Walkman? Or a Trinitron TV?
Do you remember the first Sony product you touched?
What was the first home appliance you touched when you were a child? What are Sony products?
What is My First Sony?
I myself (the author) was born in a small home appliance store, so I was always surrounded by home appliances such as components, TVs, and VCRs. Partly because I received a gifted education since I was a child, the TV is Trinitron! Walkman portable audio! Betamax VCR! 8mm camcorder! In such a way, I was nurturing the DNA of admiring Sony.
On the other hand, there were many things I did in my childhood, such as breaking the needle of a record, crushing a speaker cone, tangling cassette tapes, stuffing small items into a VCR and making it impossible to recover. I remember being severely scolded.
Home appliances back then were so expensive that we can’t even imagine them today, and I can understand why you wouldn’t want a child to touch them, as adults might break them. However, it is also true that it was not until I actually touched and used it that I was able to appreciate the fun of home appliances and the goodness of Sony.
Children can touch the latest technology
“My First Sony”
In order to solve such a dilemma, what if there were real home appliances that children could enjoy playing with? Is it possible to create an opportunity to come into contact with Sony products? “My First Sony” is the embodiment of this. In 1987, a Sony product for children was realized from the idea of a Sony America salesman, and the following year it was also sold in Japan.
In the “My First Sony” series, the first audio equipment released was the cassette tape recorder, which was the mainstream at the time. Adopting a transparent panel so that you can see the internal structure, how does it work? The feature is that it is designed to arouse the interest of children. The buttons are large enough to be easy to operate, and the round design is designed with safety in mind. Product.
Boombox type of My First Sony series
For the Walkman type, consideration was also given to adopting a comfortable volume switch and putting in a mechanism that prevented listening above a certain volume.
The colors are colorful and visually appealing to children, with the basic base in red, the parts to which functions are assigned in blue, and the speaker in yellow, which expresses the enjoyment of sound. It was done. Its vivid and cute design won the hearts of not only children but also some adults.
In general, when it comes to toys for children, even if they are in the shape of a radio cassette player, they tend to lose their original function just because they look similar. But Sony makes no compromises when it comes to kid-friendly products, and they have good rewind and fast-forward functions, sound recording, and a power light that lets you know how much battery is left. In addition, the radio tuning indicator lamp is well equipped. The sound quality and performance are excellent Sony quality, even though it is made sturdy so that it will not break even if children handle it roughly.
This is a Walkman type.Design that allows you to see the structure inside
Of course, you can also play music properly.
As per the concept of arousing curiosity and creativity, the “cassette coder”, which combines a cassette player with a rhythm machine, produces not only the sounds of musical instruments when the drum pads are hit, but also the sounds of animals. It was designed to excite children’s enjoyment of participating in music, such as singing songs while playing music.
pen tablet style gadget
Among them, the “graphic computer” that can be connected to a TV and draw pictures has become a hot topic. It is an item like a modern pen tablet that allows you to draw letters and pictures on the TV screen by running the pen on the table.
You can choose from 12 colors, and you can use the stamp function to add graphics, as well as a demo function that automatically draws pictures and a function that makes sounds, so there are many tricks that parents and children can enjoy. As expected of Sony, an AV equipment manufacturer, there was even a lead wire that allows you to save the created picture by connecting it to a VCR.
At the time, it was not only expensive to have all these functions on a personal computer, but there were also difficult hurdles to overcome. The “graphic computer” that made me feel like I was insanely attractive even from an adult’s point of view.
In the TV commercial, it was appealing as an educational toy for children, such as “You can write on the TV, you can draw, and you can draw on the TV at home”. I was.
In addition, many gadgets that I admired as a child were released as “My First Sony”, such as “2 walkie-talkie” like a walkie-talkie that does not require a license and “liquid crystal pocket color TV”. .
Even so, at the time, there were pros and cons to selling AV equipment for children within the company. Naturally speaking, it is natural because resources are dedicated to children. Did this strategy of getting children exposed to Sony products from an early age and using that experience to develop an interest in science and technology and hopefully become Sony users successful?
If the children who were using it at the time remembered “My First Sony”, it might have been a success. No, even if you don’t know it, I’m sure there are many people like me (the author) who fell in love with Sony products during their childhood or adolescence.
I believe that if we make good things, the number of “digital dream kids” who love Sony will continue to increase.
About the Author──── Yasumasa Kimikuni
Yasumasa Kimikuni, a man who loves Sony (and Gundam) and lives for Sony