The first version of the Royal Scrittore, still for sale (new) by Adler Royal on Amazon, for $US118.99.
The same typewriter now being offered (as a Rover 5000 Super Deluxe) - a "looks-like-new collectible" - on US eBay for $US44.99It would surely not have been often in the 139-year history of the typewriter trade that a brand-new portable typewriter was being offered for sale at the same time as it was up for auction as a "collectible".
Mind you, some people who have bought Chinese-made portables new and have been so disgusted with them that they have put them up for sale on eBay almost immediately.
At least partly for that reason, perhaps Chinese-made Rover 5000 portables pop on eBay in various parts of the world more regularly than I am aware. But this morning I noted the one above listed as a "collectible type writer" from Hutchinson, Kansas (item #121232433219).
Meanwhile, over on Amazon, the exact same typewriter is still for sale as the Royal Scrittore - at $US119.
This "revived Royal" model was reviewed by me in my first "Portables, ETCetera" column, in the September 2012 edition of ETCetera.
My Scrittore IIt has since been succeeded by the Royal Scrittore II, which is the same typewriter in the resurrected "modernistic" casing of the Olympia Traveller C.
Richard Polt's Royal Scrittore II
My Olympia Traveller CRichard Polt reviewed the Scrittore II on his Writing Ball blog here.
These Scrittore IIs can be bought for $185 here. Believe it or not, they are "out of stock" at Amazon - there must have been a run on them! (But perhaps not based on Richard's review?)
There are a few of the Scrittore Is at WordPlay in Cincinnati:
I readily confess that about eight years ago I bought a second-hand Rover 5000 and a Generation 3000 on eBay, including in the US, but purely out of curiosity. Naturally, I regretted having done so, but not so much as buying a new Olivetti MS25 Premier Plus (same line).
My Rover 5000s are the same model as the plastic Olympia Splendid. The Generation 3000 is the same as the Royal Scrittore I. In other words, these models have been around for more than 10 years now, possibly more than 15, and therefore I suppose they could be considered "collectibles".
"Classic Retro Style" - "Rare Classic"
The Scrittore (it’s Italian for writer) series was launched by Royal Consumer Information Productions in Somerset, New Jersey, in January 2012. It replaced the Royal ME25, RoyType MS25 and the Olivetti MS25 series. The typewriters are made by the Shanghai Weilv Mechanism Company (established 2004) in the Luxiang Industrial Zone, south-west of Shanghai City.
The Scrittore's initial advertising lines included: “[It] offers essential functions that are easy for even the most grizzled sportswriter to operate.” “Not a reconditioned model, it is one of the few manuals still being manufactured today, with a compact profile reminiscent of Olivetti's iconic Lettera 22 typewriter that was favoured by journalists and students in the 1950s.”
“This is the classic manual typewriter reminiscent of those used by Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and Jack Kerouac to create their classic literary works … it recalls the thoughtful, well-written correspondence of yesteryear. Devoid of technological crutches such as spell-check and deletion, each of its 44 keys requires a firm, purposeful stroke for a steady click-clacking cadence that encourages the patient, considered sentiment of a wordsmith who thinks before writing. Using a 10-characters-per-inch Pica 87 font, it faithfully reproduces the eclectic printed impressions of its forebears - variable kerning, subtly ghosted letters and nuanced baseline shifts - imparting unique, personal character to every letter, piece of prose, or verse of poetry.”
IMAGINE, IF YOU CAN ...
"Blow this old thing," says big Papa. "Quick, give me my Scrittore!"
"Oh, dear, this'll never do," says Tennessee. "Where's that damned Scrittore?"
When buying on Amazon, the Scrittore’s distributor, via Elite in Hong Kong, is a division of the New Jersey-headquartered Acedepot called Pop Pop. This company, which handles a range of manual portable typewriters, intriguingly shares the same Charlotte, North Carolina, address as Nakajima-North American Distribution (both are part of the Carolina Wholesale Group, Arlington Industries). Nakajima, which maintains links with China, claims that for more than “35 years [it] has been the ‘behind the scenes’ designer and manufacturer of many of the industry’s best known typewriter brands throughout the world”.