Jolly Good: The Retro 51 Tornado Touch

Many thanks to my friends at JetPens for sponsoring my purchase of the pen reviewed here. I was not compensated in any other way and this review describes my experiences and observations with the pen.

Standard Retro 51 Tornado vs Tornado Touch
Standard Retro 51 Tornado (the new “Flipper”) vs. the petite Tornado Touch

The Retro 51 Tornado Touch is both dapper and darling. It’s a teeny thing, but still packed full of Retro 51 goodness. At 4-3/8″, this isn’t a pen that you’ll want to use to write a novel, but for jotting down a grocery list, signing paperwork, or capturing on-the-fly notes, it’s ideal. Ideal AND classy.

This is a “honey, I shrunk the pen” version of the standard Retro 51 Tornado, with a couple of bonus features that add to its charm. The first is the “bowler hat” stylus on the end of the pen. As a kid, I used to religiously watch “Family Affair“— a sitcom that featured a British butler named Mr. French. Mr. French typically wore a suit and a bowler to run errands (as you do). Whenever I look at the Retro 51 Tornado Touch, I picture good old Mr. French, his smooth manners, and lovely accent.

Retro 51 Torndao Touch bowler hat and mustache

The stylus is not only stylish but works very well on both my iPad and iPhone. In fact, it’s one of my favorite styluses (stylii?). I rarely have to repeat a motion while typing or swiping through pages or dragging letters around on the Words With Friends board. Very responsive.

The second feature is not functional in the least but adds a splash of whimsical charm to this diminutive pen. A mustache. That’s right— the pen sports a tiny mustache, because why not?! The pen is available in three finishes— Lincoln Copper, Stainless, and Black (the one featured in this review). Though the copper version tugged at me, I ultimately chose the black version because it made the pen look like it was wearing a little suit. (And for some reason it was important to me that my pen be properly attired in formal wear.)

Ballpoint refill

The D1 refill that comes loaded in the pen is made by Schmidt and writes quite well for a ballpoint. What’s great, though, is that because the refill IS the D1 style/size, there are plenty of D1 refill options available should the included one not thrill you. I picked up some Uni-ball Jetstream D1 refills that I’m anxious to try when the the current one needs to be replaced. You can also swap in D1 gel refills, if that’s your favorite type of ink. There are plenty of ways to make the Retro 51 Tornado Touch your own, ink-wise.

Accessing the D1 refill
Accessing the D1 refill

Disassembled
Refill removed (refill extender still in place)

Swapping the refill is not super intuitive (I had to Google it) so here’s how that works. Grab the knurled section, just below the bowler stylus and give it a good yank until it pulls out of the body of the pen. Looking into the pen body, you’ll see the end of the refill assembly. Using a small Philips head screwdriver (or your Swiss Army knife), unscrew the refill housing until it can be pulled out of the pen. Pull the refill extender off of the D1 refill, and place it onto the new refill, then reverse the steps to install the assembly back in the pen. [Updated to add: Click HERE for a video that details the process.]

Disassembled
Refill extender removed from D1 refill

If there’s any downside to this pen, I’d say it’s the price. At $27 from JetPens, it costs a few dollars more than many of the standard size Tornado rollerballs. That said, the small premium buys you an awfully cute pen that successfully combines both novelty and panache. That’s a tricky combination, but Retro 51 pulls it off with ease.

The packaging is a scaled down version of the usual Tornado tube, and it’s as adorable as the pen inside.

Tornado Touch pen and packaging

The Retro 51 Tornado Touch is a cool little pen that oozes charm with its distinctive bowler and well-groomed mustache. It’s dapper, dashing, and debonair; both well-groomed and well-designed. If your everyday carry needs just a little more class, this is your pen. A very good writer with an excellent stylus and lots of D1 refill options, it’s another clever AND solid offering from the folks at Retro 51.

The Tornado Touch is, I can safely say, “jolly good.”

Traveling With Pens: A Case Study (or a study of a basket case?!)

I’m attending a conference in Indianapolis, IN this week. But before I traveled here, I spent a god awful amount of time mulling over which pens to bring with me. Clothes? Easy. Pens? Not so much.

Right up until the last minute I was swapping pens in and out of my Nock Co. Brasstown case. The case, at least, was pretty much a given. Even though I schlep three or four Nock Co. Pen cases to and from work every day, I knew I only wanted to travel with one, and the Brasstown quickly made the cut. With its roll-up, multiple pen holding “tongue” and space to carry some ink cartridges and a small ruler, the case was an easy pick.

When it was time to leave for the airport, I had to STOP with the pen swaps and go with what was in the case. Here’s the final line-up:

Fountain pens
Lamy AL Star Blue-Green (fine nib) with Lamy black cartridges
Lamy Vista (extra-fine nib) with Lamy black cartridges
Pilot Knight (medium nib) with Namiki Blue/Black cartridges

Rollerball pen
Retro 51 Betsy Tornado Rollerball

Gel pen
Nock Co./Karas Kustoms exclusive Render K with 0.5 mm black G2 refill

Ballpoint pens
Fisher Space pen (matte black bullet model)
TactileTurn Shaker with Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 black refill

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I’m a couple of days into the conference now and have a few thoughts about my choices. The Lamy Vista is great. The EF nib is perfect in my Clairefontaine notebook and I especially like being able to monitor the ink level. The fine nib on the Lamy AL Star is a little broad, while the medium nib on the Pilot Knight is wonderfully smooth and lays down a precise fine line as it’s a Japanese medium.

The Fisher Space pen has been particularly handy for filling out entry forms at today’s trade show. It’s easy to carry and completely reliable. Maybe not my favorite refill of all time, but great when you just need a pen to do its job whenever and wherever.

I haven’t used Betsy or the Shaker as yet, though both are favorites when I’m home. I think I’ll work them into tomorrow’s sessions. Could it be I have pen A.D.D.? Is that a thing?

20140729-224319.jpg

A couple of other Nock Co. products have really performed well on this trip- the Fodderstack loaded with the DotDash 3×5 cards paired with Nock Co. x Karas Kustoms Exclusive G2 Render K. The pen looks and writes great. I love the playful trio of colors, and loaded with a 0.5 mm G2 refill, it’s been perfect for taking meeting notes AND for keeping track of action items that are popping up at work and at home. By jotting down tasks on the DotDash cards, I’m able to concentrate on what I should be concentrating on- the conference.

Someone on Twitter suggested that I should travel with only one pen as a challenge, and I considered that for a little bit. Obviously, I didn’t go that route since I have a stupid number of pens with me. But really, I’m having fun swapping pens from day to day…or even within the same day.

And, I must admit, pens are something of a security blanket for me. I feel better when they’re with me.

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There…I admitted it.

Written and photographed on my iPad and iPhone with poor hotel lighting. But written nonetheless!

Albert Einstein, the Pencil

It’s no secret that Physics and I have had a rocky relationship. All I can say as far as college Physics goes is, “Thank God for a smart lab partner.” My seat in the lecture hall was in the WAY back (alphabetically arranged) which didn’t help my precarious grasp on the formulas and theories that the professor tried to jam into my head. I got through…somehow. This was not my finest hour, academically speaking.

Retro 51 Albert pencil

Given that history, you’d think I’d avoid this Retro 1951 Albert pencil like the plague. But no, I had to have it. (Held out for awhile, then cracked.) I have a couple of theories about this:

1) One of my favorite childhood activities was writing and drawing on the blackboard in our playroom. Every now and then my father would apply a fresh coat of blackboard paint so the surface was restored to a deep dark finish. Fresh chalk on a smooth blackboard. Nothing better.

2) My office is situated on the floor with the Physics department so I see a lot of this…

Physics on display
Ummm…what?!

I love where I work, so maybe, this pencil with its blackboards and formulaic scribbles makes me feel at home even though I don’t understand a whit.

Knurling and eraser

Whatever the reason, I love this pencil. It’s my first one from Retro 1951, though I’d been eyeing the all-black stealth model for awhile. Even though that one looked cool, I like this one with Albert Einstein’s formulas scribbled on a blackboard even better. The iconic Tornado knurling holds the pencil’s substantial eraser. And this eraser ERASES! No smudgy business going on here. The eraser feels soft and is big enough to handle even my Physics-sized mistakes.

Erasure

Albert clip, knurling and eraser

A twist of the knurled section advances the beefy 1.15 mm HB lead, which means that you can advance exactly as much or as little lead as you like. You’re not at the mercy of a click-to-advance system that often extends too much or too little. The mechanism works without a hitch and the lead is luscious. At first I was leery of such a thick lead, but I absolutely love it. I’ll have trouble going back to those fragile 0.5 and 0.7 mm leads.

Various line sizes

The pencil itself is hefty and smooth feeling, not unlike the Makrolon body on the Lamy 2000 writing utensils, but without even that HINT of texture. This is pure smoothness. It feels so good in hand that I find myself using it when I’d typically use a pen. And that’s saying something.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Albert pencil comes with a 12-pack of 1.15 mm HB lead as well as a 6-pack of replacement erasers, meaning that I’m set to write and erase for a good long time.

The whole Albert package

Though Physics was not my thing, this Albert pencil by Retro 1951 is. With its slick blackboard look covered with Einstein’s tidy formulas, I can’t help but feel smarter for owning it. Professor Lapetina, though, might beg to differ.
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I purchased my Albert pencil from Goldspot Pens. Here’s a LINK. (Not an affiliate link, I’m just a happy customer.)

Fun Find #1: Retro 1951 Tornado Umbra Orange Rollerball

(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

Retro 51 Umbra Orange Rollerball

Sometimes a pen finds you more than you find the pen. That was exactly the case with this Retro 51 Tornado Umbra Orange Rollerball. I was browsing on the Pen City site, and found that they have a “Shop By Color” feature (great idea!). When I filtered for “orange,” this was one of the pens that popped up. Since I’d never seen a Retro 51 in a translucent acrylic, much less an ORANGE translucent acrylic, I had to order it.

Translucent Orange Acrylic

When the pen arrived, it looked even better in person than it did on the website. The acrylic shimmers and displays wonderful depth. I think it looks a little like jello salad, which made me love it just a little bit more. I really like how you can catch a glimpse of the branding on the refill and the internal threading through the body of the pen.

The familiar Retro 51 elements are here as well. Like that wonderful knurling…

Retro 51 Knurling

And the immediately recognizable open-design clip that’s both cool looking and functional…

Retro 51 clip

The pen body’s color is reflected in the twist mechanism’s finial for one more pop of color…

Retro 51 Orange finial

The Retro 51 REF-5P black refill that came with the pen is reliably smooth and dark. Writing my rough draft of this review on Staples Arc notebook paper was a really enjoyable experience. That paper and this refill seem to be made for each other.

I’ve since seen some other acrylics— red, blue, and white— and though they look very cool, too, my heart belongs to this orange version. Sadly, none of the acrylic versions appear to be easy to find, but the folks at Retro 1951 have hinted on Twitter that more acrylics may be introduced. Or should I say “re-introduced.”

Translucent acrylic

That would be as sweet as— well— jello salad.

Teal and Purple Friday: ACME Crayon Rollerball in New Colors

The new ACME colors

My local source for the ACME rollerballs emailed me just before Thanksgiving to let me know that the two newest colors— teal and purple— had finally arrived. She’d given me a “heads up” a number of weeks prior to this, but every time I stopped in the store, the story was the same— nothing yet. But now, just in time for Black Friday, the pens were in stock.

Teal & Purple ACME rollerballs

When I bought my first ACME Crayon— a red one— I had no intention of acquiring the entire collection. But little by little, I picked up each color until I owned a full set, including the retired colors. There’s something irresistible about these hefty brass pens. The design is pure nostalgia, with colors straight from that big box of kindergarten crayons. The slightly matte body is textured to feel like the paper wrapper on your favorite crayons. These are pens that conjure up memories and tug at your heartstrings. (Can’t you just hear the hiss of the radiator in your elementary school classroom? Or am I the only old one here?)

Well-polished

A collection slowly sprouted up, as collections tend to do, and I knew I’d have to pick up the two newest colors to round out the set. So— on Black Friday— after lounging around the house most of the day and lunching on plates of Thanksgiving leftovers, we ventured out to our small Scandinavian Design gift store and picked up this pair. Other than groceries, that’s all the shopping we did that day.

Exploded view

The ACME rollerballs take the Schmidt P8126 refill and it’s good one— dark, smooth, and consistent. The ink does have a tendency to feather just a bit on some papers. I wrote the rough draft of this review in a Clairefontaine spiral notebook and you can see (if you click on the above photo) that the letters aren’t perfectly crisp, even on this excellent paper, due to the liquid nature of the ink. But I like the pens enough that I’m willing to overlook what some may call a flaw.

BUT, if any amount of feathering makes you crazy, there IS another option. Just as the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 ballpoint refill works in the Retro 1951 Tornado rollerballs, turns out it ALSO works in these ACME pens. Mike Dudek, of The Clicky Post, turned me onto these refills and they really are excellent— one of the best ballpoint refills out there, in my opinion. It’s always great to have options.

Teak and purple rollerballs

So my Black Friday— well, my Teal and Purple Friday— was a quiet one. No doorbusters. No waiting in line for hours. No midnight madness. Just time spent relaxing with my husband, lounging in a cozy chair, eating tasty Thanksgiving leftovers, and, of course, playing with these new pens.

ACME Rollerballs

My motto: A day without pens is like Thanksgiving without the turkey.*

*One year my grandmother made roast beef. It was weird.

Ballpoint Bliss: A Pair Of Ballpoints by Retro 1951

Retro 1951 ballpoints

My husband isn’t really into pens, but he was a great sport at the DC Supershow and even tracked down a great deal on some Retro 1951 pens. Pen Boutique had a 50% off deal running on all of their Retros so a purchase or two was a no-brainer. Their selection wasn’t huge (wish that they had the Ace Tornado, but alas, they did not), but I still managed to walk away with the Limited Edition Numbers Tornado as well as a pair of ballpoints- an Original Vintage Mickey Deluxe (Jubilee model) and a Harley-Davidson Hex-Pathfinder.

Retro 1951 ballpoints

I own a number of Tornado rollerballs (soooo collectible!), but no ballpoints, and while I loved the look of these pens, I had my doubts that the refill would be anything but average. A bit of scribbling at the Pen Boutique table instantly erased those doubts. The Retro 1951 branded Easy Flow 9000 refill (probably a Schmidt) is dark and super smooth. At 1.0 mm, it IS fairly broad, but it’s so crazy smooth, that I don’t mind the thicker line. In fact, THESE are the new pens that have nudged their way into my daily carry since I’m back home and back at work.

Retro 1951 Easy Flow refill

So we have a great writing refill coupled with Retro 1951’s flair for cool design. There’s so much fun and quality packed into these pens that they’re impossible to resist. While the Harley-Davidson pen is simply boxed (possibly a missed opportunity there), the Vintage Mickey tube would look at home in an antique shop. Covered with classic comics featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto, the packaging and pen can’t help but make you smile. It’s a fun mood booster. While I’m not really a Harley fan, I love the sage green hex barrel on the H-D pen, and the branding is not at all in-your-face.

Harley-Davidson Retro 1951

Vintage Mickey Retro 1951

Both pens are twist action. The tip of the Harley-Davidson pen is extended by twisting the H-D branded end cap, while the Vintage Mickey twists at the pen’s center band. Both feature distinctive clips that integrate perfectly with the look and theme of each pen.

Harley-Davidson clip

Vintage Mickey clip

It should be noted that the refills DO sometimes “click” a bit when the pens are held in a certain position. I can tone this down by making sure that the pen clip points away from my hand. Not sure why this helps, but it does. Also, the refills are so glassy smooth that I feel like my handwriting suffers a bit. It’s as if the pen gets away from me a little. The Vintage Mickey pen is quite wide and hefty, so it’s possible to feel a bit of hand fatigue during long writing sessions.

Despite these quirks, I’m very pleased with both of these pens, and I’m grateful that Fred tracked them down in the vast sea of pens at the pen show. Super deal. Super pens.

Harley-Davidson Retro 1951

Vintage Mickey Retro 1951

The end(s).

Detour: The Retro 51 EXT Tornado White Nickel Fountain Pen

Retro 51 White Nickel FOuntain Pen
Behold, the Tornado fountain pen

I have my fair share of Retro 51 Tornado rollerballs (and it is SO tempting to collect ALL THE COLORS), but I recently did a little exploring in the Retro 51 universe and discovered this non-rollerball option- the Retro 51 EXT Tornado White Nickel Fountain pen. The price is reasonable, and I liked the idea of taking a little detour off of the Retro 51 rollerball trail.

There are familiar elements, like super-cool packaging.
Stellar packaging
Life’s Too Short for boring packaging

And the iconic Tornado clip and knurling.
Knurling and clip

In this case, the knurling is for decorative purposes only as there is obviously no “twist-action” needed for this capped fountain pen. I’m a sucker for stealthy looking, dark pens, but the white nickel finish on this Tornado is a nice change of pace. With the gold-colored accents (they look slightly pinkish to me, though others disagree) and fine accent ridges, the look is fresh and clean.

Capped EXT Tornado FP

Though the cap does post, I find that this makes the pen feel a bit top-heavy, so I’ve been using it unposted. The weight is “medium” (one of these days I’ll get a balance for exact weights)…substantial feeling but not heavy. Kind of a “just right” weight. The black plastic section is smooth but not slippery.

Uncapped pen

A converter is not included with the pen*, and I have yet to explore fitting one of the spares that I have on hand, so I’m using a Diamine ink cartridge (blue-black). The fine steel Schmidt nib lays down a nicely wet yet crisp line, and the flow never fails or lags. I’ve experienced zero issues- no hard starts, skipping, or scratchiness. As someone who is not yet adept at tinkering with a nib, it’s always a relief when a pen writes this nicely right out of the box. (The pen is also available with a medium or broad nib.)

Schmidt nib

The only slightly niggly issue I have is that I sometimes find that the screw-on cap cross-threads, and I have to back it off and try capping again. This could very well be an issue with this particular operator rather than with the pen.

Retro 51 EXT Tornado

Prior to purchasing this pen, when I heard “Retro 51,” I immediately thought “rollerball.” But this impressive fountain pen offering changes that knee-jerk association. NOW when I hear “Retro 51,” I just think “quality.”

So glad I took this little detour off of the Retro 51 Tornado Rollerball highway. It’s been a very fun ride.

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*Well, what do you know?! I just popped open the metal cigar tube that the pen comes in and noticed a little something tucked at the bottom. IT’S A CONVERTER! So it IS included, and I stand corrected.

WAY Better Than Poi or Don Ho: Retro 51 Vintage Surf Tornado Rollerball (Limited Edition)

I’ll be honest. The closest I’ve ever come to surfing was watching those 1972 episodes of “The Brady Bunch” when the Brady family traveled to Hawaii, found a cursed tiki, and Greg, while wearing said tiki, suffered a surfing accident. They made a cliff-hanger out of the incident and we had to wait a WHOLE WEEK to see if Greg pulled through. I remember being worried for fictional Greg. Ahhhh, to be 13.

Despite my lack of surfing prowess, when I saw Retro 51’s latest Popper release- The Vintage Surf Tornado- I had to have one. I loved the look of the wooden barrel and surfboard-esque, oh-so slightly distressed, stripes. Couple those handsome looks with a limited edition of 500 pens and you’ve reeled me in. Well played, Retro 51, well played.

Retro 51 Vintage Surf

I purchased my pen from Art Brown (list price $55, Art Brown price $44 + S/H) because I just wasn’t finding it available anywhere else and I didn’t want to risk a sell-out. Brad Dowdy scored a MAJOR win by obtaining one from Amazon for a mere $20, which is a STEAL…but I hear that that source has since dried up. Though I would’ve loved to pay only $20, I don’t feel gypped at the price I paid. The pen is THAT nice. And lets’ not forget…limited edition, so a bit of a premium charge doesn’t seem unreasonable.

New packaging
Goodbye, awesome metal tubes. (Sniff)

Package endcap

Retro 51 has recently introduced new packaging that is touted as being more environmentally friendly, but I’ll be honest, I miss the vibrant metal tube packaging. Pulling the top off of those tubes made a satisfying “pop” sound and with the stunning colors and text, the tubes looked as collectible as the pens. The new design is paper-based, so there’s no more “pop,” and the look is a bit more subdued. Inside the new tube is a foam insert that holds the pen in an upright position, and I do like this feature (vs. the pen sleeve). The graphics are a bit more retro than in the past, and are admittedly pretty cool, but I still miss the metal. I will, though, adjust.

Foam insert
Built-in pen stand

Oh, this pen! It’s slightly heavier and thicker than a regular Tornado, well-balanced, and very smooth…both in the feel of the wooden barrel and in the writing experience. I swapped in an 8126P refill (Private Reserve or Schmidt) for the included one (8127P) as I enjoy the finer line of the 8126P (0.6 mm as opposed to 0.7 mm). The writing tip is easily extended by twisting the knurled end of the pen. The gun-metal-ish finish on the clip, front section, and knurled end compliments the wood nicely, and gives the pen its classic vintagey look. Clearly, the folks at Retro 51 thought this one through.

Clip and knurling

Writing tip

The edition number is printed or etched (I don’t think it’s engraved) on the band at the twist end of the pen, and I received #469 out of 500. Limited editions of affordable pens always tug at me. Though I have been known to resist some similar offerings in the past, I couldn’t do so with this one. It was just too irresistible in pictures and is even more so in hand.

#469

The Retro 51 Vintage Surf Tornado is even cooler than Greg was in that Brady Bunch episode, and MUCH cooler than Don Ho and his ukelele serenading the Brady family at their obligatory luau. It’s so cool, it’s hot.

P1020095

COWABUNGA, dudes!

DC or Bust: Retro 51 Monroe (Vintage Metalsmith Series)

Retro 51 Monroe
Retro 51 Monroe, one of the Vintage Metalsmith series

I spent a few hours in Washington, DC last Wednesday as part of a whirlwind bus trip. The weather was summer-like…very warm and sunny…which my snake belly white skin appreciated. In those few hours, a small group of us raced from monument to monument, snapping pictures and drinking in the history.

I was HOPING to find some sort of reference (monument, plaque, street name) to President James Monroe as I thoughtfully brought along my Retro 51 Vintage Metalsmith Monroe Tornado. I had a plan, you see. Monroe Retro 51 + Monroe landmark = Monroe blog post. But alas, there were no Monroe sightings.

We saw The White House…
White House

and the World War II Memorial.
WWII Memorial

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom…
Cherry Blossoms

and visitors paid their respects at the Vietnam War Memorial.
Vietnam Memorial

We climbed steps to gaze up at Abe…
Lincoln Memorial

and made the acquaintance of Alexander Hamilton in the Capitol Rotunda.
Alexander Hamilton

But as for Monroe? Well, he remained particularly elusive. And while this lack of a “front and center” memorial could make a dead president feel slighted, the Monroe Tornado rollerball, by Retro 51, is better than some old hunk of marble.

The body of the pen sports a finely cut diamond pattern in red lacquered metal, and the look is stunning. The finish is smooth, but slightly textured, and looks and feels a bit like glass. Light plays against deep red facets so that the pen shimmers and shines. I think it’s gorgeous.

Retro 51 Monroe

Gorgeous AND well made. As with the entire Retro 51 Tornado line, the Monroe is obviously solidly constructed and has a well-balanced, hefty feel in hand. The clip is springy and the knurling on the twist-action end mirrors the diamond cut of the body for a very cool look.

Accent color
Perfect accent

The level of detail in such a reasonably priced pen is impressive. The packaging is stellar, as is the writing performance, unless you require a super fine line. The Retro 51 rollerball refills lay down a 0.7 mm line so it’s a little broader than I usually like, but this pen is so good-looking that it’s become a non-issue for me.

Retro 51 Monroe

So, President Monroe, even though tourists in DC won’t find themselves tripping over monuments in your honor, the folks at Retro 51 have done you proud. And that is high honor, indeed.

Novelty: The Retro 51 Tornado ZAG Limited Edition

Back in the 90’s, my cousin and I took a road trip to Maine. As we were backing out of the driveway, my aunt waved and shouted, “No novelties!” (?????) I guess she was thinking of us as little kids, when we were prone to blowing our allowances on Super Balls, Silly Putty, and good luck trolls. So throughout our drive up the coast, whenever we stopped at a gift shop, we’d hold up touristy lobster-covered objects and ask each other, “Is THIS a novelty?” The joke just didn’t get old.

Though the days of trolls (I had quite the collection) and enormous pencils and crazily twisted drinking straws are behind me, I AM still drawn to the occasional novelty. Enter the Retro 51 Tornado ZAG Limited Edition rollerball.


Better than Silly Putty

I’ve written about the Retro 51 Tornado before, but the ZAG has a surprise twist that made it irresistible to this pen collector. Like all Retro 51 pens, the packaging is both unique and fun.


Doesn’t that bike remind you of your childhood?


Words to live by

The box is clever, but the packaging doesn’t end there. The pen is tucked inside a very cool metal tube (that sort of pops when you pull the top off). How novel!


The whole shebang

But that’s not the REAL novelty. Nope.

The build quality is superb, and I especially love the knurling at the end of the pen.


Twist this to extend and retract the rollerball

But that’s still not the novelty.

So what is it?!

(drumroll)

The ZAG GLOWS IN THE DARK.


A very novel pen novelty

With its cool packaging, smooth rollerball performance, obvious build quality, AND its glow-in-the-dark trick, I could not resist the Retro 51 Tornado ZAG Limited Edition pen.

Just don’t tell Aunt Dot.

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You can find the ZAG at:
Jetpens.com
Daly’s Pen Shop