under $20, even with gold nibs. I've bought two mint condition 45s in the last three months for under that price, in fact, and one had a 14k XF nib.

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I have neither the time nor the inclination to spend hours hunting on EBay. I also hate actual auctions since I always lose. People also always say you can get a P51 for $50 or less which I've never been able to do. If I can get what I want without the aggravation it's a good value for me. Last, although it is heresy here, I just don't care about having actual vintage pens.

Edited by DasKaltblut
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I do wonder if the mixed reception in the Chinese forums/blogosphere might be a case of extremely overhyped pre-release expectations that were suddenly brought down to earth by the Moonman 80 turning out to be "merely" a competent pen. Competent is fine and good, but perhaps some of them were expecting (fairly or not) more - actual replication of vintage P45 quality level? A surpassing of that? Who knows.

 

It does show however that pen enthusiasts in China are getting really demanding of their local pen makers nowadays. This can only be a good thing for us who live outside of China, as it will likely lead to better pens going forward.

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I do wonder if the mixed reception in the Chinese forums/blogosphere might be a case of extremely overhyped pre-release expectations that were suddenly brought down to earth by the Moonman 80 turning out to be "merely" a competent pen. Competent is fine and good, but perhaps some of them were expecting (fairly or not) more - actual replication of vintage P45 quality level? A surpassing of that? Who knows.

 

It does show however that pen enthusiasts in China are getting really demanding of their local pen makers nowadays. This can only be a good thing for us who live outside of China, as it will likely lead to better pens going forward.

Agreed.

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  • 3 months later...

Can you replace these nibs with a P45 nib? There are tons of the nibs for sale on eBay.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

— Dr. Seuss

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for your review. I've been wondering about this pen ever since reading about it on Frank Underwater's pen blog (a blog focused on modern Chinese pens and the state of the pen market in China; there are some pretty fascinating reads in there.)

Interestingly the Moonman 80 seems to be getting mixed reviews in the Chinese fountain pen community - on PenBBS as well as the Chinese blogosphere. Just yesterday I read a scathing review here (note: linked blog is in Chinese), which criticized the Moonman 80 primarily on grounds of poor finishing, plus some concerning weaknesses in build quality. Specific points of criticism included:

- Poor grade of steel used for the nib resulting in excessive softness and fragile, easily-sprung nibs

- Metal pitting in the clip resulting from poor finishing of the base metal before plating

- Poor surface finish of plastic in the section, resulting from the use of coarse molds in the injection molding process

- Abysmal, coarse finishing of the feed

- The manufacturer appears to be attempting to market the pen primarily by hyping up nostalgia for the P45 and Hero 800 (which this pen is based on), while diverting attention away from QC issues

I just got my 80 mini and I concur with several of the points made in the review you cited. The feed is very poorly finished and there's plenty of coarses from the injection process. However, that coarses is all in places you don't see when writing with the pen or just looking at it fully assembled. As for the nib, although mine is a total nail that I can't imagine springing, it just feels really cheap.

I don't really know about value. If you keep your eyes open it's often possible to buy good condition Parker 45s for under $20, even with gold nibs. I've bought two mint condition 45s in the last three months for under that price, in fact, and one had a 14k XF nib.

This is totally true, however most of the Parker 45s with 14k nibs under $20 aren't in the best cosmetic shape and certainly aren't NOS.

 

Can you replace these nibs with a P45 nib? There are tons of the nibs for sale on eBay.

 

 

Herein lies the solution. A perfectly good 14k P45 nib from an ugly-but-cheap eBay pen can easily be transplanted into any of the Moonman 80 line!

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