Retro-inspired home gadgets designed with modern functionality to take you on a trip down memory lane!

There’s something about all things retro that I simply cannot resist! I love products that evoke a deep sense of nostalgia within us and take us right back to the 80s. As innovative and futuristic gadgets are today, sometimes you just feel like escaping from all the modernism and immersing yourself in the simplicity of the past. To help you experience this, we’ve curated a collection of retro-inspired gadgets that promise to take you on a trip down memory lane, and they’re designed especially for your home! From a Nixie tube tabletop clock to a retro-inspired minimal radio – this collection of gadgets are the perfect little retro additions to your living space! Though these gadgets are wonderfully retro-esque, they have been imbibed with modern functionality. Their aesthetics may be from their past, but their utility is embedded in the future. Enjoy!

The Nextube is a product of that cultural throwback but relies on today’s tech. It mimics the raw, retro appeal of nixie tubes, but given how rare these tubes are (since they stopped production in the 90s), the Nextube uses a clever set of mini LED displays encased in vacuum glass tubes. Complete with a neat walnut wood base and brass trims, the Nextube looks like something from an 80s laboratory on your desk. The steampunk gadget comes with 6 individual displays that tell the time as well as the weather, in that gloriously vintage nixie-inspired glowing font. Its primary function is that of a tabletop clock and alarm, however, the 6 mini displays can be programmed to display practically anything, from the weather to your YouTube subscriber count, the price of your favorite cryptocurrency, or even a countdown clock for a pre-set date/time.

Meet RMV – a turntable designed to blend the retro and modern vibe, hence the initials! By combining the past turntable and modern technology, RMV brings the past and the present together in a naturally harmonious manner. This design allows people to feel both analog and digital sensibilities unique to the turntable. It lets you enjoy listening to music using mobile phones, headsets, and speakers via Bluetooth. RMV is not heavier than traditional turntable in form and each CMF detail has been carefully picked to make sure it suits pretty much every interior setup. Its aesthetic pursues spatiality and morphological sophistication with minimal design.

Dadaism J’s desk heater wears a glossy, retro finish and takes a vertical, cylindrical shape to easily fit onto any desk in any office. Dadaism J’s portable Desk Heater is a wired appliance that works in a similar fashion to traditional space heaters, by simply plugging the Desk Heater’s cord into the wall, the appliance disperses warm air into the room. Embedded inside Desk Heater’s main compartment, heat coils convert the electrical energy into heat, sending it through the heater’s diagonal plastic grating. Throughout Desk Heater’s build, minimalist accents like the grating give the appliance a finished look. Desk Heater echoes the design language of retro ‘50s home appliances through its slick, glossy finish, but packs the heat with an intuitive control panel fit for today.

Riding on the retro-wave is Retio, an all-in-one retro radio, Bluetooth speaker, and clock that comes with a simple, sophisticated, steampunk-inspired design. Handcrafted in California, the Retio comes with a Walnut wood body surrounded by a brass accent, a fabric frontal clad, beautifully knurled brass knobs, and the Retio’s pièce de résistance, a display crafted from four genuine vintage Nixie tubes! A portmanteau of the words Retro and Radio, Retio focuses on the sheer beauty of artifacts from the decades gone by. It harks back to a simpler time but showcases the incredibly complex 70-year old nixie-tube technology that remains equally captivating even today. The tubes are genuine vintages, having been built more than 30 years ago but preserved in mint condition.

The new JBL SA750 takes me back to my childhood home’s downstairs audio system, coated in aluminum with teak wood veneer side paneling and stainless steel, sheathed control knobs for sensitive tuning. JBL’s SA750 offers a mellowed upgrade from the audio giant’s amplifiers of the 60s and 70s. With most of the front panel on the SA750 maintaining the original interface of dials and knobs from the late 20th century 600 and 660 SA models, some key differences were made, however, in order to accommodate modern-day technology. Doubling the SA600’s single audio jack for two, one for headphones and one for an aux cord, the new JBL SA750 offers options for both solo and group listening. The new hi-fi amp is also geared for Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, or UPnP connectivity and can transition between MC and MM to generate the signal for users hoping to plug in their pre-amp.

The Baseus Personal Refridgerator concept by Jiujiu Hu certainly falls in the aesthetic category but that doesn’t stop us from loving it any lesser! With a form factor that merges an almost android design with that of a retro TV, this portable personal refrigerator is here to serve us, literally. The heat of summer is upon us, anything that is cold or chilled is in demand. This cute robot-like design with its shiny reflective surface (truly it only needs big eyes to make us fall in love even more) and its leather strap is a way cooler alternative to the old-school icebox or coolers we lug around everywhere (can you imagine how much cooler Netflix and chill would be with this by your side?).

There is this thing about vinyl, only someone who owns a collection – big or small – would know. Yes, the glorious sound is one of them and you would agree to that, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. It is actually the overall experience with these fragile records that you just cannot have enough of. If you know what we mean, you would be anything but lured by the fine lines and details of this luxurious gramophone. You’d be yearning for one to play your collection! Designed by Moiless, a studio that believes designing is like writing a novel – it’s about telling a story and expressing feelings. The atelier thrives on designing and manufacturing emotional items and their record player does just that for fanatics who cherish the conventional way to replay the sound of music. Featuring a seamless design it comes integrated into a wooden rack, which houses a speaker system right under the player, and has an opening to stack your vinyl collection below.

The Split Drum washing machine has three separate sections, so you can wash all your supposedly “un-mixable” clothes in one load. The boards are also removable for additional flexibility. After all, not everyone has an equal ratio of dark, light, and white clothing in their closet. In addition to solving an issue that has inconvenienced young adults for years, the Split Drum is very pleasing to look at. The white color and the gold accents give the machine a bright yet retro-inspired feel that I think fits the personality of many young professionals. The Split Drum is not an appliance that will be hidden away in a basement – because what young 20-something can afford a two-floor apartment?

Featuring an adorable square shape, the R1 Deluxe Bluetooth Radio carries a very retro-esque charm, however, its functionality is deeply rooted in the present. Equipped with the latest OLED display, the display showcases the song you’re listening to, the time, and any alarm details you may have set. No matter which angle you may view it from, the display is always legible, retaining its readability from every position. The brightness can be adjusted according to your needs. What makes the stereo even more interesting is its RotoDial controller! Radios usually tend to be accompanied by a bunch of dials and knobs, however, Ruark Audio’s trademark RotoDial eliminates the need for multiple buttons, allowing easy access and control of the radio.

Designer Jieun Jeong hit the nail on the head with the YouTube Radio concept. I’m interested in the categories and the channels, and the randomness of the picks that YT intuitively plays out for me. And this is one of the key functionalities of this concept. Envisioned as an analog radio, the YouTube Radio provides an interface that delivers content through sound. Taking inspiration from the YT icon as well as the TV and radio sets from the 70s and 80s, we have a device that features a radio, dial, pen, buttons, and a holder.

This Custom Pac-Man Synthesizer Looks A-maze-ing

You know what? I’m surprised that they never came up with a vaccine for Pac-Man Fever. I mean, I’ve had it for nearly four decades, and it’s not getting any better. I suppose if you’re still a Pac-Man fan like me, you might want something like this sweet Pac-Man-themed synthesizer by Swedish artist and vintage gadget fan Love Hultén.

The custom-built synthesizer is done up in a vibrant color scheme inspired by Namco’s classic maze game. The customized Korg Minilogue synth has Pac-Man yellow keys with orange sharps and flats. Its case has a Pac-Man logo and ghost artwork straight from the game’s original arcade cabinet, and there are other little details like cherries on the keyboard and a pair of blue ghosts with light-up eyes being chased by Pac-Man. Check it out in action and give it a listen in the video below:

Surprisingly, this isn’t the only Pac-Man synthesizer that Hultén has built. He also created a custom synth with a yellow case and blue keys, presumably on Opposite Day.

If you love the retro-modernist look of these pieces, be sure to check out Love’s Instagram page and website for more awesome custom electronic gear.

Morphy Richards multi-oven with unique lid mechanism exudes a refreshing classic vibe

A unique oven design carefully thought-of for modern users who appreciate the retro influence in their home appliances and of course the cool factor every wannabe chef wants to explore.

Move over the conventional ovens that we all have got so bored of, as the Morphy Richards multi-oven has arrived on the scene breaking the monotony of the same old cooking methods. The silver lining here is the unique design evolution of the similar-looking ovens while bringing an element of classic feel to one of the most important kitchen appliances on the planet. After all, the greatest chefs all these years won’t have been able to explore their creativity without the good old oven in their arsenal if I put it mildly.

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

While most of Braun’s Dieter Rams-influenced designs have a definitive element of minimalism, this bold Morphy Richards oven design takes a detour for a more SMEG approach. It exudes that hint of a retro that takes one into the realms of good old times where every appliance used in the kitchen had its own profound aura. Just have a look at the cool sea green or navy blue-colored aesthetics dominated by the toaster-like opening mechanism of this appliance. Then there are the nostalgic dials and slider buttons which bring back the cherished memories of robust appliances of the golden era.

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

The designer gives his imagination wings with this Morphy Richards oven while mindfully keeping the practical aspect of daily use in mind. Be it baking a fresh batch of cookies, making crisp toasts or smoking meat – this desirable oven can do it all in unprecedented style. This Morphy Richards multi oven is good for any cooking regimen and fits into any kitchen countertop design – be it conventional or ultra-modern.

Designer: Souther Design

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

Morphy Richards Multi Oven Concept by Souther ID

Galaga Enamel Pins Bring the 8-Bit Goodness

I’ve played a whole lot of arcade games in my lifetime, but one that I always go back to is Namco’s classic Galaga. It’s every bit as playable and challenging today as it was the day it came out in 1981, and now I don’t even have to spend quarters to play it. If you love Galaga as much as I do, check out these enamel pins inspired by the game.

Etsy seller Wardingers creates these awesome pixel art pins based on enemies like the Bee, Butterfly, Scorpion, Galaxian, and Bosconian. I never knew the names of these characters before now – it was easier to kill nameless, soulless aliens. Now every time I go to shoot at them, I’m going to think about that Bosconian’s wife and kids. Thanks, Wardingers, thanks.

The Galaga enamel pins sell for $9.25 each, or you can buy them in sets, with the full 7-piece collection selling for $52.75. Of course, I’d need to buy two fighters because I always joined mine together for maximum firepower.

LEGO Expert Turns NES Kit into a Game Boy Transformer

As a fan of classic video games and LEGO bricks, I was pretty stoked when they released the official LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System in 2020. The 2600+ piece set lets you build a detailed model of an NES along with a TV set, a game cartridge, and a gamepad. Now, one inventive LEGO builder has figured out how to reconfigure the kit into a completely different Nintendo system – a Game Boy. But this isn’t just any Game Boy – this is the Game Boy ROBO.

The Moko Brick Laboratory specializes in making transforming robots out of LEGO parts. Their latest build used some of the numerous parts from the LEGO NES to create this awesome Game Boy that can turn into a robot. Sure, the Transformers had cars and cassette tape players that could turn into robots, but they never had a Game Boy. Now, all we need is for Nintendo to develop a way to make one of these that is actually playable, and they’d sell millions. Can you imagine playing Super Mario Bros. or Tetris on this thing?

Check out the full build video for the Game Boy ROBO below:

I love how this guy wears white gloves while working on his LEGO builds. Parents, I suggest that you make your kids do the same so they don’t get chocolate and Cheetos dust all over the bricks like they usually do.

LEGO Ideas Motorized Johnny 5 Is Alive!

Short Circuit is one of those classic movies that every self-respecting geek should see at some point in their lives. After all, the star of the show is Number 5, aka Johnny 5, a charming and inquisitive robot who craves input and understanding from the human world. It’s kind of like the pre-cursor to CHAPPiE, with its main character being a killer military robot who ends up finding its human side. If you love Johnny 5 too, you’ll want to vote for this fan-submitted LEGO design based on the movie robot.

This LEGO Johnny 5 model was designed by RJ BrickBuilds and features a motorized drivetrain using LEGO Powered Up motors. In addition, Johnny’s body, arms, head, and laser module can all be controlled using the Powered Up app. You can also pose his eyebrows, though you’ll need to do that manually. Just don’t ever try to disassemble him!

The model consists of 2,711 pieces, measures an impressive 23.2″ tall, and tips the scales at 6.24 pounds. You can show your support for the LEGO Johnny 5 kit by voting on the LEGO Ideas website. Hopefully, he’ll get enough votes to be considered for production by the LEGO powers-that-be.

Retro Arcade Squirrel Feeder: Insert Coin for Nuts

Most people treat squirrels like unwanted pests. But if you’re among the animal lovers who prefer to feed the squirrels in your yard, you might want to get a squirrel feeder. And if you love classic arcade games, you’ll want to get this squirrel feeder that looks like a miniature arcade cabinet.

Etsy seller The Tree Rat Symposium makes this tiny arcade machine with its CRT display ripped out and replaced with a place for storing nuts and other snacks for squirrels. Now, if I were a squirrel, I might be disappointed if I saw a “Squirrely’s Arcade” machine and got to it only to discover I couldn’t play Pac-Man or Robotron 2084. But then I’d be like, “but snacks!” and forget all about the crushing disappointment of not being able to spend those quarters burning a hole in my furry squirrel pocket.

My only concern about this thing is that the squirrels will start lining up to play, and then I’ll have to build an entire squirrel arcade with 10 of these things, some squirrel pinball machines, and a squirrel bill breaker. But if you’re not worried about such things, you can grab one over on Etsy for $34.

Lucas Pereira’s Traditional Japanese X-Men: Krakoa no Sato

Marvel has been taking the X-Men in all sorts of crazy directions in its comic books ever since it got the movie rights back from Fox. Freelance illustrator Lucas Pereira has a cool idea for the beloved and feared mutants with his ongoing Instagram series, which sees the X-Men and other Marvel characters dressed in clothing and accessories inspired by traditional Japanese culture.

Lucas started the series with Wolverine about a year ago and hasn’t stopped cranking out ideas. His work has seen enough demand that he’s now selling prints of some of his first creations.

Head to Inprnt to order Lucas’ giclee prints, which go from $20 to $40 (USD) based on the size, and follow him on Instagram to see his latest work. Man, that Storm art is special.

A LEGO Sony Walkman Sounds Like a Great Idea

Back in the days before streaming, MP3s, and CDs (and dinosaurs still roamed the Earth), all the cool kids had a Sony Walkman. This portable cassette player was a revolution for those wanting to listen to their tunes on the go and sold more than 200 million units by the time Sony stopped production of its cassette-based Walkmans in 2010. Now, thanks to one clever LEGO creator, we could soon be carrying a Walkman again. This 1:1 scale replica is based on the Walkman WM-22, which wasn’t the first Walkman, but it was the first truly affordable model, and it also looks pretty great in this red color with matching LEGO headphones.

Of course, there are two big differences between brick-builder Jerac’s LEGO Walkman and a real Sony Walkman: 1) you have to assemble this one yourself, and 2) the LEGO one doesn’t play music. Of course, it’s possible that if LEGO decides to build this – and Sony decides to play ball with the licensing – that they could come up with a clever way for it to play music. Wouldn’t it be cool if it worked as a digital media player, and the controls actually worked? And to show your significant other that you love them enough to make them a mixtape? Well, I can dream, I suppose. But even if the LEGO Walkman doesn’t play music, I’d still buy one. I mean, look at it. It’s too cool not to.

If you dig the idea of a LEGO Sony Walkman, take a stroll over to the LEGO Ideas site and show your support with a vote. If the project gets enough votes, it could go into production. It’s already got more than 4,000 supporters, and once it hits 10,000 it goes to LEGO’s expert review team for consideration. Cast your votes and let’s see if we can help make it a reality.

[via Gizmodo Japan]

Gundam Narikiri RX-78 and Zaku Boxer Briefs and Socks: Roleplay You Say?

The never-ending post-apocalyptic nightmare has started to affect even the supply of gunpla. So what do you do if you can’t get your hands on a Gundam model? Be a Gundam model. Bandai Namco’s silly Narikiri (“roleplay”) line features boxer briefs and socks based on Amuro Ray’s RX-78 Gundam, Char’s MS-06S Zaku, and the mass production MS-06F Zaku from the first Mobile Suit Gundam show.

There are also matching tees for each design, but they’re not as funny as the boxer briefs or as awesome as the socks.

Head to Yoyakunow to protect your beam saber and feet. The boxer briefs cost about $43 (USD) each, while the socks go for about $25 per pair.

[via GunplaBandai]