If video killed the radio star, then iPods and CD players killed the walkman. Sad, but true: the Sony Walkman is officially a relic of the past.
The cassette walkman was the first low-cost, portable music player and 30 years ago, in the 1980's, it was the thing to have. More than 200 million were sold since July 1, 1979, the day the first was shipped.
The final batch was shipped to Japanese retailers in April, according to IT Media and once sold out, new cassette Walkmans will no longer be available through the manufacturer and though the devices will still be made by Chinese manufacturers and sold in the United States and the United Kingdom, the change is palpable.
It was coming and we all knew it. My daughter pulled out an old cassette tape the other day, looked at it puzzled and then said, "Mommy, what the heck is this?"
It broke my heart. The 80's was a simpler time. Or maybe I just think that because I was so little, not even double digits in age, just going through life rockin' out to my Madonna tape on my walkman. But the walkman is not the only thing I miss. Here are some more 1980's entertainment moments and items to miss:
- Video games: The original gaming systems -- the Atari 2600, Coleco and the original Nintendo Entertainment System - have nothing on current gamed in terms of graphics, but those early games were so fun and unique. I would sit on my Nintendo Game Boy for hours. Yes, the graphics look like real people now, but Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. And Cabbage Patch Kids were the games I remember most fondly.
- Young Madonna: She was so much hotter in her youth. That vague baby fat and "rule the world" swagger was far superior to the centered Earth Mama we see today. I still love Madonna for all she has done, but the "Material Girl" will always hold a special place in my heart.
- "Where's The Beef"?: For some reason this Wendy's commercial featuring a little old lady looking for the beef on her hamburger took off and everyone wore t-shirts with the phrase. Now everyone fast forwards the commercials on their DVR.
- Boy George: In the 1980's, he was an icon of androgyny and gender confusion, but man was he cool. Now is just another washed up ex-con on who went to jail for assaulting a male escort. "Karma Chameleon," indeed.
- The Coreys: Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were BFF's and they dominated the teeny bop magazines in a way Justin Beiber never will. Yes, Corey Haim was not a deceased has-been and Corey Feldman was actually cool. Don't believe me? Check out Lost Boys, Dream a Little Dream or License to Drive.
- Wonder Woman: So she had a skimpy outfit, she was still a great role model for little 80's girls who wanted her accessories with magic powers. Actually, I still kind of want those.
- "We Didn't Start the Fire": When will Billy Joel update his 1989 hit? So much has happened since then!
RIP, Sony Walkman. You got us through some hard times.
What do you miss the most from the 80's?
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