IT MAY NOT FIT THE BILL for the Great Finds of the New Decade// Category, but I did discover this 1970s model retro-red National Panasonic R-72S in a storage closet this past weekend, and, as our calendar would have it, weekends in April 2010 are, indeed, part of the new decade, thus allowing me to write about the nifty contraption here. The radio, also known as the Panasonic Toot-a-Loop, does have a bit of a disintegrates-when-wet look to it; it was meant to be worn on the wrist, was manufactured to receive AM stations, and had to be opened to be tuned.
Despite these impracticalities, the radio’s design certainly transcends the stylistic whiteness of basic model iPods. As described in the Panasonic R-72’s fairly genius old-timey advertising jingle, “it’s an S, it’s an O, it’s a crazy radio! Toot-a-loop!” Unfortunately, the ad might be a bit too old-timey for the kids of the iGeneration. If Panasonic ever did bring back the R-72, then they’d probably need to update the jingle – perhaps something like: “You iPod, iPhone, iPad, but have you ever Toot-a-Looped?”
And no need to thank me for the above jingle, Panasonic Corporation. Seeing the hipster-polloi wearing the R-72 on the streets of Williamsburg will be all the thanks I’ll need.