A few weeks ago, I noticed that the Purple Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen was being sold on Amazon for a fairly good price (around 26 bucks, when I also had some Amazon credit card reward). Since I already ordered some replacement nibs off Taobao, I reckon an extra body never hurts (especially it matched one of my favorite inks).
The Purple Al-Star has a reddish purple that's somewhat dusky. When I first got it, the spray painted body felt a little dry and frosted but it soon smoothed up after a few weeks of use.
The pen originally comes with a Fine nib (which writes perfectly, just like the other F I had). I soon swapped if for an "mysterious Lamy A nib" I bought from a seemly legitimate Taobao seller (for around 6USD). Thanks to blog like KMPN, I learned that the A (for Anfänger) nib is the one found on Lamy ABC and it means "beginner" in German.
There isn't a specified size for the A nib but the seller labeled it as between M & B (however, mine writes like a Lamy F). Even though there isn't any feature that sets A nib apart from the rest (at least not any that I can see), it does feel different than other Lamy nibs.
It seems that the tipping is rounder, glassier (very smooth on the paper, noticeably more so than the already smooth F/M/B-nib) and lays down a line that's more intense. while the other Lamy nibs I have usually spread out the line and make each stroke appear slightly washed-out. In fact, the nib seems so smooth that there is a great deal of skipping (slipping) when I used it on Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper (the uncoated Ecoqua and copy paper are totally fine), which is something I experienced with some very wet Lamy Italic nib and Pilot Custom Heritage 91 (which seems to be misplaced...).
Writing sample of the A-nib, with J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune. You can see some pretty bad slipping towards the bottom of the page. Anyway, I haven't tried Lamy ABC to know if this is the standard performance of the nib but for the time being, I am really happy about the purchase.