LEGO Icons Retro Radio Takes You Back to the Heyday of Analog Music Broadcasts

From typewriters and NES consoles to Polaroids and more, vintage objects have become a popular part of LEGO’s appeal to its older audiences. People do love nostalgia, after all, and everyone has an affinity for all the things they had growing up. The LEGO Icons Retro Radio is the latest in the outfit’s brick-built retro recreations.

That’s right, this new LEGO set lets you build an old-time AM/FM radio just like they used to have in people’s homes for many decades before the turn of the century. Sadly, it’s not a real radio, so you can’t quite use it to listen to AM and FM channels, but it does bring a few tricks that make it useful beyond a construction toy that looks a lot of fun to build.

The LEGO Icons Retro Radio is supposedly based on a vintage radio straight out of the 1970s, although they didn’t specify exactly which brand or model. In fact, it doesn’t even have any logo other than LEGO’s own, so we guess this is what a LEGO radio would look if they made these kinds of products from back in those days.

It’s got all the usual elements you expect from a consumer radio during that time period. There’s a mechanical tuner knob on the left, a volume knob on the right, and an analog channel display between them, as well as a foldout antenna for receiving all those stations loud and clear. Then, there’s the speaker grille that occupies two-thirds of the radio’s entire front panel, where music should be blaring, along with the familiar crackles and hissing of those warm analog signals. They also threw in a carry handle, so you can move it around like the real thing.

The LEGO Icons Retro Radio actually comes with a LEGO sound brick that plays music snippets that sound straight out of a radio from the 1970s whenever you turn the radio on. Yes, that’s not quite as fun compared to having a real radio tuner in there, but it tracks with the way LEGO tends to make their replica models (e.g. the NES and TV set came with scrolling game screens, but not a real game system). Maybe, they didn’t want to set a precedent of making an actual working AM-FM radio. Aside from playing sounds from the sound brick, there’s also a phone dock in the back that lets you use the sound brick’s speaker to actually play music from your phone, so you can make the radio look like it’s got full functions for whatever joy that brings your way.

A total of 906 pieces are included in the set, so this should make for a fun, satisfying build that won’t consume too much of your time. With the antenna oriented vertically, the whole thing measures 12 x 9 x 2.5 inches (height x width x depth), so this will make for a nice display piece to keep by a side table or a shelf.

The LEGO Icons Retro Radio is available now, priced at $99.99.

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