Retro Talk: The Terabyte Tornado


From time to time, Retro 51 announces new editions to its popular line of Tornado pens. They are always fun to see, but I’m not usually excited enough to drop the $20 to $40 they typically cost.  That was not the case, however, when I saw the Terabyte Tornado announced last year, which I pre-ordered without hesitation. It arrived last December, and it’s been a regular in my pen rotation since.

Limited to 500 pieces and sold only through Anderson Pens, the Terabyte Tornado is wrapped with a circuit-board design, and its metallic bits – the tip, clip, and twist – are given a dark, matted finish that is reminiscent of solder alloy. There’s also a dark green disk inset into the top of the twist, which adds a nice accent. Careful, though – after accidentally dropping the pen, the disk popped right out (but a little Krazy glue quickly fixed it).


I really like the design, but I think an actual circuit-board pattern (or perhaps texture) would have really knocked this one out of the park. For example, I really love what Retro 51 did with the Albert, which is wrapped in a design that’s an accurate proof for Einstein’s famous E=MC² equation. Instead, the Terabyte’s design is an artistic rendering of a circuit board. It looks cool to me, but a hardcore computer enthusiast might disagree.

Other than that, the Terabyte Tornado is your standard Retro 51 fare. If the design appeals to you, you might want to pick it up soon. These things tend to sell out. Otherwise, there will be plenty more designs to come in the future, and I’m sure I’ll be adding at least a few of them to my Retro 51 collection.



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