Category Archives: Life’s Too Short

The Shield – Tornado Popper


Police officers have the toughest job and we really need more than just one week to show our appreciation! The latest Tornado Popper is dedicated to the blue, to the men and women who serve and protect us. This rollerball’s central feature is an acid-etch police badge in a stonewashed pewter finish with police cruiser inspired graphics printed around the barrel. It is complete with stealth black accents, engraved limited edition number and top ring with shield print. Whether you are an officer, retired officer or the loving family behind them, The Shield is dedicated to you.

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A portion of  the proceeds will be donated to Assist the Officer Foundation – Dallas, Texas Chapter to help provide assistance to officers and their families facing any number of life-altering situations incurred as a result of the officer’s service. For more information on ATO visit


·         Rollerball refill – REF5P
·         Limited Edition of 1515 pieces (significant for May 15th – Peace Officer’s Memorial Day). 
·         Standard Tornado size
·         Printed graphics + acid-etched badge on the barrel
·         Top Disc imprint – Police Shield
·         Stealth Black accents 
·         Limited Edition numbering on top ring 
·         Graphic packaging tube

Contact us if you need help finding a dealer for The Shield. For other Retro51 Fine Writing Pens visit

Life is too short to carry an Ugly Pen!®




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Filed under Collectible, fashion accessory, fathers day, fine writing, Gift Ideas, great gifts, Holidays, Life's Too Short, Organization, Penmanship, Tornado Collection, Tornado POP Series, Uncategorized, Writing pens

Q&A with Retro 51 Collector Aaron C.

A big thanks to Aaron for taking part in this question and answer! We hope our fans enjoy these posts as much as we do.

Retro: How many Retro pens and products do you own:
Aaaron:  I have 800+ pens and many desk accessories, games and displays.  I am only a handful away from owning at least one of every Retro 51 Tornado model ever made (excluding the one of kinds).  I actually fear the day I do have them all, because it is so much fun finding ones I don’t have.


Which Retro was your first one? Was it a gift or purchase for yourself?

I purchased my first Retro 51 Tornado, which was a “Denim” lacquer roller ball, at a Franklin Covey store in the mall in San Jose, CA.


What characteristic about our products are you drawn to?

Retro 51 Tornado pens are well designed, high quality and offered at a great value.  Naturally I really enjoyed my first Tornado and all the others since. 
The other attraction is the story behind the Texas-based company. If anyone out there hasn’t read the Pen World article , I highly recommend it.

Do you have a favorite or a top five favorites?
My favorites are the Ceramics, Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber, Woods, Cioppino (Abalone shells), Acrylics, Atomic Series (PVDT Plating), Anitque Metalsmith Series and Sterling.  Sorry for going way, way past 5.
How long have you been collecting Retro 51’s?

Shortly after I bought my first in 2006.

What made you start collecting Retro products?

A pen I like in so many cool finishes and themes, I had to have more.  I started my collection by adding the Franklin Covey Denim pencil, then the other lacquers, then the Disco Groove Writer.  It just continued on from there.  The Poppers are especially fun to hear about since they come at random times and are a complete surprise.
Which Popper theme do you think we need to come out with next?
Here are a few ideas:
1.       Materials –gold, gem stones, marble, granite, metamorphic rock, glass, silicon ingot, sand
2.       Planetary Series
3.       Weather Series (How about a Tornado Tornado?)
4.       Musical Series: music notes, musical instruments, guitar fret, piano keyboard, etc.
5.       National Parks / Monuments / Popular Places In World Series
6.       Holiday Series
7.       Hobbies / Fitness / Entertainment Series
8.       Foods Series – I loved the ice cream and donuts pens you designed but never made; a watermelon with seeds design would be cool)
9.       A circuit board design, schematic design
10.     NASCAR!

What is your next Retro 51 purchase?
Hopefully one of the ones I am missing.  🙂
We have more Q&A’s with Retro collectors coming soon. If you have a large Retro collection please contact us via our Facebook or Twitter accounts.


Filed under Collectible, fashion accessory, fathers day, fine writing, Gift Ideas, graduation gift, great gifts, Life's Too Short, mothers day, Uncategorized, Writing pens

Life’s Too Short To……

If you’re a fan of Retro 51, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen our slogan, “Life’s too short to carry an ugly pen!” a time or two. And perhaps you’ve even thought to yourself, “Well that’s catchy, but I could think of a better version.” Well, now’s your chance!  Let us know what life’s too short for in your opinion.  Here are a few of our favorites.

 Life’s too short to not laugh at yourself

Life’s too short  not to laugh at yourself

Life's too short to not travel

Life’s too short to not travel the world

Life’s too short to not live your dreams

Life’s too short to not live your dreams

Life’s too short  to not  try all the flavors of your favorite ice cream

Life's too short to not forgive your mother-in-law

Life’s too short to stay mad at your mother-in-law

Life’s too short to  not take chances

Life’s too short  not to take chances

So now it’s your turn! Let us know what you think life’s too short for. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Filed under Life's Too Short