17-Year-Old Portable Radio Model Isn’t A Retail Antiquity, Just A Classic

Reader Walter went out on a retail archaeology expedition, also known as “going to Kmart.” Searching the electronics section, he thought he hadn’t found anything out of the ordinary until he turned the artifact over, and discovered a copyright date of 1996. At least! A true ancient electronic find! Or was it?

It wasn’t. Here are the pictures that Walter sent in:


Coming across the tales of the various artifacts located throughout the land, I myself went on a journey to see what I could find. Much to my surprise, I came across this gem at a K-Mart not too far from my home. At first I disregarded it, but saw the date on the back and knew I found something of interest.


While it’s entirely possible that this radio has languished in a warehouse for years, or even that it’s been on the shelves since the first Clinton administration and this is an exceptionally dust-free store, there’s a more mundane explanation. This portable radio, the ICF-S10MK2, isn’t just widely available from mainstream retailers: you can get it directly from Sony. They just don’t appear to have redesigned the packaging in that time. That’s the advantage of classic packaging that doesn’t offer the top hits of 2005.

Of course, the product description hasn’t aged very well now that we have iPod Shuffles and teeny FM receivers. “Take your music with you. The ICF-S10MK2 pocket AM/FM radio fits easily into your shirt or jacket pocket for convenience and portability,” it says. More importantly, it runs for 48 hours or so on a couple of AA batteries, and can get your family through any emergency requiring a radio. Try that with your iPhone.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.