Montegrappa has mastered the art of the licensed pen with the Game of Thrones collection. They created four pens to represent major families represented in the series: House Stark, House Lannister, House Targaryen and House Baratheon. From the packaging to the aesthetics of the pens, Montegrappa managed to do high-end licensed pens right.
I was lucky enough to get to take the House Stark ballpoint and the House Lannister rollerball out for a test drive.
While I am not normally interested in packaging, for a licensed product, I think it shows that care was taken. The box is paperboard-wrapped but iconography representing other houses from Game of Thrones is included on the box and the artwork is very nice.
The artwork even wraps around to the front creating a seamless look. There was time and energy put into making the packaging pleasing. For a fan and a collector who is spending money on something they love, this makes a difference and is appreciated.
Inside, the box is a standard velveteen lining that lifts out to reveal the instruction booklet, refill, etc. The ruby red color of the lining is fine for the House Stark pen but is a little clashy for the House Lannister.
There was even an effort made to include Game of Thrones graphics on the Montegrappa Unser Manual cover. Now on to the details of the pens themselves.
My favorite details of the pens were the clips. Each clip is carved to resemble the family’s symbol. In the case of House Lannister, the clip is a lion’s head. The cap is printed in gold with a stylized rose pattern.
The top of the cap is embossed with the motto of the Lannisters, “Hear me roar.” All the details of the pen are in yellow gold over a red lacquered finish.
The House Stark clip is carved into a wolf and the cap features rune designs in palladium over smooth, white lacquer.
The top of the cap is embossed with the wolf again and the motto “Winter is coming.”
Both pens feature the “Game of Thrones™” logo on the cap band. In the case of the ballpoint, its a twist mechanism so its not technically a cap but the placement is the same.
On to the actual functionality of the pens. The rollerball pen is a bit narrower overall at the grip section than the ballpoint as is shown in the photo above (gold House Lannister on the left is rollerball, palladium and white House Stark on the right is ballpoint).
Since the rollerball has a removable cap, the pen is lighter and shorter, or can be. Though the cap can be posted, I was a bit nervous to post the cap. I was worried the cap might chip the finish. I found that posting the cap threw the balance off on the rollerball. It wrote fine and was long enough for me without posting but I am not a cap-poster in general.
The ballpoint’s slightly wider width was just a bit too wide in my hand. I think most people with normal, adult-sized hands wouldn’t notice but in my pixie-sized hands I felt like I was holding a My First Crayon.
As for the actually refills included, the House Lannister appeared to have a standard Euro/G2 rollerball refill which was pleasant enough to use. I didn’t have any to swap in as my supplies are seriously depleted but Monteverde makes a wide range of colors and widths. A red would probably be most appropriate in the House Lannister. The House Stark ballpoint takes a standard Parker-style refill so the pen refill world is your oyster here. Montegrappa shipped it with a black refill but a broad blue might a good option if “Winter is coming.”
- Montegrappa Game of Thrones Rollerball Pens MSRP: $325
- Montegrappa Game of Thrones Ballpoint Pens MSRP: $295
There is, of course, a fountain pen version of the pens as well for $350 MSRP that feature a steel nib.
The bottomline is that Montegrappa did a great job on high-end licensed products for a rabid fandom community. If Cross had put as much attention and care into their Star Wars pens, they would have had something worthy of the price tag they were charging. I believe Montegrappa has positioned themselves to be able to approach other brands and get the licenses they want. Hello, Harry Potter? Gryffindor! Hufflepuff! Ravenclaw! Slytherin! Hello, Lord of the Rings? Elves, Hobbits, Rangers, Riders of Rohan, Dwarves… Eye of Sauron enamel on the top of the cap? How about Wizard of Oz? Their DC pens were just okay but with the GoT, Montegrappa has proven that they can extend themselves… so grab that Marvel license. Steal that Star Wars license from Cross and do it right! Then you’ll have Disney on your side and can do Mickey, Minnie, the Incredibles, Monsters, Inc… the list is endless!
Check with your favorite pen boutique (maybe from the sidebar of this website?) to see who is stocking the Game of Thrones pens. And thanks to Kenro for letting me play in the world of Westeros.