A.R.C. -- THE NATIONAL PUBLICATION FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS
OF OLD RADIOS AND RELATED ITEMS -- PUBLISHED MONTHLY
BOOK REVIEW:Collector's Guide to Transistor Radios, By Marty and Sue Bunis
REVIEWED BY BILL BURKETT
From Antique Radio Classified
(Copyright 1995 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Once again, Marty and Sue Bunis have done a truly excellent job with the compilation of radio identification and values in this first book dedicated exclusively to the subject of collectible transistor radios. Collector's Guide to Transistor Radios contains more than 400 full color photographs and complete descriptions, including current valuations, of over 2,000 different models. It is a must for anyone who has an interest in either the collecting of transistor radios or the disposition of them through sale or trade.
Presented in much the same style as the Bunises' earlier books, The Collector's Guide to Antique Radios, 1st and 2nd editions, this book represents a good cross section of transistor radios likely to be encountered. Both the more common, as well as the rare or "high end" transistors, are described and pictured, thus offering something of value to the novice and the veteran collector. Published in a compact format, this 254-page paperback can be conveniently taken along to those places where collectors might be searching for "trannies." Its modest price allows a really active transistor buyer to justify a second copy to be kept in the glove compartment for instant reference whenever the need arises.
You will probably move quickly from the artistic and colorful cover to the interior to look up the value of your favorite transistor radios, and you should, in order to get a good feel for the book's format and the range of valuations. But, please do not forget to read the four-page introduction, particularly the explanation of pricing.
It is important that all readers of this book understand that it is not a catalog from which to order up these radios. Rather, it is merely a source of identification and a valuation guide, with the estimated values based on sets in "very good" condition with all parts intact and having no damage to cases. The more detailed definition of "no damage," as well as how pricing may be affected for sets in an extraordinary state of preservation, should also be read and understood. Cosmetically damaged radios are, obviously, less desirable and less valuable.
Are the descriptions and prices accurate? For the most part, I found the radio descriptions and dating data to be accurate with only a trivial error here and there. Please keep in mind that no previously printed source has existed for much of this information. Given this fact, the Bunises have done a wonderful job. If, when studying the descriptions or other data, you should discover an error, please communicate directly with Marty or Sue. They will make corrections and/or consider your suggestions for future editions.
In regard to prices, some are too high, and some are too low. Most are "right on." This is only my opinion, and we should fully expect to disagree on which are which. Again, we must remember that this book is not a catalog and that no value guide can build in the most important pricing factor - whether you are buying or selling the item in question.
As a comparative guide, however, I feel that the valuations are excellent and can be especially helpful when negotiating a swap with another collector. Furthermore, as a well seasoned and knowledgeable transistor radio collector, I personally welcome and enthusiastically endorse this book in the hope that it stabilizes what has become, in some instances, runaway transistor pricing.
As Ben Franklin once said, "Well done is better than well said," and while any number of transistor collectors could have compiled this book, Marty and Sue did it. They deserve our thanks for a job very well done!
Collector's Guide to Transistor Radios is published by Collector Books, P.O. Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009. It has 254 pages in a softbound 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" format, and the suggested list price is $15.95. You may order it from the publisher; from Marty and Sue Bunis, RR1, Box 36, Bradford, NH 03221; and from A.R.C. and other A.R.C. advertisers. Be sure to check these suppliers for ordering information.
We are pleased that Bill Burkett, an authority on transistor radios, agreed to review the Bunis book. Bill is the creator of a two-hour video entitled "Collecting Early Transistor Radios." This excellent video presents detailed information on over 350 transistor radios and is listed in the 1994 Antique Electronics Supply catalog. (Editor)
(Bill Burkett, P.O. Box 2488, Sun City, AZ 85372)