This is a review of the Retro 51 Tornado - Natural Bamboo rollerball pen.
With your purchase of a Bamboo Tornado™, Retro 1951 will make a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation to rescue 250 square feet of rain forest and the habitat it protects. The barrel of this Tornado is made from bamboo, a renewable resource, that is as beautiful as it is durable. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, conservation and education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.
lacquer bodies. I think they’re gorgeous. Magnificent, shiny colorsm and I’ve always wanted one. (Well. Not just one. I kind of want one of each color on here.) I just haven’t convinced myself to get one (or all muahaha) yet. I’m usually not a big sucker for expensive rollerballs/ballpoints. I usually figure, it’s just regular ink so it’s not really outstanding, unless it’s a really neat color (or scented or something). But I was attracted to this pen mainly because I am a huge sucker. Plain, normal pen? Meh. Put an engraved, adorable little panda face? I’LL TAKE IT! Not that this is a plain, normal pen to begin with. It’s bamboo and it’s really neat. However, in conclusion: I remain a sucker for rollerball/ballpoint pens after all.
The barrel is made from 100% solid bamboo. The striations on this pen are natural and beautiful. You might be thinking to yourself right now, “Ziza. Bamboo is from nature. I thought you cared about the environment, how could you?!” You’re right. I DO care about the environment! But bamboo is a super fast growing, renewable wood. And pens are my hedonistic treat. It’s not like I’m buying a giant house made of bamboo, right? This is a teeny tiny amount of bamboo!
This baby is solid, tough, and feels like it will be able to withstand a million twists throughout its (hopefully lengthy) lifetime. And if that wasn’t cool enough, it also has “Retro 1951 Tornado” written in cool tornado-like writing. What the heck is tornado-like writing? I shall show you. Also notice the tiny little pokey bits on the twist mechanism!
The ink is really nice. It’s very smooth, almost like a gel ink pen, and is solid black. It’s a little on the wet side but dries fairly fast. You may have noticed, wet inks and drying times don’t really bother me. I like smooth writing experiences and I’ll take what is necessary to get it. This pen is refillable of course, with Easy Flow 9000 refills. Rumor has it Parker and Monteverde refills fit in here, too. Scroll down to recommended refills to see for yourself!
The pen is a suitable size for me. It’s not particularly large (approximately 5”). Like all Tornado pens, it does taper towards the tip. There is also no grip, which is a good thing as a grip would completely disrupt the smooth look of the bamboo! Either way, the ink is so easy flowing, it doesn’t need grip. I very much am pleased with the weight of the pen as well. I wrote extensively and did not experience abnormal hand fatigue (just the usual from writing extensively!).
And now. For the piece de resistance. TA-DA! A PANDA FACE! I’m so obsessed with this panda face. I was sold the second I saw it. They could have told me it was $100 and my third cat’s whiskers and I would have given it to them. (No cats were harmed in the making of this review.) I don’t know why I’m such a sucker, but I am. And the panda face was so cute I couldn’t help it. I need a good ballpoint to keep with my Filofax anyway, and ones with grip get stuck in the little pen loop that come attached to the Filofax so this was perfect.
Green folks, you might question whether your $40 would be better suited being donated to the Arbor Day Foundation directly instead of through a pen purchase, but cut yourself some slack. You like pens and you want to help the environment. Bamboo is a great renewable resource, and you can help save the rainforest! Don’t feel guilty. If you love pens and want to give yourself a treat, don’t feel bad about this one. You should have happiness, too.
Other reviews of this adorable pen:
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Fahrney’s Pens - $40.00
Goldspot - $38.80 (on sale right now!)
I love this pen. I’ve only had it for two days and I am in love with it. I love that I’m saving some rainforest WHILE enjoying a great looking, great writing, absolutely adorable panda pen. If there was one with a cat face on it, I would totally give my pen-and-cat-loving friends one.
For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, please click here.