Jan 10, 2019

Nostalgia is making a splash at CES

A red boombox

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

While CES is all about the latest and greatest in technology, there was a significant retro theme on display at a number of the booths this year.

The bottom line: Even techies have a soft spot for the gadgets and brands of their youth — or, in some cases, their parents' youth.

First, there was a slew of retro products, the most surprising of which was a cassette boombox from Ion. It's also a bluetooth speaker, but it has a cassette player and analog dial AM/FM radio as well.

Second, there were brands looking to stage a comeback. There were booths pitching names like Polaroid and Kodak. Other brands of yesteryear were found tucked inside the booths of lesser known electronics firms who had licensed the brand.

  • A Brooklyn company called Southern Telecom has the U.S. and Canadian rights to the old PC brand Packard Bell. The company started over 25 years ago selling landline phones, but these days it sells a range of electronics, including audio gear for Sharper Image and Brookstone.
  • In a hybrid move, Kenwood retrofitted the latest automotive technology into a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda.
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