A.R.C. -- THE NATIONAL PUBLICATION FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS
OF OLD RADIOS AND RELATED ITEMS -- PUBLISHED MONTHLY
My Favorite Transistor Radios
By Roger Handy and Eric Wrobbel
REVIEWED BY WALTER V. WORTH
From Antique Radio Classified
(Copyright 1997 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
This videotape of 103 rare and beautiful transistor radios admired by Roger Handy and Eric Wrobbel shows over 100 Japanese and American models with model numbers. The tape is 13/4 hours long.
Handy and Wrobbel have collaborated nicely in displaying the sets, and in the opening message, their well modulated voices prepare you for a feast of photos. They make excellent co-hosts. In addition, both have a professional knowledge of the sets. All this makes the film very enjoyable.
As the show unfolds, you see the actual radio in all its glory, and also hear an explanation of the features that distinguish it. A highlight is America's first look at the extremely rare "pearlescent" Regency TR-1. Two examples are shown, one in pink, the other in blue.
The format of holding the radio in hand helps speed up the process of changing the subject radio quickly to the next one. However, this process led to some out-of-focus moments, until the automatic focus on the camera kicked in.
A break in the middle of the show gave me time to regain my breath and actually helped me to refocus on the sets that followed. As the pictures rolled by, I tried to select my own favorite radio and settled on the Excel Aristocrat 6T2 model with the large dial. The Mitsubishi 6X140 was my second choice.
As for Roger and Eric's favorites -- it's hard to tell. They like them all, as true aficionados should. The superlatives flow! Roger reminisces about his first radio -- a Global GR900, and both think the Global pink ones are "out of this world."
The pure black and white cases are very neat (I call them "tuxedos"), but the pinks, reds, and 3-color ones really shine. Some are described as "Deco" due to the asymmetrical lines on the cases. However, the color combinations make the difference in desirability.
Not much is said about the performance of the sets, and I would like to have heard more on the battery size and location, so I could more readily recognize the particular sets. Also I would like to see the radio on screen and immediately hear the maker, model number, or model name to further identify the set. This format would help the ordinary collector.
An excellent panorama of radio cartons and advertisements is included in the breaks, along with a fine display of batteries of many manufacturers.
Altogether, the tape is an excellent way to see, compare, and evaluate which sets you would like to own and what to look for in the market. I highly recommend it as indispensable both to the beginner and to the seasoned collector.
A small brochure included with the tape lists all the radios covered, as well as the book titles of each of the authors on the subject of transistor radios. Roger Handy is the author of Made in Japan, while Eric Wrobbel has published six transistor radio photo guides.
My Favorite Transistor Radios may be ordered at $29.95 plus postage from Roger Handy and Eric Wrobbel, 20802 Exhibit Ct., Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
(Wally Worth, 2 West Elm Ave., Wollaston, MA 02170)