9 items we really want from the 1970 Radio Shack catalog
We want to rewind the clock and ask Santa for these walkie talkies, bike radios, computer kits and "Psycholites."
With Black Friday and the holiday season on the horizon, our minds are turning to gifts — gifts to give, gifts to get. Half of the joy of receiving presents as a kid was making a wish list. The glossy catalogs would start to arrive in the mailbox as the leaves began to fall. We'd circle products with markers or crimp the corners for mom and dad to find.
Thanks to the Internet, many of these catalogs remain available online. Today, kids ask Kris Kringle for Kindles, Xboxes and Oculus Rift. The technology of 45 years ago was hardly as complex, though CBs and walkie talkies could lead to greater human interaction than a smartphone. Besides, vinyl records, cassettes and reel-to-reel players are hip again. We flipped through a Radio Shack catalog from 1970 for nine toys, gadgets and products we'd still love to have.
1. The Science Fair Psycholite
This simple gizmo translated sound into a light show, "discotheque style." Perfect for those who wish they had synaesthesia.
2. The Science Fair Electronic Computer Kit
This was the equivalent to an iPad Pro in 1970. It looks like the gauges on a gas meter, but it could compute milage.
3. The Archer Road Patrol bike radio
Why don't more bicycles come with radios? We're surprised these aren't more common with hipsters.
4. The Realistic TR-101 tape recorder
New in 1970: Reverse!
5. The Realistic 'Futura' High Fidelity Speaker
A gorgeous piece of mod design, this surround sound speaker would fit perfectly in the Brady Bunch living room.
6. Archer Space Patrol Walkie Talkies
"A great gift for a guy who thinks he has everything." We're glad that even back then people were never too old to play with "Space Patrol" walkie talkies.
7. Realistic PortaVOX walkie talkie and headset
Now, if you really wanted to upgrade, you could go for this headset. We didn't do earbuds in 1970. We had ear boxes.
8. The talking Weatheradio
It would tell you the atmospheric pressure in Corpus Christi at the push of a button! Who couldn't use that?
9. The Realistic SCT-3 Stereo Cassette Deck
We used to use these top-loading brick cassette players to record interviews with our siblings. We didn't realize you could boogie to them like this. Also, why don't more things come with wood paneling anymore?