18 December 2004

[design, tools] Zehnkatzen in: Quest for Rapidoliners

It will be recalled that, in this post I went on at length with speculation on the future of the Rotring Rapidoliner disposable tech pen.

While I've not found any certain word on the status of the product, I've collected some interesting information along the way.

1: Pariah Burke mentioned that, at the Michael's Arts & Crafts store in Tualatin, Rapidoliners are still available by the each for about $16.00 (this is four dollars more than the Art Media price). There are also refills available (which, if they cost half the price of the full pen as they did at Art Media, then they'll be about $7.00 a toss). He also mentioned a possible mail-order source.

2: I found the Rotring International website. It's here. Click on Products, Drawing, Rapidoliner to see the corporate page about it. There isn't much about buying them except a link to contact the North American distributor.

3: Pril expressed dismay at the notional demise of the product. Word to Pril: I don't know if you saw my followup to your comment, but if you're using that pen for ten years, then I suspect what you have there is a Rapidograph, not a Rapidoliner. The former ususally has an off-white barrel and the cap screws on, the latter is dark red-brown with a red ring on the lower end and is not designed for naught but being discarded after being spent. The Rapidograph is not, as far as I can tell, on the verge of being consigned to the dustbin of art-material history.

Indeed, my reports of the demise of the Rapidoliner may be premature. I am still researching the subject, and will report my findings if, and when, they occur.

PS:Pril, I linked to ya. I must say I like the cut of your jib.


pril said...

yknow, i think i actually had a set of rapidoliners that i gave my singers brother for entertainment while in jail. They were sort of reddish brown. The color bands were different for each size, and you could pull the plastic well out and refill it if you really wanted to. It was messy, though. These may have been cheap rapido imitations, though.

i love drawing with my rapidograph. When it gets cranky my second favorite is the cheap old Uniball roller pens. Those things are great.

I have not found a place in the immediate area to buy rapido anything :(

Samuel John Klein said...


What a thoughtful gift for a friend in trouble.

What you described sound, indeed, like the Rapidoliner. Long middle insert, red-brown barrel. Has a snap-cap rather than a screw top.

I've always thought that Rapidographs were genius. The nearest compeition, the Staedtler Marsmatics, are okay, but the company just doesn't support them like they should.

What they need down in your neck of the woods is more art-supply stores. Being a magnet for artist-types, you'd think there'd be one or two big ones down there.