There are very few things that are more “Classic 80’s” than the WALKMAN. When it came out, it was the birth of compact tech that allowed you to easily bring your music with you anywhere. We take it for granted today, but it was fairly novel at the time. Along with it came a new era of music. Digital recording allowed for electronic effects, which has shaped the majority of popular music today. LEGO builder Jarek Książczyk (Jerac) pays homage to one of the icons that started it all, with this excellent scale model of the Sony WALKMAN.
What makes this retro build most awesome is the fact that the player opens up to hold a “cassette.” Additionally, he snuck in some electronics to make it seem like it actually is functional.
Everyone loves a good throwback to the ’80s or ’90s, and these days people are opting for analog musical devices over digital. What better build encapsulates these trends than Jonas Kramm’s boom box LEGO model?
All of the details on this build are done exactly right – from the dials to the tape deck. The speakers, as well as the switches, are composed mostly of yellow 9V track switches with black minifigure hands for extra detailing. The majority of the model comprises teal bricks and tiling; some yellow 1×2 slopes also form a stylish border around the box’s perimeter. Kramm even includes a couple of brick-built mix-tapes ready to be played. Overall this build really brings me back to the days before iPhones, iPods, and wireless internet, back when all we had was FM-AM radio and maybe some tapes to play around with.
Our readers over the age of thirty may already know the secret to winning over the hearts of that special someone. For the rest, this is what to do. Be sure to don a khaki trench coat with the sleeves pushed up to the elbow. Hop into your late 70’s model Chevy Malibu and head over to their place. Once there, hold a boombox similar to this one built by Chungpo Cheng high over your head and with the volume turned up all the way, stand outside their bedroom window and play some Peter Gabriel, but preferably not this one.
The end result should either have the person you most desire running longingly into your waiting arms or it may land you one hell of a restraining order. There really is no “in between” scenario with this stunt. But either way it would be totally worth it.
You can feel the Synergy emanating from this bright and cheerful Jem set by Samuel Hatmaker. You may remember him as the creator of the popular Golden Girls project on LEGO Ideas (It reached 10,000 supporters but failed to pass the review). This time, he has built a complete playset that includes four separate pieces capturing all the glamour, glitter, fashion and fame of the 80’s hit cartoon, Jem & the Holograms.
There was nothing quite like living in the 1980s. Back then, having a single cassette tape on-hand meant being forced to listen to a full album of music and nothing else. It was just one of many technological shortcomings we had to deal with. These two nostalgic builds by Ralf Langer certainly bring back some of those memories. At first glance, the headphones look so realistic. Ralf used LEGO rubber tires to form the ear cushions, and I’m still puzzled by how he incorporated them into the build.
The compact cassette tape is also shaped perfectly, right down to the placement of the capstan and pinch roller openings. My favorite parts are the chain links used for the magnetic tape supply reels. While writing this article, I was inspired to play music from the ’80s over my 21st Century Bluetooth headset; talk about instant gratification!
Cassette players scream eighties so loudly that it seems kind of redundant to mark tapes as “80s mix”, but Jarekwally still decided to bring out the nostalgia even more. The builder was inspired by his father’s stories of how they used to pirate music nearly forty years ago with a radio and a tape deck. Cassette players are so iconic, you don’t even need to have 80s nostalgia to be inspired by them.
Jarekwally’s build is not the first time we’ve seen cassette players in LEGO, which kind of makes sense, as tapes are just blocky technical items with a limited variation of texture — which translates into bricks very well. What I love about this particular version is the use of chrome silver around the cassette slot and the underside of a plate as the speaker mesh. Simple indeed, but inspired.
Check out these other LEGO retro audio instruments:
The Empire Strikes Back was released back in 1980 and is still one of the most popular Star Wars films to date. Josephine Monterosso has captured the likeness of two of the main characters from the movie, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, as BrickHeadz. Each character has some great little details to enjoy that are a step beyond the official Brickheadz style, but there are no rules when it comes to building your own characters. Luke’s flak vest with its tubing is a lovely touch and, along with the helmet and visor, really makes this character recognisable.
Han Solo’s fur-lined hood works well with simply some studs on show to give texture. I love the use of a palisade brick to give the clinched-in appearance to his parka waist — it really adds some flair.
The boombox (aka “Ghetto Blaster”) that graced every music lover’s shoulders is an indisputable icon of the 80’s. Jimmy Fortel‘s mastery in capturing the essence of this historical music making machine takes the bass beat up 10 notches and would burst our eye-drums, if we had any.
The beauty of this creation lies in the clean lines and construction without a visible LEGO stud, from the equalizer, to the radio antenna, to the inserted cassette tape, and the depressed Play button. If you close your eyes hard enough, you can almost hear the sound of Michael Jackson’s Beat It pumping from those speakers, taking you back to a time when loud music in public streets was all the rage.
Here’s to your daily dose of nostalgia, presented in technicolor by fujiia. Built for an event and inspired by rumors of a potential movie, she’s created this vibrant, eye-catching ode to everyone’s favorite 1980s all-girl rock-band, Jem and the Holograms.