Pop Contest – Crossword Puzzle

Fill in this crossword puzzle and win prizes listed below. The first two puzzles emailed with all the correct answers will win.


  • Email typed out answers  OR
  • Print, fill out and email photo of completed puzzle to…

The Contest is officially closed as we have our two winners!

First place wins a Twinkle Popper Tornado and the second wins a Classic Lacquer of their choice. Winners will be notified by email. Good luck!


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Find the “51”s


THIS CONTEST IS OFFICIALLY OVER. If you want to play anyways, please see in the comments for the correct number.

Original Rules:

How many “51”s can you find? The first two people that email us with the correct number will win. Email the answer [at]retro51[dot]com. Do not comment below with the answer, only email responses will be accepted. We will not respond unless you send the correct answer.

We will comment below with the correct answer as soon as we have the two winners and the contest is closed.

First place wins a Twinkle Popper Tornado and the second wins a Classic Lacquer of their choice. Good luck!



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Cards for Hospitalized Kids Contest

‘Tis the season to be thankful and giving! We are thankful for our many fans and want to give back to you during this festive time. This unique  contest not only gives you a chance to win a Retro51 but also bring joy to a young child that needs a holiday pick-me-up!


Cards for Hospitalized Kids is an internationally recognized charitable organization that spreads hope, joy & magic to hospitalized kids across America through uplifting, handmade cards.”  So get out your Retro’s and let’s start the holiday season off with a giving heart.

The Winning Prize:

3 Winners will be chosen for favorite card design. The Retro team will vote to choose these winners based on most creative, fun, beautiful, unique, festive, etc. Each winner will win a Twinkle limited Popper specially held aside for this contest.


3 Winners will also be chosen by random drawing for their entry. They have a choice of any Classic, Deluxe or Vintage Metalsmith Tornado.

How to Enter the Contest:

  1. Read the FAQ on how to make the cards: http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/faqs.html
  2. Make a holiday card for a hospitalized kid using your Retro51 pens,  pencils and and other craft supply you desire (paint, colored pencils, watercolor, collage materials, etc). Please make sure the card is constructed well and will not fall apart.
  4. Send us the card so you will be entered for the drawing. Send these to: Retro 1951,  att: Cards for Kids, 1306 Exchange Drive, Richardson, TX 75081
  5. Include a post-it note with name and email address so we can contact you should you win.


  • You may enter up to three cards per person
  • The cards must have a holiday message (Christmas, Season’s Greeting, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah,  etc.)
  • The cards must arrive at Retro 1951 no later than Tuesday December 8th.
  • On a separate paper or post-it include your name and email address
  • Have fun!
  • You may only win once

So this Thanksgiving, gather the family around and make a card for a hospitalized kid. Together let’s share the joy of the season. Please share photos as you are making your cards by posting on our Facebook wall or tagging us on Twitter or Instagram @Retro1951. Stay tuned as we share the cards we will be making as well.

Retro 1951 has final choice on what cards fulfills the requirements stated above. We also have the right to publish via our social media sites. We will not share your contact information with anyone. Retro 51 employees and their direct family are not eligible to win.

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Fountain Pen Day Contest

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This coming Friday, November 6th, is National Fountain Pen Day. In honor of this special day for pen enthusiasts we will be giving a Tornado Fountain Pen away every day this week. Here is how to enter the daily contest:

  1. Take a photo of any Retro51 pen (or pencil) you are currently using and write Fountain Pen Day 2015 next to it.
  2. Post this image either on our Facebook page, on Twitter (tagging us @Retro1951), on Instagram (also tagging us @Retro1951) or by commenting below.
  3.  One entry per person, per day (one day = from noon till 11:59 am the following day). The photo must be different for each day/entry. You can enter once daily with up to five chances to win. You may only win once.

We will randomly select a winner everyday at noon (CST) and post the name on our social media sites.

Daily Prize:

Tuesday – Black Acrylic

Wednesday – White Nickel

Thursday – Lincoln

Friday – Prism & Marlin (Two Winners)


From left to right: Black, White Nickel, Lincoln, Prism and Marlin.

Good luck!


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Designing a Popper – Nine Lives

This is a behind the scene look on how the Nine Lives Popper came to life. The end product you see took several months of work by several people. We hope you enjoy this step by step process.

The first step in designing any Popper is coming up with a concept, this one was of course cats. The cat theme was proposed with several other themes to the product development team to gauge an interest. From there, I start working on how this pen will be stylized. For the cat pen, several doodles and sketches were drawn (with a Tornado of course).


They were rough drawings, but I scanned them and turned them in vector based artwork.


That’s when color was brought into the design. After playing with the original doodles I presented two rough ideas , plus three different looks. From simple to more complicated, everyone has different tastes, so I try to cover a broad range.


These concepts are then off to the product development team for review. A vote is taken and revisions are requested. Some designs are lucky enough to be “one and done,” but this cat design was scrutinized for optimal cuteness! The team liked option three but for several reasons we decided on a less colorful approach. Here was the second revision:


The product development team was happy with this design… woo hoo! The next step is prepping the art to produce a sample. This is the technical part of the design, and it can be tedious separating the artwork in color layers plus choosing Pantone colors. Finally it’s off to the printer and a couple weeks later we get a sample back…


The first sample came in and they looked great! Sometimes colors need to be changed or an art layer printed incorrectly and revisions are necessary, but this time it was “one and done.” Now it’s onto the product development team to see if it’s cool enough to produce for the Popper line. After more scrutinizing, we all agreed that the “cat pen” was going to be a Popper! Now onto the next steps, because yes there are more! First, we need an official name and then we need a packaging label. Several names were thrown out including: BOO, Superstitious, Tom Kat, but Nine Lives was the winner.


Since the cats were hand drawn, I felt the name should have the same rough, hairy, fun feeling to match.  I hand drew all verbiage and repeated the same process for the name as done for the pen. After approval from the team, it’s sent out for production and a sample comes in for our review. Finally after weeks of production, the product is delivered and the final step of making a sale sheet (this one was an animated version), photographing the product plus writing sales copy is done.



After several months of work, the Nine Lives Popper was released to our retailers for sale. The design process is complete, but the promotion, sales and customer service support are more steps to complete the Popper release. On the design side, it’s back to square one. Time to create another design fast, pronto, like yesterday!

The best part of the process is hearing our customers response to the designs. It makes the months of work worthwhile knowing that someone cherishes this pen and it brings them such pleasure. We hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at Retro 51’s design process. Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you.


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Winners of the Caption Contest

It was tough to choose amongst all the great entries but the Retro team voted and here were our three favorites (in no particular order):
1. Oh my. Now my outfit is complete Darling.
2. Retro 51 – The sparkle that leaves you speechless
3. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but a Retro 51 is priceless.

Thank you again to all that entered!


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Caption Contest

It’s been awhile since we have had a contest to give you, our fans, a chance to win a Retro 51 fine writing instrument. We are thankful for the many fans and friends we have made over the years, so this is our way of giving back to you. To win all you have to do is follow these rules:

  1. Enter a caption (comment below) for the cartoon below.
  2. An email must be linked to the entry so we can contact you if you win.
  3. One entry per person (all other entries will be discarded)
  4. Contest ends at 8:00 AM Monday, August 24th, 2015

That’s it, just give us your best caption for the cartoon drawn by our summer intern Luke. The winner will have a chance to win one of the new Tornado designs below. The Retro 51 team will choose our three favorite captions and notified by email.

Good luck and thanks again!


The Prize:

You get to choose from one of these new Tornado designs:



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