sumo, ergo bloggum (delta)

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.


November 27, 2006

New Pilot (Namiki) Vanishing Point (Capless) Limited Edition Fountain Pen

Filed under: Pens — Rob @ 5:31 pm

It’s “Ice Blue” in color, comes with an 18k gold medium nib (only) and has just been released for sale. Only 2,000 are available worldwide.

They retail for $200 but I’ve seen them for $150. In 2-3 years they’ll go for $400-$500. Yeah, I know I don’t need one but I really want one. Sort of.

August 20, 2006

Namiki Pens

Filed under: Pens,Random Thoughts — Rob @ 11:20 pm

Confession first: Yes, I’m a nib nerd. There, it’s out. Now on with the post.

It’s my understanding that there are at least four yellow Namiki Vanishing Point or Capless fountain pens:

1. A “deep” yellow that was issued with an alloy nib in Japan in ~2000.

2. A “mandarin” yellow with a 14k gold medium nib, of which some 1,500 were issued in the US in May 2003. It was distributed in a hinged blue gift box. (9/15/06 – just got one of these from a guy I met at the DC Pen Show in August.)

3. A “special” mustard (ochre) yellow with an 18k gold nib which only recently has been issued in Japan. Supposedly very rare in the US.  (I think I have one of these but am not sure how to distinguish it from the pen described in #1., above.)

4. A “harvest” yellow-gold “decimo” that is narrower than the other models and which may have an alloy nib — also just introduced in the past couple of months.

I’m looking for more information about these and any other shades of yellow (for the Vanishing Point pen only) that possibly have been produced.  Am also interested in learning more about the alloy nibs, i.e., what metals are used, how many different alloy nibs have been produced, their characteristics, and why Namiki is substituting them for the traditional 14k and 18k nibs, etc.

Please comment if you have any clarifying or additional information.  Thanks!

Update on 7/4/2018:

I believe there is now another bright yellow VP with black trim that is only available in Italy… anybody know for sure?



Create a free website or blog at