If there is brand name known by just about everybody in the industrialised world, it must be Sony.
Japanese electronic and radio products are now regarded as the peak of technology and the best that money can buy. Sony’s innovative and glamorous products have surely been (and still are) at the cutting edge of technology and at the top end of the consumer market.
Sony is definitely THE transistor radio manufacturer but it has not always been so. I can remember when in the early fifties, Japanese products were considered cheap, nasty and bad copies of their western counterparts Japanese cameras, for example, were definitely far inferior to their German matches and Japanese electronics were simply lagging behind the western lead.
However the situation did change and now Sony products have a special place in collectors’ hearts.
Why? I think the reason lies in the fact that while the big and powerful electronic companies of the time were reluctant to enter themselves into the solid state arena, Sony management, in spite or all the difficulties we will see later in this book, did not think twice and threw themselves into this new “space age” product.
In the process they not only managed to conquer the world with price, style and design but also succeeded in winning people’s hearts and respect. Japanese products of the late fifties and early sixties possess, generally, that special appeal and glamorous attraction that products made in other parts of the world did not have. In fact the main reason why everybody loves them could well be becouse they made “impossible” dreams come true.
Scrappy little Sony managed to battle its way into the semiconductor industry and succeeded to conquer a place among the biggest International electronics firms in spite of the desolation and ruins the war had left Japan and the Japanese people in. After the war Japan conducted another difficult battle against poverty and deprivation and this time they managed to win. People always Like to be on the side of David especially when he manages to beat Goliath.
Today., of course, everything has changed and Sony is not a name needing to be acknowledged and its commercial and market power is, at the least, overwhealming. However many people still retain that nostalgic image of early times and love the heritage of this inventive firm. Small Sony put “research” before profit and managed to “make the difference” accomplishing their objective to manufacture some of the most appealing and beautiful consumer’s products the world has ever seen.
Collecting Sony’s products is, in the end, a way of showing appreciation for the qualities of good design and care of the particulars that make somebody outstanding, or some institution different and better compared to another one.