Let’s Play: «Gentle Plastic On My Mind…»

18 Dec

Toshiba Transistor Radio model 6TR-92 «The Rice Bowl», 1958

This amazing japanese radio is somewhat rare, specially in pristine condition like this one. The design was originaly produced as a battery tube radio but by the late 1950s it was adapted for transistor technology. It is made of Urea Formaldehyde plastic with handpainted Chrysanthemum decoration.

Donald Duck novelty radio, 1970s

This transistor radio is an American novelty design from the early 1970s by Philgee International, made in USA and, in this case, in Brazil by Electra Radio do Brasil. It is made of injected white Polystyrene plastic with painted colors. Some other comic and cartoon characters were depicted in these radios; We’ve seen Mickey Mouse, Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny, Pinocchio, Batman and Winnie the Pooh. Size: 18cm high.

Fada «Bullet» Radio model 1000, 1946

A favorite among collectors, the FADA Bullet is also known as the «Streamliner». Made of cast Bakelite, it came in a range of color combinations, that may have changed dramatically over time. This one was originally all translucent onix white, for instance. The knobs and the dial frame took slightly different hues from the rest of the cabinet. Radios like these can fetch four digit prices, especially when in rare and contrasting color combinations. This design was first produced in 1941 as the model 115, then released again after the war as the model 1000 with minute changes. The golden dial and the lens were made of celluloid, but the lens is a replacement. Size: The radio is 26 cm wide.

Braun Exporter Radio, 1956

This transistor radio is considered to be one of the first contributions of functionalist Ulm Design School (HfG Ulm), Germany, to Braun, although the actual designers are never mentioned. This radio was meant for foreign markets and is oddly marked only as «foreign». It seems those Ulm functionalists could cope with some color after all. Made of white and tan injected Polystyrene; the strap is Vinyl. Size: It is 17,5 cm wide.

National Panasonic Radio model RF-93, 1970

This amazing design could not be more 1970s Japan. Made of injected Polystyrene, it is portable and hangable by the chain, assuming the shape of a drop. The bold typographic dial adds to that unmistakable 70s look. Made in Japan by the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. Size: 11 cm high, without the aerial.

Standard Electric midget radio model 1044, 1950s

This midget streamlined radio was made in Brazil by Standard Electric, possibly a Brazilian design of the early 1950s, in molded Plaskon (urea Formaldehyde plastic). The visible stains are typical of the aging of this material and are very hard to get rid of. Size: It is 13cm high.

Pilot Radio model X201, ca. 1936

A «tombstone» Bakelite radio made in USA by the Pilot Radio Corporation, circa 1936. The design is attributed to Jan Streng, halfway between Streamlining and Art Deco.

Panasonic Panapet 70 radio model R-70, 1970

A japanese Space Age design made of injected ABS plastic. About 13cm in diameter. National Panasonic developed fantastic designs for portable radios.

All images and copies have been taken from galessa’s marvellous selection of plastic radios. You should also see and visit galessa’s complete plastic photostream on flickr, showing much more and most incredible plastic stuff one can guess.

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