(Pocket-lint) – We all love a good gadget and there’s nothing like a piece of tech you can buy today that throws you back in time with a haze of nostalgia for days gone by.
Taking a trip down memory lane, we’ve scoured the web for a selection of the very best retro-style gadgets with a nostalgic feel.
Table of Contents
Speak & Spell
The original Speak & Spell was introduced in the late 1970s and was a wonder of the time. A simple little device that could help children learn to spell with a speech synthesis engine that could manage an impressive 200 words.
That old device is now being brought back to life by Basic Fun! and now boasts a lot more processing power and intelligence. If you want your children or grandchildren to relive the fun of the 70s and 80s, then this is the toy for you.
In the modern age, it’s painfully easy to beam a wealth of video content from your phone straight to your TV, but where’s the fun in that? What you want is an old-fashioned telly to view it on.
The Smartphone Magnifier from Luckies of London is the height of television nostalgia. Pop your phone in the back of this chunky, faux wood television set and watch the videos blown up into 8-inch glory. Comes complete with an utter lack of remote control.
No need to give this set a bash to sort the picture out and no aerials to fuss about with.
Leica M10 Camera
Leica is a German brand of camera manufacturer with an unflinching dedication to craftsmanship and retro-styling. Its latest camera, the M10, is a perfect example of that.
Not only does this camera boast classic looks from days gone by, it also shuns modern functionality of other cameras, like video capture and autofocus. There’s still a rear LCD screen at least and you won’t need to fiddle with 35mm film but you might have trouble stomaching the price tag of more than £5.5K.
READ: Leica M10 preview: The rangefinder refined
Wild & Wolf Diner Phone
For most of us, a landline phone might be on the verge of being a thing of the past, but if you still like the idea of having a home handset then why not go the whole hog and invest in something truly classic.
The Wild & Wolf Diner Telephone boasts the vintage charm of a 1950’s phone straight out of an American diner. With push-button dialling, volume controls and other features it works perfectly in the modern home with the added bonus of a functional coin slot that could act as a great piggy-bank too.
Binatone Brick phone
If the Diner Phone is a bit too old school for you, then spin forward a few decades with The Brick. A modern re-imagining of the classic early mobile phone from the era of yuppies and Filofaxes.
The Brick from Binatone is available as both a mobile and home phone, has a ridiculously long lasting battery (up to 3 months of standby power) and even comes with gaming classic Snake. What more could you want?
Star Trek Bluetooth communicator
One for classic Trekkies, this Bluetooth Communicator pairs with your mobile so you can make and receive calls like Captain Kirk himself.
Officially licensed and 3D scanned from the last official communicator prop in existence, this replica is as close as you’re going to get to the real thing.
Packed with other awesome features like wireless charging, authentic Star Trek SFX sounds, a high-quality speaker and MEMS microphone, this retro device will allow you to boldly take your phone calls where no man has gone before.
Lofree retro typewriter keyboard
This compact and super-portable mechanical keyboard is inspired by traditional typewriters with rounded keys, a contemporary design and a satisfying “click-clack” as you type.
Compatible with a range of different devices (except an actual typewriter) and able to work both wired and wirelessly, as well as boasting multiple backlight settings, this keyboard is a smashingly quirky addition to your home office.
For audiophiles who swear you can’t get a better sound than vinyl but also grumble about not being able to skip tracks comes the LOVE turntable.
Pitched as “the world’s first intelligent turntable” LOVE is attempting to revolutionise an age-old music playback tradition – with a system that keeps the record still but moves the needle instead.
Not convinced? Consider the ability to connect to and control the vinyl player via your phone over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and play, pause, skip and repeat without any faffing. Sounds great to us!
Retro rotary phone
Do you ever feel like modern smartphones are far too much of a distraction? Do you yearn for simpler times when a phone plugged into the wall and you had to turn a wheel to dial the numbers? Then the style of this one might just satisfy your nostalgia.
It’s a push-button phone rather than rotary, but still has the classic retro vibe with some bright modern colours.
GPO retro DAB radio
Something your parents or grandparents might appreciate unwrapping for their birthday, this rad retro radio brings digital audio broadcasts to a 1950’s styled set.
Battery or mains powered with 20 pre-set stations and alarm clock functionality, this little box has it all. Unless you’re after Spotify of course. Still – a great gift for someone that’s not quite caught up with the rest of us yet.
If the typewriter-styled keyboard isn’t quite quaint enough for you, how about the real thing?
This classic 1930’s typewriter has been restored and repurposed as a USB/Bluetooth keyboard which you can either hook up to your PC or Mac or simply dock with your iPad.
Fully functionally, with all the modern keys you could need in a 21st Century environment, this little beauty has it all. No ink ribbons necessary.
ION iCade Arcade Bluetooth Cabinet
Modern tablets are great – you can easily download and play all those classic arcade games you enjoyed in your youth without spending a fortune – but it’s never quite the same when using a touchscreen. Which is where this classically styled arcade cabinet comes in.
Add a tactical joystick and full-sized arcade buttons to your retro gaming. Simply plug your iPad in, download classic games like Asteroids and Battlezone and get to mashing those keys!
Macintosh Apple Watch stand
Fan of all things Apple? Then this watch stand is probably for you. The Elago W3 Apple Watch stand is a simple charging dock for your Apple Watch that’s designed to look like the Macintosh computers we knew and loved in the 1980’s, complete with floppy drive cut out and recessed screen.
Your beside clock will never have looked so retro and modern at the same time.
NES Mini Classic
If you’re not quite old enough to remember classic arcade games, but have hazy memories of Nintendo games from yesteryear the NES Classic Mini might be the modern console with a retro spin for you. This little package brings classic 8-bit gaming to the big screen with upscaling for modern HD TVs and the ability to save your game progress.
The Nintendo Classic Mini console comes with 30 gaming titles from the Japanese gaming giant’s past, including original Mario games, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and more. The original controller style remains and the classic games are a joy to revisit.
If you struggle to find one then you can always build your own retro console.
Sega Megadrive arcade console
If you were always more of a Sonic fan than a Mario lover, then fear not! The Sega Arcade Classic features 80 old-school 16-bit Sega favourites from Golden Axe to Sonic the Hedgehog.
This little kit not only includes wireless controllers but also boasts compatibility with the original Sega Megadrive cartridges. So dig about in your loft, find your old games, give them a bit of a blow then get stuck into an old fashioned gaming session!
Mattel Viewmaster VR headset
The original View-Master was introduced in 1939 giving people the ability to view stereoscopic 3D colour images via thin cardboard disks slotted into the headset.
Now updated for the era of augmented and virtual reality, this View-Master headset uses the power of your smartphone to transport you to a virtual world. All housed in the classic View-Master design.
The traditional reels are still available too, but are now scanned to access more augmented reality content and games.
Bluetooth cassette tape
If you’re stuck driving an older car with a cassette deck that does nothing but sit there gathering dust or play FM/AM radio then you’ll welcome this addition to your gadget arsenal.
Stick this tape in your cassette deck, pair with your phone via Bluetooth and then stream any music you like without the hassle and expense of upgrading your head unit to something more modern.
There’s a built-in rechargeable battery that’s sufficient for six to eight hours’ playback and, as if that wasn’t enough, the tape even has a microphone too – perfect for hands-free calls. No need to worry about winding the unspooled tape back in with a pencil!
Suck UK USB Mixtape
Remember the hazy days when you spent hours recording songs onto a cassette tape to gift to the object of your affections? Well, now you can revive your romantic side and rekindle the flame with this USB Mix Tape gift pack.
Simply pop some romantic tracks onto the stick, bung it into the cassette tape shell, scribble some notes on the index card and hand it to someone you love.
Much classier than just giving them a USB stick on its own. Alternatively, you could just create a Spotify playlist, but where’s the fun in that?
Star Trek Original Phaser universal remote control
Set phasers to standby and arm yourself with the pinnacle in remote control geekiness – a universal remote control built to look like a phaser from the original Star Trek series.
Control your TV and other gadgets with a range of motions, buttons and dials. Just don’t try blasting any Tribbles.
STG European Phonograph
If you truly adore vinyl, but the LOVE turntable is just a bit too modern for you, why not go really old school with this antique-styled phonograph?
Complete with turntable, CD player, AM/FM radio and an antique styling from the early 1900s, this phonograph is a true modern wonder to behold.
Remax Floppy Disk Power Bank
Portable battery packs are popular these days, almost as popular as 3.5-inch floppy disks in the 1990s. Indeed, we’d suggest the storage format was even more so considering they were a necessity. And considering the most common ones held a whopping 400KB think of the fun we all had.
They looked cool though, so it’s great that Remax has chosen the style for its range of power banks. And these hold a 5,000mAh battery, perfect for charging your phone on the go.
Writing by Adrian Willings.