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Tech Must Haves: Flashback February

Feb 17 2014 - 12:19pm

Flashback Friday? Our love for vintage tech deserves more than just a day of the week, so we're giving it a whole month! Welcome to Flashback February, where our must haves carry a retro theme across multiple decades. From a modern take on vinyl to phone accessories inspired by the '90s to the ultimate indulgence for those pining away for the glory days of instant photography, here's what our editors are wistfully wishing for this month.

'90s iPhone Case

The '90s are alive and well, and nothing proves it like this fun and funky iPhone case [1] ($15). Even when the weather's crappy, just take one look at these throwback doodles, and you'll flash a big, fat smile.

—Lisette Mejia, assistant editor

Par Avion iPad Case by Peppermint

If one of your New Year's resolutions was to send more hand-written letters, this retro aviation iPad case [2] ($28) — lined with soft velour — will serve as a nice little reminder. Plus, the rhyming recipient address adds a cheeky touch that'll bring you right back to the present.


Retro Headset Workstation

Ring, ring . . . the past is calling. This reimagined iPad Workstation [3] ($185) includes a retro phone headset that's anything but old-fashioned. It's Bluetooth-enabled, so you can make calls on your phone or set up FaceTime on an iPad.

The workstation also includes a custom Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and batteries, so it's ready to be synced right out of the box.

—Nicole Nguyen, assistant editor

Portable USB Record Player

Before CDs and digital tunes, music was delivered on vinyl. A lot of music junkies still prefer LPs over more modern-form factors, which is why the demand for record players continues to grow. I'm loving Crosley's AV Room Portable USB Record Player [4] ($160) in this gorgeous floral print, available for preorder now.

There's built-in speakers, and you can play both seven- and 12-inch records at 33, 45, or 78 rpm. The record player's handy USB capability allows you to play MP3s through the player with easy-to-use Mac- and PC-compatible software.


The Simpsons Lego House

Few children of the '80s and '90s weren't reared on the lovably dysfunctional animated family from Springfield, The Simpsons. This month, Homer, Marge, Bart, and even Flanders get Lego-fied with the Simpsons home construction set [5] ($200).

And that's not the only way two of the most fun pieces of your childhood get together. In May, look for an episode of The Simpsons to air with the cast and scenery all in Lego form. It's better than donuts, Duff beer, and skateboarding.

—Kelly Schwarze, associate editor

Restored Polaroid SX-70

Though you can get the latest version of instant cameras with products like the Fuji Instax, nothing replaces the nostalgia of a pop-up Polaroid camera, accordion body and all. The Polaroid SX-70 line [6] ($350-$450) was produced from 1973-1977, and a limited line of units are now available through Photojojo, restored to their original function — capturing and printing memories in just seconds. Three camera finishes are available: ivory leather, chrome, and that classic brown finish. The SX-70 folds flat to slip easily into a bag among other gadgets. If you want to get back to the root of how you fell in love with photography, this camera might just get you there.


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