At the end of last month, a “FuNkY atomic VINTAGE Craftamatic Mark 1 ORANGE metal TYPEWRITER retro INDUSTRIAL” was sold on Australian eBay for $165.50, after 21 bids.
One has to take one’s hat off to this seller, who lists a vast range of items as "FuNkY atomic" and consistently manages to score ridiculously high prices for what is essentially recycled junk.
Goodness, this outfit even managed to get $45 for a “FuNkY vintage Maori TIKI TEKO KAURI carved WALL HANGING” (in other words, el-cheapo tourist crap) and $41 for “FuNkY vintage RETRO Tiki Kitsch” (beyond any polite description I can think of).
Now that takes some effort!
The “FuNkY atomic VINTAGE Craftamatic Mark 1 ORANGE metal TYPEWRITER retro INDUSTRIAL” item was listed as a “Fantastic rare CRAFTAMATIC MARK 1 typewriter is such a fantastic vibrant ORANGE colour … it looks FuNkY on display ... just love how the casing is ALL METAL - very industrial! Has the function to operate on both black and red ink … just flick the switch to change the colour. Currently installed with just black ribbon-only minor signs of wear. Love the shape of the keys - they are the classic square boxed.”
But at the same time, one has to feel a bit sorry, too, for the hapless buyer (there appears to have been no feedback for this item yet. I wonder why?).
Let’s face it: The “fantastic rare” “FuNkY atomic VINTAGE Craftamatic Mark 1 ORANGE metal TYPEWRITER retro INDUSTRIAL” is nothing more than a common or garden Nakajima. Worse, being branded as a Craftamatic simply means it is a “no-name” typewriter. Neither as a Nakajima nor as a "Craftamatic" is it even vaguely approaching the description of it being “rare”.
“Craftamatic” was an el-cheapo label stuck on mass-produced (100,000 a month! Each company! Rare?) Nakajima and Silver-Seiko typewriters shipped into Australia in the 1970s by a Melbourne company called Currie Furniture Manufacturers, run by John Currie. They sold back then for just over $50.
Currie Furniture Manufacturers was abbreviated to
“CFM Industries Pty Ltd” on a sticker on the back of many of these machines. This gave the false impression they were made in Australia. "Craftamatic" was one of many registered tradenames used by CFM on a multitude of imported items: another was Pinnock. Indeed, in the past week, two “Pinnock Craftamatic” typewriters have sold on Australian eBay, both of them Nakajimas.
I was so outraged by the $165.50 spent on a Nakajima no-name typewriter I decided to invest a few of my own hard-earned dollars on a Nakajima that both literally and figuratively had no name. The el-cheapo CFM labelling had fallen off the ribbon spool cover.
The machine arrived with lots of rust and other suspicious spots – but, in fairness to the seller, it was exactly as described. No lies about it being “rare” with “only minor signs of wear”. This typewriter had seen far better days.
My idea is to take it apart, completely clean it up (remove the rust etc), repaint it in “FuNkY” colours (whatever they are!) and list it on eBay as a bit of an in-joke. I’ll be very interested to see what price it might fetch. I will, of course, be completely honest about all this in my listing description and with the eventual buyer, if there is one. We’ll see how it goes.
In the meantime, dear reader, any clever suggestions regarding a name and a combination of "FuNkY" colours will be considered. So far, my thoughts are:
Colours: Pink and purple, or lime green and ming blue.
I can paint the two sides, the underplate and back section, and the ribbon spool cover in different colours, by may use just the two.
I won’t try to be completely deceptive by painting the paper plate as well.
This morning a Facit was listed on Australian eBay for $200, with no mention of the fact that it had very clearly been repainted – and not very well at that (note the original colour on the carriage, yet the sparebar is blue!):
Remember Frank Sinatra’s song High Hopes? The chorus went:
But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes