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Some highly sought-after early Japanese transistor radios from 1958-1960. Toshiba, Sharp, Hitachi, Aurora. Beautiful styling.

In Radios > Transistor Radios > Show & Tell and Mid-Century Modern > Show & Tell.
Radios343 of 922Transistor next to a tiny tube set SHORTWAVE RADIO  MAGAZINE QST
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Posted 2 years ago

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Mr.Transis…
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Here are just a sample of the many stunningly designed Japanese transistor radios I have in my collection. I have been collecting transistor radios since my first trip to the brilliant Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market back in 1993. After all these many years I still love going out hunting for them - it's still a thrill to discover a radio on a table at a market. It's still fun to do, and the way things are going, I'll continue my hunting and gathering of more transistor radios throughout the coming years.

For any "dealers" reading this - those of you who hunt and gather cool things to sell to collectors, let me clue you in - let me give you a tip that will help you NOT spend your hard earned money on junk. We "trannie" collectors only want transistor radios that look COOL. Period. If you're out there looking for radios, look for radios that really SAY SOMETHING. Bright colors...interesting MOTIFS about them...radios with sharp STYLING...radios that look like space-age rocket ships or have cool '50s automobile styling about them. Those are the kinds of radios we collectors prize. When you come across a little transistor radio, check to see if it has any STYLING to it. If it's just a plain black or white BOX, without any kind of STYLING to it, leave it alone and walk away. Don't waste your money on it. I wouldn't buy it - and I can pretty much speak for my other "hard-core" transistor radio collectors as well who wouldn't buy it either. More plain, ugly, "nothing to 'em" radios exist out there than bright colorful radios with cool space-age designs. Yes. I kid you not. So take the time...if you see a radio in a nice genuine cowhide leather carrying case, slide it out and look it over. If it's cool, it will scream out at you COOL. Cool is, again, bright colors, space-age motifs about it (boomerangs, chevron V, starbursts, right angle arrows, concentric circles, and what is known as REVERSE PAINT designs), and other highly DECORATIVE motifs about it. Just be aware of interesting designs about a particular radio you come across. The higher the "design quotient" about it, the more valuable it is to us collectors. Do buy one even if it has small cracks or chips on it, just as long as it is a radio with nice design accents about it. Ok? Ok!

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