New Retro Releases for the Holidays!

Retro 51 is proud to partner with the United States Postal Service on a collection of licensed writing instruments! The Holiday stamp is the first design to start this new licensed collection.

Plus, scroll down to see the new Douglass 3-Piece Gift Set!

Celebrate the holidays with this festive new Tornado. Inspired by folk art but with a modern graphic vibe, these charming rollerball pens will add a touch of whimsy to your holiday mailings. 

This Retro51 Tornado rollerball pen features the 2020 USPS Holiday Stamp art silkscreened on the stainless-steel barrel and finished with a gloss varnish complimented by the polished chrome trim. Each Tornado’s top ring features an engraved USPS logo plus the pens’ limited-edition number engraved of 1225 pieces. Finally, each pen is topped with a graphic finial with one more snowflake looking up at you when it’s stored upright in your pocket or purse. The Retro51 licensed pen comes within a commemorative USPS packaging tube that not only stores your Retro, but also can be used as a pen stand on your desk when not in use. Pick up this festive rollerball just in time to write your holiday letters or gift to friends and family!

With a traditional palette of red, green and white, illustrator Kirsten Ulve channeled her love of Christmas, vintage ornaments and Scandinavian folk art to create unique digital illustrations of four holiday icons: a prancing reindeer with antlers; an ornament tied with a bow and ready to hang; a tree topped with a star; and a stocking holding a teddy bear and a sprig of holly. 

Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps.

NEW Douglass 3-Piece Gift Set

With its tactile computer engraved texture on stonewashed pewter finish, the Douglass writing instruments have become a favorite design of 2021. For the first time, a 3-piece pen set complete with matching rollerball, 1.15 mm pencil and fountain pen are now available in a sturdy gift box that doubles as a pen case with secure magnetic closure. Joining the smooth rollerball are a matching 1.15 mm pencil and fountain pen (with select nib options) with extra lead, erasers and fountain converter stored inside. The famous abolitionist and orator’s portrait is on the rollerball and fountain pen finial plus on this trio set’s magnetic box packaging. Hours of writing delight awaits you or fortunate gift recipient with this new writing set. 

Order Details:
Order at your favorite Retro51 Dealer or contact us if you need any help finding one. Dealers can also be found on the Retro51 website through this link: Dealer Near You.

Thank you from the Retro51 Team and Happy Holidays!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fountain Pen Day 2021 Contest

This coming Friday, November 5th, is National Fountain Pen Day. In honor of this special day for penthusiasts, we will be giving away three new Raw Brass Tornado Fountain Pens. Here is how to enter the contest:

  1. Take a photo of any Retro51 pen (fountain, rollerball, ballpoint or pencil) you are currently using and hand write Fountain Pen Day 2021 next to it.
  2. Post this image either on our Facebook page, on Twitter (tagging us @Retro1951), or on Instagram (also tagging us @Retro1951) .
  3. One entry per person, per day (one day = from noon till 11:59 am the following day – central time). The photo must be different for each day/entry. You can enter once daily, but you may only win once.

One winner will be chosen for each day by random number generator with all three winners announced on Wednesday, November 10th via our social channels.


Three winners will get the new Raw Brass Fountain with Medium Nib.

Good luck, thanks for entering and Happy Fountain Pen Day!

Congratulations to our three winners!

Day 1 Winner

Day 2 Winner

Day 3 Winner


Filed under Uncategorized

Tornado Popper – Sleepy Hollow

“Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.”

“The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War, and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind. His haunts are not confined to the valley, but extend at times to the adjacent roads, and especially to the vicinity of a church at no great distance. Indeed, certain of the most authentic historians of those parts, who have been careful in collecting and collating the floating facts concerning this spectre, allege that the body of the trooper having been buried in the churchyard, the ghost rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head, and that the rushing speed with which he sometimes passes along the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated, and in a hurry to get back to the churchyard before daybreak.

Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.”


Celebrating the spooks and specters of Halloween, Retro 51 has conjured this haunting limited edition, Sleepy Hollow, just in time for All Hallows’ Eve. Matching Rickshaw Single Pen Sleeve also available. Only 1031 Rollerballs available. MSRP $50/pen, $21/sleeve. Contact us if you need help finding a dealer.


Filed under Uncategorized

New Brass Classics and More!

NEW, NEW and more NEW designs from Retro51! From the Brass Classics to two new glow in the dark Tornados, these rollerballs are sure to make many eyes light up with excitement. 

Retro 51’s Classic Tornado is joined by a new member to the family, the Brass Classic. This twist-top Classic rollerball pen with stainless-steel barrel* and vibrant lacquer finish is now accented with polished brass trim. As always, each Tornado is packaged in Retro branded graphic tube that can be used as a pen stand or carrying case when it’s not in use. Return to the golden age of fine writing with this collection.

*Orange Classic uses a Brass barrel
Classic White Tornado (Left)
New for 2021, a beautiful gloss white lacquer finish joins the Retro 51 Classic Tornado’s colorful line of pens. Put this rollerball in the light and watch it glow with a blue luminescence at night. This rollerball is on standby to capture all your dreams. Each one is packaged in a Retro brand tube.
Chaplin Tornado (Right)
Although simple in design, this rollerball is far from silent. The Chaplin Tornado’s matte white finish over a stainless-steel body with black trim would be enough to draw the eye of any pen fan.  But this pen becomes a star at night with its blue luminescent glow! Pick up the Chaplin and start practicing your autograph.

For help finding a dealer please contact us.

Thank you,

Retro 51 Team


Filed under Uncategorized

Ballpoint Pen Day + Make Life Beautiful Day Contest

Tomorrow is National Ballpoint Pen Day and Friday is National Making Life Beautiful Day, so we wanted to celebrate these two days with a fun contest! As you know Life is too short to carry an Ugly Pen, so get your Retros out for a chance to win a Buzz Tornado that uses the smooth and long-lasting Easy Flow ballpoint refill. It’s always good to have multiple Retros at hand, so enter the contest by following these steps and make life beautiful!

Contest Rules:

  • Create something that is beautiful to you, whether it is a drawing, writing a poem or musical lyric or even just writing “Make Life Beautiful” using a Retro51 writing instrument(s).
  • Handwrite within the creation #MLBR51  
  • Photograph the Retro51 pen you used next to your beautiful creation
  • Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us 
    • (Post on Retro’s Facebook Page or tag us on Instagram and Twitter @Retro1951)
  • Contest entries end Friday morning 6/11/21 at 9 am Central


Three winners will be selected by the Retro51 team based on beauty, originality, cleverness, plus other distinguishable characteristics that “make life beautiful.” The winners will be shared on our social media pages, given credit for their creation and contacted via the social media channel so we can mail you the prize.

Thanks from the Retro 51 Team


Filed under Uncategorized

Tornado Popper – Gnome Sweet Gnome

Celebrating Spring and Summer, flowers and woodland creatures and most importantly celebrating the Gnomes that are hidden in this floral paradise.  Look carefully and join the few who truly see the hidden world of the Gnomes.  While some see them as garden kitsch, you will have your Gnome friends with you in work and play. These Gnomes tend to and protect our gardens.  These little friends are here to bring a smile to you every day. Whether you have a “green thumb” or not, you are sure to love this Rollerball. But don’t hesitate because they are limited to 1951 pieces and will disappear as fast as you can say “Gnome Sweet Gnome.”

A matching Rickshaw Bag’s single pen sleeve is also available. Sold separately.

Order at your favorite Retro51 Dealer or reply to this email if you need any help finding one. Dealers can also be found on the Retro51 website through this link: Dealer Near You.


Filed under Uncategorized

Tornado Popper – Herald

Hear ye, hear ye! The Herald is here declaring a new era has begun and yet the mission of Retro 51 will continue forth…”Life is too short to carry an Ugly Pen!” 

As we build towards a bright future – with the first Popper not only of 2021, but also of the new torchbearers of Retro 51 – we wanted to highlight the amazing community of writers, calligraphers, creatives and day to day pen aficionados who appreciate a fine writing instrument. 

The Herald highlights the slogan we have all come to love and proclaim when we show off our writing collection at work and home. Hidden messages encircle the pen, weaving a symbolic story of Retro 51.  It has been said,  “the pen is mightier than the sword,” and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and this pen’s eye is surrounded by strength and beauty. With The Herald, you have a tool which allows you to create new beginnings, write new worlds… You have been given the keys to unlock untold mysteries.  With this pen, you are part of a community.  You are entrusted to be the messenger spreading the word that “Life is too short to carry an Ugly Pen!”  All of these symbols (and more) are printed and accentuated with a Victorian pattern (and a surprise in the border) over a stainless-steel barrel complete with antique silver trim.

Pick up The Herald, a keystone design for your Retro 51 collection. They are limited to 1951 rollerballs with each design engraved with a limited-edition number. For the first time, a matching Rickshaw plush single pen sleeve is also available to store your Tornado to keep it in pristine condition. Available at your favorite Retro51 dealer OR emailus if you need help finding a dealer, customerservice[at]retro51[dot]com.


Filed under Uncategorized

Retro 2.0

To the worldwide fans of Retro 51 and beyond,

In early 2020, George Kartsotis announced that after 30 years he and the Retro 51 brand would be retiring. How could we let Retro end?  The answer is… we couldn’t. 

We are now under new ownership with the same outstanding team members. We are thrilled to announce that Richard, our Lead Designer for 20 years, is staying with us.  You will also still be hearing from Dan in Sales, as well as our front-line Customer Service experts. Thank you to this team for their dedication throughout the unknowns of 2020.

Additionally, George and Vickie will stick around a little longer to share their 30 years of experience and insights. We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank George for working with us and helping us put this team together.  We are honored to be the new custodians of Retro 51.

There will be more details to come, but rest assured we are 100% committed to continuing the high level of quality, unique designs, and exceptional customer service everyone has come to expect and love about Retro 51 products.  We are fans, collectors, and yes…we walk among you.

We can’t wait to get popping!

Adam, Jeff & Joe


Filed under Uncategorized

A Letter from George


About a year ago I let you all know I was going to retire. 

After many conversations with loyal fans, collectors, well-wishers, and prospective owners an agreement has been made, a deal formed and completed. 

First, I want to thank you all for your support, business and personal, your purchases in funding our endeavor, and your passion in spreading the RETRO 51 message to all of our fans. 

Second is to say a little about the future. 

The new owners are fans and collectors, as well as accomplished business professionals. There will be some minor changes to come but with the guidance of the existing staff the basics will be the same. 

For now: 

Vickie will continue dealing with the existing factories and the products will not change. 

Richard will remain as design guru so the hits will keep on coming.

Dan will train the new sales team as he winds down into retirement. 

Customer service will continue with the same passion for excellence it has so rightfully earned. 

And I will be available with my opinion for at least one year. 

For the future: 

In the interim, I expect a shortage of standard items but the pipeline is up and running and will be back at full force quite soon. 

As my buddy Dan says…
Thanks for workin’ 



Filed under Uncategorized

Tornado Popper – Tuesday!

The year ends with one last Tornado Popper… Tuesday!  These UFO’s have searched the galaxy for fine writing instruments and they’re taking them and office supplies. Hurry up and grab one of these latest Popper designs before they vanish. This vibrant rollerball has a shimmering blue metallic barrel with printed yellow fluorescent design that also glows in the dark. It’s topped with friendly alien and each one is engraved with its limited-edition number in a series of 1951 pieces. After all, Life is too short to carry an Ugly Pen!®

Please check your favorite Retro Dealer for availability. Here are just some of that will be selling them online:

Fahrneys Pens, Goldspot, Pen Chalet, Airline International, iPenStore, Pen Boutique, Santa Fe Pens, Pen and Pad, Goulet Pen Co., Hyatts All Things Creative, Pen Place, Pen Lovers Paradise, Vanness Pens and many more…


Filed under Uncategorized