A retro product is a modern product that draws on the past for inspiration. Some retro products are replicas or re-issues of old favourites; others are new designs, but with style or detail touches that suggest an earlier period. Retro products are the easiest way to get into retro. Most perform in exactly the same way as their modern looking equivalents, but look old fashioned, and in our mixed up view of the world are more fashionable.
Once a technology reaches a point where reliability is taken for granted retro is a way to choose something different and more distinctive. If you are choose a retro style for you house then adding a retro radio or retro phone to the interior well help the overall look.
Which retro products can you buy?
We look at some retro products from the past that you can still get today and some classics from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
In the fifties and sixties style was as important as sound and some great looking radio sets were made. You can recreate the look and feel with a modern retro style set. Read more - Retro radios
Casio digital watch
Casio have brought back a few watches that look like they belong to the late 70s or early 80s. Casio retro digital watches
The Kenwood Chef revolutionised cooking in the sixties and is still unbeatable today.
Pyrex glass ovenware has been essential kitchen equipment since the early twentieth century.
What makes a great retro product?
A retro product needs to capture enough of the essence of the original form to inspire feelings of nostalgia for the original. It can be a copy of the original, very close to the original design, or retro products can capture the essence of the original, but offer something new.
The makers of Retro cars, such as the new Mini, new Beetle and Fiat 500 attempted to capture the style of the original. However, all are modern cars designed for the modern driving environment. All have successfully created a personality of their own and the following of a new generation of enthusiasts. Modern safety regulations would probably have made a direct copy cars from the 60s very difficult in any case.
Makers of retro products often pick originals that had a strong following when they were new, often over many years.
Manufacturers need to tread a fine line between a marketing trick that convinces no-one and a replica that has limited appeal.
Some of the best retro products are those that never went away.
See also Retro marketing.
Retro furniture, fashion and collectables