Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Budget "Vintage" Microphone In Classic Retro Red

Pyle mics trio 800My studio is dotted with some classic microphones. The Shure "Elvis" mic, an old Calrad mic that looks like a cold capsule, and more. I've been lucky to have most of my treasures while thrifting or hitting garage sales, because genuinely vintage mics often come at a price.

Not only are many old mics cool to look at, but they offer a signature sound that's hard to get any other way. Then again, some don't Retro red mic office 300actually sound all that great after all these years, but a handsome mic will always find a home on someone's shelf.

Pyle is an audio gear company known for budget friendly microphones, cables, speakers, and the like. The product that caught my eye is their Retro Dynamic Vocal Microphone. Instead of yet another workaday looking microphone, the Pyle PDMICR40 takes a style cue from classic Shure microphones & other 50s mics.

The microphone comes in three colors - chrome, black, and even a burgundy! The body is plastic, which I've got to think is key in bringing this mic in around $40 - which also includes a mic cable! I'm not brimming with confidence over the XLR jack since it's also entirely plastic, and I fear that one fall would shatter the body of the mic... but at this price you've got to expect some shortcuts.

I bought The Pyle mic simply to use as prop in a video project, but the mic's performance is not bad, not bad at all. Obviously you're not going to get the classic 50s sound of a genuinely retro microphone, but if you like the look of a classic mic in a good day-to-day general purpose microphone, then the Pyle Retro mic is hard to pass up - especially at this price.

Help out Retro Thing when you pick up a Pyle Retro Styled Microphone on Amazon

Help Finish Lost Ark Tribute 30 Years In The Making

A few years ago, we introduced you to an amazing fan-made film; a shot-by-shot recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark. These boys spent every summer from '82-'88 slavishly recreating Raiders on their VHS camcorder. This is one of the most notorious and beloved fan films of all time. What they were able to pull off in their parent's basement with no budget is amazing enough to forget that our protagonists sure seem to bounce around in age as the film progresses.

They've even been fortunate enough to screen the film for Lucas & Speilberg, have a book written about them, and are even seeing themselves as the subjects of a documentary. Yet one thing still bothers our adventurers. There's still one scene they've never finished. The amazing fight sequence against the backdrop of the Flying Wing.

The boys (okay, to be fair... grown men) have turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds to shoot this final scene, and complete the adventure. They're close to their goal with only three days to go. I hate an unfinished project as much as the next guy, so maybe we can think about throwing them a few bones and finally calling "it's a wrap" on a project that was started back when we all had more hair.

Please tell me that they're not planning on recreating the sequels...

 

 

Ikea Discontinues Expedit, Puts Vinyl Fans Into A Spin

BW shelf
We've written before about the challenges of collecting vinyl - I've joked that those around us probably regard our hobby as a "lifestyle choice". There are the slings and arrows each of us face in trying to put together our ultimate music collection, but the problem that we all face is where to stow all of those damned records. They're large (okay... not along the Z axis), they're heavy, and you need to store them in a way that you can still read the spines.

Let's assume that you're beyond the ol' cinder bricks and glass blocks stage of storage solutions. You can of course build something perfect from scratch (provided that your significant other lets you touch power tools), but lots of us crave an out-of-the-box solution. Ikea's Expedit is ideal for storing a large record collection. The units are available in assorted arrangements of 12" x 12" cells - perfect for storing and browsing your favorite records.

Expedit has been much beloved by the vinyl collecting community, many going so far as to designing their listening rooms around multiple Expedit units. I have a 5 x 5 unit myself, and I can honestly say that it's  changed my life forever. For years Expedit has been the standard bearer in affordable vinyl storage, which is why Ikea's announcement that they were discontinuing the line came as such a blow. Marantz amp + shelf
Vinyl collectors were aghast. Vinyl is on its first upswing in many years, and this is the time Ikea chooses to cease production on the perfect solution so many of depend on? One of the deciding factors in my investing in Expedit furniture was that I could always get another piece to match it a few years down the road. My current Expedit is almost full, and soon I'll need to swell ranks with another unit. But I really really don't want to start hoarding furniture because now that Expedit is on the outs. What am I supposed to do?

While news of the the discontinue Expedit has traveled wide, what is less widely reported is Ikea's response. They say that while Expedit is going away, it'll be replaced by Kallax (which I keep mistyping as "klaxxon"). The new line will have the exact same vinyl-friendly compartments in the exact same sizes, and take the exact same weight. The only difference they say is that the slide profiles will be thinner and will be more rounded. Okay, that's a partial reprieve, but to my eye the thicker sides are what make Expedit look like real furniture instead of budgety slapped-together dorm room furnishings. Kallax catalog drawing2The big shocker is that Ikea's new Kallax line is also quietly being introduced with the largest unit being four by four compartments. Expedit sports a five by five choice, and believe me, those extra rows make a huge difference. When you're shelving a lot of vinyl, you need that extra height to make the most of your stroage space. I'm sure we'll all find ways to stack multiple Kallax units, but it's sad to already have the perfect solution in place right now, and we're just expected to stand by helplessly as it disappears. Expedit FB usesVinyl collectors are taking action. You can join the Facebook group "Rettet das Ikea Expedit Rega" (The Expedit extinction was first announced in German Ikea stores, hence the German Facebook page) where record enthusiasts are posting photos of how Expedit keeps their collections wrangled. Astonishingly, the page has garnered some 24,000 likes in just a month. Some hopeful fans have pointed out that the line changeover is happening on April 1st, and hope that this is merely an April Fool's gag... but that would definitely mean that Ikea is playing the long game.

It's nice for the vinyl crowd to be recognized by the furniture giant, but I stand with my Expedit brothers in voicing my unhappiness about the forced move to the new smaller Kallax. Those of us who have made the lifestyle choice to collect vinyl aren't ones to exactly welcome change.

Retro Shanghai: Pac-Man With Freakishly Long Tongue

Box-HLINAs I walked the streets of Shanghai, I didn't run into any crazy electronic delights. Unfortunate, but I did find the next best thing. A reminder of my 8 bit gaming heritage - a Pac-Man figure! Back in the 80s, I fell in love with the game. I wasn't any good at it (and I'm still not, despite having the full-size cabinet of Pac-man Plus), but I fell in love with the single-minded design of the game. A simple mouth in the pursuit of eating, and the bad guys are the same as have haunted stories for all time - ghosts! Back then, I remember buying some Pac-Man socks, Pac-Man silly putty, even Pac-Man scratcher games... but never a figure.
Pac-tongueI was bemused and thrilled at the very existence of a Pac-Man figure I could put on my shelf. I assumed that like some of the other treasures I found in Shanghai, this was simply another attempt to shanghai (ha!) someone else's intellectual property to create another incomprehensible toy. Especially when I saw Pac's massive mechanical tongue.

I've forgotten a lot of things from the 80s, but I'd remember an aardvark berserker mode in Pac-Man that let you lick up all the ghost monsters. I assumed that this was one of the weird additions you find in bootleg toys, but as it turns out there's a new cartoon on TV that features some member of the proud Pac-Man lineage (Pac-Second-Cousin-Twice-Removed) with a superextended stamplicker. Though my toy doesn't exactly match the one on the box, so it still may be some weird bootleg.

Golden pacmanI can't figure out the cartoon's storyline from the Wikipedia entry - possibly due to my advancing decrepitude. There's some basic thread of the yellow guy eating the ghost guys, but after that I'm lost. There are more Pac-Men; a bluish ice-spitting one, even a chrome Pac-Man who upchucks a magnet. You can get these figures in the US, as well as a special edition golden Pac-Man who's tongue has the original game's graphics tattooed (I assume) right on.

Guess what? Since the cartoon has been successful, they've already converted it into a video game. Hey, wait a minute...

Help out Retro Thing when you add a pink-tongued Pac-Man to your collection.

Special limited edition commemorative gold edition

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