|December, 2007 information. While some sites, like Hammacher-Schlemmer, still have extant pages showing the Olivetti Lettera 35L the machine is NOT available through any known venue (it's listed on that page, and some others and even shown but is also indicated as "out of stock" or "unavailable.") Virtually all mention of the Olympia Traveller C has disappeared as well. Also, early indications that Royal Consumer Information Products, the present Olivetti controlled descendant firm would distribute manual typewriters under the old ROYAL name have not proven true and mentions of typewriters at the Royal main official site are only Olivetti products. Again, at that site the 35L is shown but not available (and neither is the standard machine, the Linea 198.)|
|IDEAL (JINAN) MACHINERY CO. (China) is producing a range of machines distributed in the United States through a number of venues. The machine is available through various mail-order and catalog order opportunities as:
In addition, this exact same machine is being distributed in North America by Olivetti and by Royal as the OLIVETTI MS25 PREMIER.
The machine, as previously noted, is based on the late Brother segment shifted portable. It is produced in two colors, with two different styles of case but all are essentially the same machine.
|SHANGHAI WEILV MECHANISM COMPANY (of China) is responsible for the machine like that seen here. This company is presently producing two models:
These differ in options fitted but are essentially the same machine. In addition, Olivetti is marketing this machine outside the United States / North America, ie in lower-income regions of the world as its OLIVETTI MS25 PREMIER. The use of identical model name and number, twice, inside vs. outside North America is not so confusing as it may seem since in no one place are both machines of differing styles but of the same name/model available simultaneously. This style of machine is based on the Italian-made IMC series.
|Newly discovered in December 2007 is an elaborate web presentation by ZHANGJIAGANG FEITENG TYPEWRITER CO., LTD. which is again in China and is a division of the Feiteng Group. It is offering no less than six different models of portable typewriter, which appear quite similar to machines which have been listed by Chee-May (Goh"s) Ltd. of Taiwan. It may be that the Chee-May machines, carrying the KOFA brand, are old backstock and that the new Feiteng Group machines are the modern descendants. The Feiteng machines carry the company's emblem and the FLYING brand name. Models include the Flying 300, Flying 800A, Flying 800B, Flying 880A, Flying 880B, Flying 960A and Flying 960B. These machines are all mechanical relatives, with differing features, carriage widths and case styles. The oddball of the line is the totally different-looking Flying 970 which appears oddly similar to the now abandoned Olympia Traveller C, and may in fact be derived from the tooling and/or designs for that machine.
View the company's site here. See the typewriters and their features here.
|MARSHALL SEWING MACHINE INDUSTRIAL LTD. which is located in Taiwan is still offering its MT-99 Portable Typewriter. None of these has ever been positively identified in the field or on other web sites or sources (sale, or auction sites) although the offer and illustration have floated around various export / opportunity / manufacturing sites for years, and it is becoming doubtful if this machine has been actually produced in real quantity. Marshall may have the tooling to build it if any are ordered and may not have produced a back stock. You can see the trade lead offer on allproducts.com by clicking here.|
|As is usual any time we do one of these "what's out there?" roundups, Chee-May (Goh's) still has its line of KOFA machines available on its website. You can see the range of machines by clicking on the links at left for "products" and then for "typewriter." Note the similarity of the models KOFA 300, KOFA 626TAS and KOFA 4013 to the various FLYING machines by Feiteng Group. Note the similarity of the KOFA 100 to the MODEL 100 featured here on my Portable Typewriter Reference Site.|
|This is the only range available in the United States at present.|
|Although it is not a "real" or hard-working typewriter, an interesting toy has become available again. The Mehano (Yugoslavia) toy typewriter has previously been sold worldwide under an array of names, and in a variety of colors (you see these in the US as a "Barbie" and also sometimes as a "My First") but had been dropped. Last year at holiday time, J.C. Penney's made it available through its catalog and internet ordering and this year it has returned at a discounted price. You can see it by clicking HERE (JCPenney site.) Note: some sites still list the "My First Typewriter" as being available, but we don't know for sure; click here for one of them.|
|That about does it for anyone who wants a new ... BRAND new ... typewriter for Christmas this year. Find the Dr. Leonard's Health Care or Carol Wright Gifts sites to find the ROVER/GENERATION style machines, or the Penney's site for the toy. Parents and kids alike can have a new typewriter if they wish! Happy Holidays from Will Davis.|