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July 4, 2018

Anybody Else Collect Retro 51 Pens?

I started collecting Retro 51 (Retro 1951) Tornado pens in June, 2002, and acquired about 15 of them before I got derailed by family stuff in 2005.

Then, I came back to the hobby in 2015 and ever since have been trying to find all the great pens I missed in those 10 years. Here are some Limited Edition pens from my collection:These are the first 48 “Poppers” series pens in the order of the date they were released. The first one at the top, left is the Bocks Green (500)*, released in the Spring of 2008 and the last one at the bottom, right is the Tiki Kona (938), released in 2017. As you can see by the five empty slots, I’m missing a few Poppers.

Actually, one of the missing ones is in the mail to me now. It’s a Boomer (500), and will fill the far right slot (24th position) in the second photo. Once it’s inserted into it’s slot, you will notice that it is slightly longer than the other pens. That’s because it’s a Snapper Tornado (ballpoint only) that utilizes a push-button, rather than twist, mechanism to extend the ink cartridge.

There are also four Big Shot Tornadoes that have been released as Poppers, so far:  the Pigskin (500), Swish (500), Homerun (750), and Swish All-Star (951) (a red, white & blue version of the Swish). Big Shots are the same length as regular Tornadoes but are just a bit fatter.  Though the Vintage Wooden Surf (500) (second row, eighth pen) is a bit fatter than regular Tornadoes, it is not technically a Big Shot.

I have the five latest Poppers, numbers 49-53, in another zippered, leather 48-pen case but no photos of them, yet. So the search continues for the four pens needed to complete my Popper collection: Lightning (930), Daisy (500), Splat (750) (and the only other Popper that is also a Snapper), and 4Ever (365).

*Number in parentheses indicates number of that design manufactured.


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