Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Future Shock

OK folks, we don't mean to build your expectations up unfairly with this abnormal spate of productivity, but this will be our last post for the next few weeksconsequently, we figured we'd pack a real humdinger to keep y'all satisfied for a while. It shouldn't surprise most of you that space age electronics are one of the many things we enjoy stockpiling, so here we have a nice sampling of the (mostly) portable pieces that are currently gathering dust on our shelves.

Here are two JVC Videospheres. As far as we're concerned, these guys represent the pinnacle of space age television design. These were issued in three colorsred, white and blackwith black being the toughest of the three to track down. We're hopeful that we'll get a white example, which is the most common, sometime soon! The Bulova clock has been included elsewhere, but we liked how it looked in the spread, so we threw it in anyway.

Panasonic was responsible for creating a ton of swinging mod designs in the late 60s and early 70s, and here are some notables. You may notice that the black cube radio in the middle is slightly different from its peers—that's because its face design varied by region, and it's a Canadian version. The Rolling Tone portable radios in the foreground were produced in several different colors—we're in desperate need of an orange one, and we'd gladly swap our spare red one for it, if anyone's up for it. We're also missing a few of the 8-track players located in the rear. Help?

I vividly remember having a Panasonic Panapet that my aunt gave me when I was a little kid. No idea where that one ended up, sadly. Obviously, the Panapets, Rolling Tones and cube radios came in a variety of vibrant colors (including a rare, albeit unflattering lavender we're not too fond of). The TNT 8-track players located in the background were released in five different colors—we've only seen the white and clear smoked versions a few times ...and we're hoping to get them somewhere down the road. The blue 8-track player manufactured by Emerson was a cool, previously unknown score we made recently.

These are the two Sony portable television sets we just turned up in Pittsburgh, alongside our lonely Planetron 8-track player.

Yet another entry that's received a little attention on the blog already. The Orbitel was Panasonic's response to the race for space age design, despite its being a little more 50s inspired than the other examples showcased here. This set is pretty scarce and finding one without chipping around its visor remains a fairly tall order. The Weltron 8-track player next to it mimics an astronaut's helmet and complements our Videospheres quite nicely. Again, the Weltron was issued in yellow and orange and we're hoping to get those someday, too.

The serpentine Toot a Loop proves itself a fearsome adversary. We're still on the hunt for orange and lime green specimens of this particular model ...available only to those good folks down under. Dearest Aussie pals: please include them with our free Chosen Few and Young Identities EPs. Thanks in advance! A few more portable Panasonic cassette players wouldn't hurt either.

Lastly, we've got a portable record player (by Columbia) which isn't technically a vintage piece per se, but it's capable of playing records while dangling precariously on a wall, so that's just gotta suffice. A Panasonic radio alarm clock and AM/FM headphones manufactured by a Japanese company called Soundlite round out the stash.

We'll eventually get around to photographing the rest of our vintage electronics collection but, until then, dig in!


Brum D said...

"The serpentine "Toot a Loop" proves itself a fearsome adversary. We're still on the hunt for orange and lime green specimens of this particular model ...available only to those good folks down under."

I think the orange toot-a-loop was also sold in Europe. I bought an orange one in Holland for the "normal price", and I'm pretty positive that I have seen more. Mine is a "National Panasonic", so it doesn't have the toot-a-loop logo. I'll let you know (through Flickr) when I spot another one.

Marc said...

I think Bram is correct. I've seen the orange Toot-a-loop in Germany, too - in person and on auction.
Here's one that i recently tried to win:
It's hard to believe they were all later reimported from Oz -- it seems more likely that they were available here, too.
The lime green one, however, i've never seen for sale in Europe.

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

We certainly don't mind being wrong on this one! If either of you guys turns up an orange spare, please let us know!

monone said...

These are just amazing !!!! That's pretty serious radio and tv collection over here ...
You're totaly right about the VideoSpheres tv, ain't no Spacier ! Superb ....

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

Thanks, Monone! Looking forward to more updates!

Susie O said...

I have never seen a "toot-a-loop", and you guys have four of them!

Nice spread!

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

Thanks, Susie! Still need two more Toot-a-Loops to finish the collection!

Amber Von Felts said...

That is a fantastic plastic collection! They really should make things in orb form more often! Me likey!

Petro B Pettson said...

There's one of those Rolling Tone radios at an antique store I frequent. I can't remember if it's red or orange, but if it's orange, I'll snag it next time I'm there.

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

Thanks, Amber!

We would really appreciate any help, Ben. Just be warned: the orange is really orange ...and the red is an orangish red--we got fooled once!

Anonymous said...

Thank for the memory. I had a blue toot-a-loop when I was a pre-teenager. I loved it.

Wayne Davidson said...

Just found your blog, it's amazing. I've also been looking for the Viking Uncle Tory figurine, do you know where you're friends found it? I've found 4 of the 6 (I think there are only 6 in the plastic range). There's a couple of coffee table books of Ryo's work that we found at the standard bookshop in Osaka on a trip to Japan a few years ago. Looking forward to seeing more of your finds!

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Wayne.

Our friend was able to get us the vintage viking via Yahoo auctions Japan. Unfortunately, it's all in Japanese, so we had to rely on a third person.

Here's a very comprehensive site with the vintage and semi-recent figures:

We also started an entire Flickr group devoted to Mr. Yanagihara here:

Please feel free to post, and we'd be really grateful if you included photos of the books you picked up.

Thanks again and we look forward to hearing back from you.


Wayne Davidson said...

Thank you so much, there's so much more RYO out there than I ever imagined!

meghan said...

I loved my panapet when i was a kid. I don't see that stuff very much up here in the PNW. I love looking at your collections and record room etc. is always amazing.

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

Thanks, Meghan!

Just started looking at your blog and we couldn't stop. Fantastic premise, and we look forward to investigating further (when time permits--it's 2:30am).

We wish the yard sales we went to looked anything like the ones you guys seem to hit. Unreal.

Thanks again for the kind words.

MaX said...

Wow! What a fantastic-o-rama house!
No Funnygraph in your Panasonic Collection? I'm looking for one here in Europe but seems really hard to find!

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

Sorry, Max, the Funnygraph isn't common in the states. We've never found one in person, and they tend to get pricey on eBay.

Jay said...

Wow, nice collection you have there

You are correct, there are more colors of the Panasonic radios.
I only collect the panapet, rolling tone, musicube and toot a loop.
And of course, i have the orbitel as wel.

I have the panapet in the colors you have plus the sort of rare purple one.
There is another color that is extremely rare and that is the pink one.
Ive seen only 1 on ebay years ago but missed it.
I kept the pictures.
It was pink in and out and had a tag on the bottom something like "easterner model"
The musicube, im missing the purple musicube too.
A few years back someone sold a lot of black and white musicubes new in box from a old store that closed.
I bought one and it was totaly new, even the Original battery but that was completely eaten up by the acid but still contained in the shrink wrap.
The rolling tone, i have the white, blue/purple and an orange or red.
You are correct, it is difficult to see, the color does not match any of the other radio colors.
So i still need 1 more if i can sort out the color.
The toot a loop, i have all colors including the orange and green.
The orange was sold in europe, i bought it in holland from someone who bought it in a local flea market.
Not surprusing since orange is THE national color in holland.
The green one came from brazil.
The toot a loops and panapets were also made for other companies, i have a "citizen" one and ive seen philips ones. I believe the panapet was made for philips too.
Some of the radios are "national Panasonic" and some "Panasonic" branded.
The red versions have different shades of red.
I have a orangie red Panasonic panapet and a cherry red national Panasonic panapet.
Same for the toot a loop, 2 tones 2 brands.
There is another radio of that period called the panapet date, it has a calendar on the from, i have one.
I like those TNT 8 track players.
One sad thing is that plastic fades when exposed to too much (sun)light.
Has to do with UV rays.
The purple ones seem to be very sensitive to that.
Love those weltrons.