One of the funniest, and most quotable movies in the last ten years was “Office Space.” And one of my favorite parts of the movie is the whole “Milton’s Red Stapler.” We all remember the line “I believe that’s my stapler, it was a swingline…” Ha-Ha, that was great. Well, I did some research on the history of this famous stapler. It seems that when the movie was being made, the person in charge of props wanted to give the Milton character an object that was so important to him, it would cause him to go completely insane and burn down an entire building when his boss, the notorious “Lumberg,” steals it from him. Well, what better than a bright red Swingline stapler. The only problem was, Swingline didn’t make any red staplers. So the designer contacted Swingline and asked if it would be ok to put their logo on a stapler that he had painted red. Swingline agreed, and the rest is history.
No one, including the filmmaker himself, thought the movie would be a success, least of all Swingline, as of 2002, three years after the movie was released, no red staplers were in production. Then a funny thing happened. DVD’s started to become very popular, and one of the most popular ones, was “Office Space.” All of a sudden the movie was having great success, and a demand for “Milton’s Red Stapler” was born. Enter the Rio Red, 747 series collector’s edition Swingline stapler. This has been a very popular product since it was introduced, even still today, seven years after the movie was originally released.
You’ll notice that the stapler is not an exact match to the one in the movie. Here’s a picture of the two of them. The one on the right is the movie prop, and the left one is the official Swingline Collector’s Edition.
In the movie the Swingline logo is on the side, where as the logo is on the top of the Collector’s edition. The reason for this, is that the stapler used in the movie was only a prop, painted by the set designers, and for the official Swingline Collector’s Edition a silver logo plate was installed on the top.
Just about anyone who works in an office, knows that although the movie is highly exaggerated, a lot of what happens is very easy to relate to. Some of us may have even wondered what exactly happened to our stapler. If you do have a Red Swingline Stapler you may notice your co-workers give you a slight nod when they pass by, or even throw out one of the many famous quotes from the movie, but be careful, you never know when a Lumberg might sneak up and steal it from you.