Awesome Retro Gadgets in “Vintage Tech Hunters”
Last year, Discovery Canada commissioned the production of Vintage Tech Hunters, a show geared at finding antique tech gadgets. Bohus Blahut and Shaun Hatton are the show’s official hosts. Each episode features the two charismatic men in different North American cities as they hunt of vintage tech collections. The show’s premiere episode is filmed in Southern California as the duo hunt for tech gadgets in flea markets.
In the next, they are in the mid-west re-watching the world’s first video gaming world. Vintage Tech Hunters is a light-humored show that is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia.
Below are some of the most stunning gadgets Bohus and Shaun have purchased throughout the show’s first season.
Lasonic TRC-931 1985 Boombox
Flashy, stylish and popular—this was one of the must-have tech gadgets back in the days. It was slightly heavy at nearly 30 pounds in weight but it was the best option for music fans. Unsurprisingly, the Vintage Tech Hunters couldn’t resist the urge to purchase and improve on it.
The Boombox is up for grabs on the official vintage tech hunters’ website. If you have some cassettes with classic tunes, you should probably check it out. Although the device’s price is not listed on the VTH website, be prepared to shell out $400-800 for it.
Robotic technology has been around for decades. In the 80s, kids who dreamed of becoming engineers got Amatron as a gift. Designed like a crane, Amatron used to joysticks to collect small objects around. It’s fairly heavy but has a stand that keeps it sturdy on the ground as you toy with it around.
Unlike the Boombox, Amatron collectors haven’t hiked its price for a long time. The robot is available on Amazon for as little as $50. You can also purchase it from the VTH official website.
Vitamaster Vibrator Exercise Machine
It’s stunning how far the technology behind exercising gadgets has come. The Vitamaster was the 50s and 60s favorite way to exercise. It was first launched in the early 1930s to help tone the reflex and leg muscles. Fast forward in 2019 and vibration plate machines are still as popular.
The vintage exercise machine collected by the Vintage Tech Hunters is not as advanced as modern plates but it’s a good alternative to the gym. You can also collect it as an antique item and sell it in the future.
Phantom Chess Model 6100
Watching a game of chess on TV isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Now imagine having a gadget that resembles a chess board. It’s electric and controls all the pieces by itself. The gadget moves the pieces through magnets located underneath the chess board. It’s a slow-paced gadget and doesn’t produce distracting noises.
While the Phantom Chess Model doesn’t involve you in the action it’s impressive. Back in the 90s, the game was popular with many chess fans. It’s still a popular game, considering its price average $800 on online stores.
Vectrex Game Console
Math and Physics nerds loved this. A game that displayed vector graphics with simple controls—what could beat that? Keep in mind the game was first released in 1982 at a time when very few people owned computers or other advanced devices.
While Vectrex gained a lot of success throughout the country, it remained without much competition to date. This makes it a rare commodity, and one that could be enjoyed for generations. When the game came out in 1982, it cost $199. Today, the game costs $700-$2000, which is insane.
Speak ‘n Spell, Texas Instrument
Speak ‘n Spell is what kids born in the 70s and 80s used to have fun after school. It was a simple gadget that resembled a small computer. The device consists of a keyboard and a display of words for the kids to read out loud or listen to. The gadget was first released in 1978 but became popular in the early 80s after it was fitted with a number of games.
Although the game was recommended for kids up to 14-years-old, it would probably not please kids older than 8 these days. But for a vintage item, it’s worth its low price.
SHS-1 OR Keytar Yamaha
Launched in Japan as the Yamaha Sholky, SHS-1 was a musical keyboard with 32 keys and an octave range up to three. It also had an FM synth that captured 25 voices and delivered 6 notes. If you fancy playing vintage instruments, the Yamaha keytar hand-held keyboard is worth buying. It costs around $500 in online stores.
The Vintage Tech Hunters showcased the instrument in the first part of the series and by the time all 14-episodes were over, it had already been purchased.
Nagra Miniature Tape Recorder
Ever dreamed of owning gadgets used during the cold war? Grab a copy of the Nagra Miniature tape recorder. It’s a small device that weighs less than 10 pounds and was made famous by the CIA and the Soviet government during the 1960s.
Not many landline phones at use today support the tape recorder but you can always purchase it as an antique. It would be cool to own something that was once a darling of the CIA, right?
The Princess Phone was the 60s’ favorite phone for girls and women around the country. The phone mainly targeted teens but proved to be a success with women of all ages. And what’s not to like? It’s a classic landline phone designed in a wide range of colors. Today, it costs $35-$50 and can be purchased on multiple online stores.
Corona 3 Typewriter
The Corona 3 was Ernest Hemingway’s favorite typewriter. It was light; compact, easy to use and did its job amazingly well for a machine manufactured in the 1910s. The Corona’s iconic buttons and design kept it in the mainstream business for nearly a century. While computers have since rendered it obsolete, no one with the gadget sells it for less than $100.
In just 14 episodes, the Vintage Tech Hunter introduced dozens of retro gadgets many couldn’t have imaged ever existed. Most of these devices are up for sale on the show’s official website. From computers to robots, phones to musical interests, anything you may have watched on the show is available for sale.