Gizmos by Category

Cameras & Optical

Clocks Watches Calcs

Computers & Games

Miscellaneous & Oddities

Phones & Comms

Radio, Audio, Video & TV

Tape Recorders & Players

Test & Scientific Instruments


Psst...looking for cheap 

nuclear stuff?

Gizmos A - Z

Accoson Sphygmomanometer

Aibo ERS-111 Robotic Pet

Aldis Folding Slide Viewer

Airlite 71 Aviation Headset

Amerex Alpha One Spycorder

AKG K290 Surround 'Phones

Astatic D-104 Desk Microphone

Apple Macintosh SE FDHD

Avia Electronic Watch

Aitron Wrist Radio

Aiwa TP-60R Tape Recorder

Amstrad CPC 464 Computer

AlphaTantel Prestel

Atari 2600 Video Game

Atari 600XL Home Computer

AVO Multiminor

AVO Model 8 Multimeter

Bambino Challenger Radio

Bandai Solar LCD Game

Bellwood, Bond Spycorder

Betacom BF1 Pianotel Phone

Binatone Digivox Alarm

Binatone Long Ranger 6 CB

Binatone Mk6 Video Game

Bio Activity Translator

Biri-1 Radiation Monitor

Bowmar LED Digital Watch

Brydex Ever Ready Lighter

BSB Squarial

Cambridge Z88 Computer

Candlestick Telephone

Canon Ion RC-260 Camera

Cartex TX-160 Multiband Radio

Casio VL-Tone Keyboard

CD V-700 Geiger Counter

CD V-715 Survey Meter

CD V-742 Pen Dosimeter

Channel Master 6546

Chinon 722-P Super 8 Cine

Citizen ST555 Pocket TV

Clairtone Mini Hi Fi Radio

CocaCola Keychain Camera

Coke Bottle AM Radio

Commodore 64 Home PC

Commodore PET 2001-N

Concord F20 Sound Camera

Craig 212 Tape Recorder

Craig TR-408 tape recorder

Dansette Richmond Radio

Daiya TV-X Junior  Viewer

Dancing Coke Can

Diamond Rio Media Player

Dictograph Desk Phone

Dokorder PR-4K Mini Tape

Eagle T1-206 Intercom

Electrolysis Cell

Electron 52D Spycorder

Electronicraft Project Kit

Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart Radio

Etalon Luxor Light Meter

Euromarine Radiofix Mk 5

Exactus Mini Add Calculator

Fairylight Morse Set

FEP Microphone & Earphone

Ferguson FC08 Camcorder

Ferguson FHSC 1 Door Cam

Fi-Cord 101 Tape Recorder

Fi-Cord 202 Tape Recorder

Fidelity HF42 Record Player

Fleetwood Globe AM Radio

Franklin LF-390 Guitar Radio

GE 3-5805 AM CB Radio

GEC Transistomatic

GEC Voltmeter

Giant Light Bulbs

Gowlland Auriscope

GPO Keysender No 5

GPO Telephone Series 300

GPO Telephone Type 746

GPO 12B/1 Test Meter

GPO Trimphone

GPO Ring Microphone No 2

Gramdeck Tape Recorder

Grandstand Video Console

Grundig EN3 Dictation

Grundig Memorette

H&G Crystal Radio

Hacker Radio Hunter RP38A

Hacker Radio Mini Herald

Hanimex Disc Camera

Henica H-138 Radio Lighter

Hitachi WH-638 Radio

Hitachi VM-C1 Camcorder

HMV 2210 Tape Recorder

Homey HR-408 Recorder

Ingersoll XK505 TV, Radio

International HP-1000 Radio

Internet Radio S-11

Jasa AM Wristwatch Radio

Juliette LT-44 Tape Recorder

Jupiter FC60 Radio

JVC GR-C1 Camcorder

JVC GX-N7E Video Camera



King Folding Binoculars

Kodak Brownie Starflash

Kodak 56X Instamatic

Kodak 100 Instamatic

Kodak EK2 'The Handle'

Kodak EK160 Instant Camera

Kvarts DRSB-01 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-88 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-90 Geiger Count

Kyoto S600 8-Track Player

Magnetic Core Memory 4kb

Mattel Intellivision

Maxcom Cordless Phone

McArthur Microscope OU

Memo Call Tape Recorder

Microphax Case II Fiche

Mini Com Walkie Talkies

Minolta 10P 16mm Camera

Minolta-16 II Sub Min Camera

Minolta XG-SE 35mm SLR

Minolta Weathermatic-A

Minox B Spy Camera

Mohawk Chief Tape Recorder

Motorola 5000X Bag Phone

Motorola 8500X ‘Brick’

Motorola Micro TAC Classic

MPMan MP-F20 MP3 Player

Music Man Talking Radio

Mystery Microphone

Nagra SN Tape Recorder

National Hyper BII Flashgun

NatWest 24 Hour Cashcard

Nife NC10 Miner's Lamp

Nimslo 3D Camera

NOA FM Wireless Intercom

Optikon Binocular Magnifier

Oric Atmos Home PC

Panda & Bear Radios

Panasonic RS-600US

Parrot RSR-423 Recorder

Pentax Asahi Spotmatic SLR

Philatector Watermark Detector

PH Ltd Spinthariscope

Philips Electronic Kit

Philips EL3302 Cassette

Philips EL3586 Reel to Reel

Philips PM85 Recorder

Philips P3G8T/00 Radio

PL802/T Semconductor Valve

Plessey PDRM-82 Dosimeter

Polaroid Land Camera 330

Polaroid Supercolor 635CL

Polaroid Swinger II

Polavision Instant Movie

Prinz 110 Auto Camera

Prinz Dual 8 Cine Editor

Psion Organiser II XP

Pye 114BQ Portable Radio

Rabbit Telepoint Phone

RAC Emergency Telephone

Radofin Triton Calculator

Raytheon Raystar 198 GPS

Realistic TRC 209 CB

ReVox A77 Tape Recorder

Roberts R200 MW/LW Radio

Rolling Ball Clock

Ronco Record Vacuum

Sanyo G2001 Music Centre

Sanyo M35 Micro Pack

Satellite AM/FM Radio

Science Fair 65 Project Kit

Seiko EF302 Voicememo

Seiko James Bond TV Watch

Sekiden SAP50 Gun

Sharp CT-660 Talking Clock

Shira WT106 Walkie Talkies

Shogun Music Muff

Simpson 389 Ohmmeter

Sinclair Calculator

Sinclair Black Watch

Sinclair FM Radio Watch

Sinclair FTV1 Pocket TV

Sinclair Micro-6 Radio

Sinclair Micromatic Radio

Sinclair MTV1A Micovision TV

Sinclair MTV1B Microvision TV

Sinclair PDM-35 Multimeter

Sinclair System 2000 Amp

Sinclair Super IC-12

Sinclair X1 Burtton Radio

Sinclair Z-1 Micro AM Radio

Sinclair Z-30 Amplifier

Sinclair ZX81

Speak & Spell

Sony Betamovie BMC-200

Sony CFS-S30 'Soundy'

Sony DD-8 Data Discman

Sony CM-H333 Phone

Sony CM-R111 Phone

Sony FD-9DB Pocket TV

Sony MDR3 Headphones

Sony MVC-FD71 Digicam

Sony TC-50 Recorder

Sony TC-55 Recorder

Sony Walkman TPS-L2

Sony Rec Walkman WM-R2

Speedex Hit Spy Camera

Standard Slide Rule

Starlite Pocket Mate Tape

Staticmaster Static Brush

Stuzzi 304B Memocorder


Talkboy Tape Recorder

Taylor Barograph

Tasco SE 600 Microscope

Technicolor Portable VCR

Telephone 280 1960

Thunderbirds AM Can Radio

Tinico Tape Recorder

Tokai TR-45 Tape Recorder

Tomy Electronic Soccer

Toshiba HX-10 MSX Computer

Triumph CTV-8000 5-inch TV

TTC C1001 Multimeter

Uher 400 RM Report Monitor

Vanity Fair Electron Blaster

Vextrex Video Game

VideoPlus+ VP-181 Remote

Vidor Battery Radio

View-Master Stereo Viewer

Vivalith 301 Heart Pacemaker

Waco TV Slide Lighter

Wallac Oy RD-5 Geiger Counter

W E Co Folding Phone

White Display Ammeter

Wittner Taktell Metronome


Yamaha Portasound PC-10

Yashica AF Motor 35mm

Yupiteru MVT-8000 Scanner


Widget Of The Week

Novelty AM/FM Computer Shaped Radio, 1994

The original IBM PC, on which the majority of the world’s desktop and laptop computers are based, dates back to 1981. Early examples have become highly collectible and can fetch tens of thousands of pounds, and, one day, this might be good news for owners of miniature PC styled radios like this, though its present value is probably only just into double figures…


Unfortunately, in common with many late twentieth century novelty radios there is no brand or maker’s name (though there may be a clue to its origins, more about that in a moment), but the point is they were often short-lived promotional items, cheap gifts or givaways and entirely disposable commodities, so establishing the precise date of manufacture can be quite tricky. It is not helped in this case by a slightly bizarre mixture of styling cues and technologies, which means that it could easily come from a year or two either side of that 1994 guessimate.


It definitely wasn’t made before 1992, though. This is because the tuner circuit, built into the base or system unit, is manually tuned and uses an LA1800 single chip radio (coupled to a 7 transistor amplifier), and this first appeared in 1992. It also suggests a possible end date of 1998, or thereabouts, as by then most cheap novelty radios were FM only and using a new generation of inexpensive, digitally based receiver chips. These dramatically reduced manufacturing costs and simplified the design by requiring fewer ancillary components and features like push button volume and auto-scan tuning.  


The design of the system unit is a bit strange as it clearly shows two 5.23-inch floppy disc drives (and they really were floppy); these had become virtually obsolete by the early 90s, replaced by smaller and more convenient 3.5-inch rigid floppy diskettes. This suggests that the mould for this part, at least, was made some years earlier, or it was designed by someone whose only reference was an old PC. Now we come to the monitor, which looks more recent and closely resembles a chunky, mid 90’s CRT multimedia model, with built-in stereo speakers. The final clue is what’s showing on the fake computer screen. The display, a printed card behind a clear plastic sheet, shows a Windows 3.1 desktop. This operating system first appeared in 1992 and was sold until 1994; Windows 95 replaced it, in August 1995. It’s a fair bet that the manufacturers wanted it to look as up to date as possible and it would have been given a Win 95 desktop makeover as soon as it was released, which brings us back to that 1994-ish manufacturing date.


Otherwise the design is fairly straightforward. There are only three controls, the on/off volume thumbwheel is on the right side of the system unit, the tuner thumbwheel is on the left and the right and left buttons on the ridiculously out of scale mouse select AM or FM wavebands. There are a couple of LEDs on the front of the monitor indicating AM or FM reception. The batteries, three AA cells, fit into a compartment with a sliding cover on the base. When new it probably came with a miniature keyboard, though this does not appear to have been attached to the unit in any way so it probably parted company with the radio quite early on.


I found this one at a Sunday flea market in Brighton. In was in a pretty grubby state and tangled up with some other junk but the stallholder’s asking price of £1.00 seemed very fair so I didn’t bother haggling. I reckoned there was a 50 - 50 chance of it working; the battery compartment was clean and it didn’t look as though it had been interfered with; as it turned out luck was on my side and it fired up first time. Sound quality is dreadful, not through any fault, but an inevitable consequence of a cheaply designed receiver, small 55mm speaker squirting sound through slots on the side of the monitor screen, built into a case that vibrates and rattles. But that is not what it is all about; it is super cute and all it took to get it looking like new was a quick strip-down, clean out, and a wipe over with a soapy cloth.


What Happened To It?

Although there is no branding or model number anywhere on the case there is a design number on the back and a little digging around on the Internet turned up the name Gold Winny Electronics, based in Hong Kong, as the likely maker, but the trail goes cold at that point and aside from a few patent notices for other novelty radios there is no mention of the company after 1996.


That’s not the end of the story, though and by the looks of it PC shaped novelty radios with CRT monitors were still being made until relatively recently, judging by what’s on ebay. I have seen several fairly distinct styles, though none of them exactly like this one.  Most of the later examples have the speaker, behind a grille, set into the front of the monitor, instead of a phoney desktop display, which rather spoils the effect. These also tend to be FM only types with autoscan tuning, though I have seen the odd AM/FM model as well.


In the world of proper grown up computers the rapid change from CRT to flat screen monitors, which began in the early noughties, probably marked the end of the line for these little radios, and it’s not hard to understand why. The problem with a flat screen is that there is nowhere to put the speaker and flat screens just aren’t as visually interesting, which could be great news for collectors. Clunky old style boxy PCs and CRT monitors are already well on the way to becoming museum pieces and my guess is that in another ten years or so it will be difficult to persuade anyone from a generation who’s only experience of personal computers has been smartphones, tablets and wearable gadgets, that this was how we did things in the bad old days, and hopefully items of retro kitsch, like this neat little radio, will soar in value…


First seen                1994

Original Price         £5?

Value Today           £10 (1114)

Features                 AM/FM Tuner, thumbwheel tuner & volume on/off, press-button waveband selection on dummy mouse, LED waveband indicators, 55mm speaker

Power req.                      3 x 1.5v AA cells

Dimensions:                    112 x 87 x 125mm

Weight:                           260g

Made (assembled) in:      China (Hong Kong)

Hen's Teeth (10 rarest):    6




Dusty Navigation

About Dustygizmos

Crystal Radios

Transistor Radios

Mini Tape Recorders


Sinclair TVs


Tape Recorder Gallery

A - C    D- M     N - Z









All information on this  web  site  is provided as is without warranty of any kind. Neither nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained  herein.

Copyright (c) 2006 - 2014




counter statistics