Creative Writing with Rob W.

RETRO 51 BULLETIN by Rob Woodruff


At the annual Ya-Ling festival in Manhattan, two burly knurly-knobbed Tornado rollerballs wearing bandanas got into a Cursive dispute with two elderly Acrylics: an Umbra and a Cotton Candy who were on their way to Lincoln Plaza to view a documentary about Eisenhower. The heated exchange, no doubt fueled by Absinthe or Vino on the part of the masked Tornadoes, escalated into a physical assault in Shark Alley.  


Luckily, two nearby Rescue Retros armed with Easy-Flow 9000 ballpoints quickly intervened to lend a Hand. A Dog, floating like a Butterfly, dispensed a flurry of mixed-martial metaphors and a Buzz delivered several perfectly timed, stinging rebukes that subdued the ruffians until a squad of Desk Sets arrived.


The heavily inked rollerballs were apprehended at the scene and later identified as Bandits Jesse and Billy. Both were described as well-known, brightly colored Poppers always looking to spill some ink. Fortunately, the thin blue line has their Numbers and knows their Agenda but acknowledged they are nothing like the Radicals the Desk Sets occasionally encounter.


Two Japanese tourists, smartly dressed in Blue & Gray Stripes, said they were just photographing the NYC Skyline when the brouhaha erupted like a Lava Flow. The self-described 3rd-degree black belts in Sudoku said they were preparing to intercede when the Rescues appeared like bolts of Lightning out of the clear True Blue sky.


Another witness, Juliet (last name withheld), was overheard saying, “anyone that gets into a scribbling match with those Rescue Retros will be easily out-doodled. If I hadn’t been sitting here waiting for my friends Betsy and Jackie to go get some Hot Coffee I would have missed the whole thing.”


Later, the Buzz, with a Twinkle in her eye, told our reporter, “we Rescues might start out as ballpoints but we’re Tornadoes, afterall, and can easily handle any rollerballs, and we definitely know when and where to draw the line. I would happily Zap those Jokers again, she added.” She and the Dog then departed to a Medley of Cheers from a small group of nearby Elite festival attendees.


The ailing Acrylics, bruised and with minor scratches (but fortunately no chips), were escorted to Dr. Gray’s office for new refills, a brief Infusion of Red Wine, and to have their clips adjusted. Then it was just a quick Zip over to see their Legal pencil to see if charges should be filed. Declining to Bill the distraught victims for their services, the providers said their work for elderly Retros is covered by RetroCare with just a $7.50 deductible. Both victims asked to meet their rescuers to extend their “Thanks” and hope to send them each a Daisy Bouquet.


After hosing the Blue Streak and Bubblegum off the sidewalk, Engine 37 departed with sirens quiet but lights flashing.


As of 10:00 p.m. the assailants’ brother, Sundance, had yet to post bail.


Can you count how many Retro51 product/pen names were used?



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NEW Tornado Popper – Dynasty


According to historians, blue and white earthenware originated as early as the seventh century during the Tang Dynasty and became broadly popular in the 13th century during the Yuan Dynasty. By the 14th century it was mass produced and traded throughout the Eastern world and continues to be popular to this day. The latest Tornado Popper ‘Dynasty’ is printed with a dragon, phoenix and floral motif inspired by these historical artifacts. They are finished with stonewashed pewter accents and complete with the Chinese symbol representing “fortune” imprinted on the top disc. Each rollerball pen has been numbered on the top ring and packaged in a commemorative tube with only 888 pieces produced. Make sure to get one for your collection before they become history themselves.


Please contact our customer service to find a dealer. Email: sales[at] or call 972-479-1405. Some dealers will post links within the comment section as well.



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Arbor Day 2018

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Friday April 27th is National Arbor Day so get out your Retro51’s and share the message! With every purchase of a bamboo Retro design, a donation was (or will be) made to the Arbor Day Foundation to save 250 square feet of rainforest. Since this program was launched in 2010, Retro has made donations that has saved over 6.6 million square feet of rainforest. That is 116 football fields worth of land! 

Arbor Day’s goal is to plant an additional 50,000 trees this month. Whenever you use #arborday in your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts during the month of April #arborday plants a tree.

We will randomly choose five winners and you may enter once per day (up to five times). Enter the contest by doing the following:

  1. Take a photo of your Retro51 pen with handwritten message “Arbor Day 2018.”
  2. Type #arborday when you post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

Bonus Entry!

  1. Sign the pledge to plant a tree during the month of April for an additional entry into the drawing (just note in the handwritten message #Pledge)
  2. Buy something or Donate to the Arbor Day for another entry (note on the handwritten message #donation)

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Five winners will get to choose from the Bamboo Tray, Bamboo Tornado or Hamsa Tornado. You can only win once.

Contest entry ends Monday April 30th at 8 am CDT. We will compile all the entries and randomly  choose 5 winners that will be announced via social media Monday 4/30 in theafternoon. Winners will be contacted via the site they entered through (FB, IG, or TW).


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Retro 51 Bracket Challenge

Now that March Madness is in full swing, it’s time to fill out a bracket with your predictions of who you think will go all the way.  Basketball you say?  No!  We’re talking fan favorite Retro pens here.  To find out which Retro pen of is really #1, we bring you the Retro 51 Bracket Challenge! 

Simply follow these rules and enjoy watching the pens face off in a daily vote. Can you predict which designs will be the favorites? Will your favorite design be voted the #1 Retro? Sign up according to the rules below and see how to win these coveted prizes.


  1. Print out the bracket and fill in which designs you think will win each round. (OR fill out the Retro51_Bracket Challenge Excel File).
  2. Email your bracket (photo of handwritten version OR Excel file) to before the Wednesday 3/20 at 8 am CDT DEADLINE.
  3. Come back daily and vote (via social media sites) for each pen’s face offs. The design(s) with the most votes after 24 hours will be the winner and advance to the next round.
  4. Keep track of your score to see how well you are doing.
  5. One entry per person


Photo references (download here):




Each round will receive points for the number of correct predicted winners.

Round 1 –  2 points per correct predicted winner

Round 2 –  4 points

Round 3 – 8 points

Round 4 – 16 points

Round 5 (Final) – 32 points


The winners with the most points will win the following:

Grand Prize: Abbondanza 10th Anniversary Ebonite Rollerball/Fountain Pen with Titanium Nib. This was a limited edition of 351 pieces from 1990 produced in Italy.


Second Place: 10th Anniversary Titanium Tornado Rollerball – Limited Edition of 1951 pieces from 1990 in the original packaging.

Third Place – Fifth Place: Choice of 15th Anniversary Deco Gift Set, 15th Anniversary Etched Tornado or 20th Anniversary Copper Tornado with keyring token.

Sixth & Seventh Place – If you took part in the contest, we’ll randomly choose two winners to get any left over anniversary Tornado prizes from the 3rd and fifth place prize level.

Good Luck!


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NEW Tornado Popper – Swish All-Star

Step up your writing game with the SWISH All-Star from Retro 51!
With the basketball season intensifying in college and NBA, who will be the all-star to take their team to the championship? This Big Shot rollerball has an acid-etched texture with hand applied red, white and blue lacquer complete with black gloss trim. Each pen has been numbered on the top ring and comes in a matching tube with only 951 pieces produced. Make a fast break to your Retro dealer because the timer is already ticking down. BOOMSHAKALAKA!
Please email for help finding a dealer. These will be in stores this week to early next week based on location.


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Launch the New Year with this new Tornado Popper…

Mission_Mars_SS_animFor decades NASA has sent orbiters and rovers to gather intelligence that will help us learn about Mars and the ability to land a manned mission. The latest Tornado Popper, Mission to Mars recognizes the imagination that first started in the pulp comics of the 30s – 40s to the reality it has become less than a century later. This Tornado barrel is printed with graphics reflective of the future rocket that will launch this mission complete with logo top disc and numbered top ring. Pick up one of these collectible rollerballs (numbered edition of 730) because they’re going to blast off in 10…9…8…

They are shipping to retailers today (1-8-18) and will be in stores later this week to early next week (Jan 10th-15th). Email for help finding a dealer.

Why 730 pieces? This is significant for the number of days it would take to make a round trip from Earth to Mars and back.


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Fountain Pen Day Contest 2017

This coming Friday, November 3rd, is National Fountain Pen Day. In honor of this special day for penthusiasts, we will be giving a Tornado Fountain Pen away every day this week (and two on Friday). 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 2017 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 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. Each day starts a fresh drawing.


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The winner will get to choose between the  Black Acrylic, Orange, Peacock, Black Cherry Classic lacquers or the Lincoln. Nibs available in Fine, Medium and Broad.

Good luck and thanks for entering!


DAY 1 Winner:

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Day 2 Winner:

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Day 3 Winner:



Day 4 Winner:

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Day 5 Winner:

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who took part in this fun week’s event. We’ll do this again next year. Until then… Life is too short to carry an Ugly Pen!® (Pass it on).

Just some of the entries…FPDAY_Collage


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NEW Tornado Popper – Zodiac



We can’t tell you what your future will bring, but we know cool stuff awaits you! The Zodiac twist-top rollerball is decorated with all twelve (western) zodiac signs that is complimented with matte black nickel accents. The stealth style and smooth writer can be utilized for several tasks, but more importantly, it will be a catalyst to capture your dreams. Each Zodiac comes packaged in a matching tube and is numbered on the top ring. Act fast though because only 812 were made and it will sell out.




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Life is too short T-shirt now Available


The official “Life is too short to carry an Ugly Pen!®” shirt is now available for purchase! This 100% cotton navy shirt is not only cool, but it also supports a great non profit group. ALL the sales proceeds will be given to CAMPAIGN FOR CURSIVE, a nonprofit group focused on bringing public recognition and awareness to the importance of teaching cursive writing to all kids, and even adults. Due to their hard work over the past several years they’ve seen legislation return cursive instruction to the curriculum in many states. Research shows that while technology is needed in a digital age, handwriting is necessary, too, for a well-rounded education. 

Call 972-479-1405 ext 321 or email to order yours today. Make sure to specify size (Unisex sizes Small through 4X), shipping address & a payment method (Credit Card only).

• 100% Cotton Navy T-Shirt

• Unisex Sizes (Small through 4X)

• $13.50 + USPS Shipping (+ Taxes for Texas residents)

• All Sales Final. While Supplies Last.





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Hurricane Harvey Giving Encouragement



 Update – Contest Winners:

THANK YOU to everyone who took part in the Hurricane Harvey Donations! Over three thousand dollars was donated to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts because of you.

We randomly selected ten winners and they are listed below. I will be contacting each to arrange for the prizes.
1. Raul E.
2. Rob W.
3. Gregg M.
4. Mayer M.
5. Adam U.
6. Dan D.
7. Tina S. M.
8. Keith M.
9. Helen W.
10. Jeff C.


Hurricane Harvey is the most deadly and devastating hurricane to strike U.S. in over a decade. We want to encourage giving to the Red Cross to help the massive relief effort to come. We will have a drawing for 10 unique, one-of-kind/ factory sample Tornados to promote giving donations.

How to enter:

  • Text “Harvey” to 90999 to give a $10 donation to the Red Cross (or Donate at Red and make sure the funds are directed to “Hurricane Harvey”).
  • Each $10 donation gives you one (1) entry into the drawing to win. There is no limit to entries (but you can only win once).
  • Either email, tweet us @Retro1951 or comment via Facebook with how many $10 donations you gave. (We are doing this on a trust basis).
  • This donation promotion ends at 9 am CDT on Tuesday, Sept. 5th and will do the drawing that afternoon.

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Encouragement Gifts:

Ten total winners. One given to each of the winners drawn at random. Only one win per person.

Thank you for taking part and your continued support.

-The Retro 51 Team



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