Top 10 Retro Gadget Gifts With Innovative Functionality That Evoke Nostalgia For Every Man

There’s something about all things retro that I simply cannot resist. I love products that evoke a deep sense of nostalgia within us and take us right back to the 80s. As innovative and futuristic gadgets are today, sometimes you just feel like escaping from all the modernism and immersing yourself in the simplicity of the past. To help you experience this, we’ve curated a collection of retro-inspired gadgets that promise to take you on a trip down memory lane, and they’re designed especially for your home. From a Nixie tube tabletop clock to a modular arcade system – this collection of gadgets is the perfect little retro addition to your living space! Though these gadgets are wonderfully retro-esque, they have been imbibed with modern functionality. Their aesthetics may be from their past, but their utility is embedded in the future.

1. NIXOID NEXT

Nixoid got their hands on Nixie tubes and designed the steampunk-inspired NIXOID NEXT which is equipped with really rare Nixie VFD lamps that were discovered 25 years ago. The design mixes a healthy dose of retro and futurism by fitting a technology old as retro tubes into a modern wristwatch avatar.

Click Here to Buy Now: $420 $480 ($60 off).

Why is it noteworthy?

The watch incorporates an accelerometer that lights up the VFD tubes light up when tilted toward the user. Fun fact, these tubes were discovered in a warehouse from the days of the USSR, making it a historic limited-edition collectible.

What we like

  • Features charging points on the back making it extremely easy to charge
  • Features a scratch-resistant sapphire case

What we dislike

  • There is a 1.5 second pause in which the watch changes it display from hours to minutes, so both the hour and the minute cannot be seen simultaneously.

2. Wall-hanging CD Cover Player

This minimalist CD player is a super unique retro design that perfectly combines a distinctive listening experience with the impact of visual art. You don’t need to set aside the CD jacket or sleeve, you can simply slip it inside the specially-designed pocket, allowing you to display it.

Click Here to Buy Now: $179 $199 (10% off at checkout). Hurry, Holiday Sale ends in 24 hours!

Why is it noteworthy?

This CD player is the physical equivalent of displaying digital album art, but with the perk that you also get to showcase the fact that you own the physical original CD.

What we like

  • Extremely portable design, boasting a 40mm full-range speaker and a woofer unit, so you can listen to your music by placing it anywhere in your room or while carrying it with you while you travel.
  • A 1,800mAh battery delivers 7-8 hours of unparalleled audio experience wherever you go.

What we dislike

  • Solely an analog style of listening to music, it does not support syncing music or playlists with any digital medium.

3. Vestaboard

The Vestaboard is a striking one-of-a-kind messaging display that offers an alternative to smartphones. It is a simple, memorable, and super-engaging design that allows you to stay in touch with your loved ones and cheer them up from anywhere. Add to it the old-age charm of the flipping panels, and the Vestaboard looks great wherever you place it.

Click Here to Buy Now: $2995 $3295 (Use Coupon Code “INSPIRE” to get an additional $300 off).

Why is it noteworthy?

Vestaboard offers 6 rows of 22 split-flap character units that can each display letters, numbers, symbols, and all the colors of a rainbow. That gives you a total of 132 “bits” that you can from a mobile app or the Web, allowing you to easily send messages to anyone at home or in the office.

What we like

  • Displays inspirational quotes, personalized messages, reminders, to-do lists, schedules, and more

What we dislike

  • You cant access Google Calendar and other features like the weather and sports scores without a Vestaboard+ subscription
  • The included power cord is pretty short

4. Retro 35W GaN Charger

Dubbed the Retro 35W GaN Charger, this charging brick is inspired by the original Macintosh computer and is complete with the MacOS ‘smiling’ logo which is showcased on the little computer’s screen. And if you get bored of watching the MacOS logo, you can swap it with other personalized stickers you can DIY for added fun.

Click Here to Buy Now: $26.44 $51.81 (49% off).

Why is it noteworthy?

Built with a GaN semiconductor on the inside, the tiny charger comes with a max output of 35W, which is enough to fast-charge your iPhone or any other gadget. Plug it in and not only does it charge your device, but the Mac’s screen comes to life too, lighting up in white, yellow, blue and green colours to let you know your device’s charging status!

What we like

  • Delivers up to 35W of fast charging experience
  • Can be upgraded to create a complete Travel Set that works with all the plugs (UK, EU, and AU) to help you take it around the world

What we dislike

  • The matching retro cable needs to be purchased separately

5. Long Weekend

The Long Weekend designed by Moment is a 35mm point and shooter with an adorable disposable-camera aesthetic, and a reusable film design. It is excellent for holidays, special events, and get-togethers. The minimal design comes in 2 colours – a default black and a even more retro-inspired cream that brings to mind the original PC and monitor designs of the years gone by.

Click Here to Pre-Order: $49.99

Why is it noteworthy?

The photos it clicks have a distinct retro appeal with the focus-free 31mm, F9 optical grade acrylic lens that gives your images a dreamy 90s aesthetic. It has an incredibly modest price tag of $49.99.

What we like

  • Perfect camera for low-stakes high-memories photography
  • Allows users to experiment with different film stocks

What we dislike

  • No adjustable settings for shutter speed or aperture, hence reducing creative control

6. The Nextube

The Nextube is designed to be a vintage-inspired tabletop display that features 6 nixie tube-like screens docked within a wooden base. It has a unique steampunk aesthetic on its sleeve, and modern tech tucked under its hood. Add a warm glow to your desk or customise it with special characters to display a message that means a lot to you – either way this design is sure to amplify your space.

Click Here to Buy Now: $119 $189 ($70 off).

Why is it noteworthy?

The six mini displays look like Nixie tubes, but are, in fact, LED screens that can be customized to showcase anything from the time to the weather, music visualizations, crypto prices, or even a subscriber count for your YouTube or TikTok page.

What we like

  • Allows you to view the time, date, weather, and a wide variety of data points in a charming vintage way

What we dislike

  • The tubes aren’t designed to be operated 24/7 and can deteriorate pretty quickly over time

7. The Floating Record

Dubbed the Floating Record, this high-performance turntable is designed to play your record vertically, using built-in full-range stereo speakers! With a walnut wood base and a Carbon Fiber Tone-arm, the turntable boasts of high-quality materials that will add more oomph to any living space.

Click Here to Pre Order: $899

Why is it noteworthy?

They’ve reimagined turntable technology to create a visually and mechanically sound way to experience and enjoy vinyl music. The Floating Record is designed for all the vinyl lovers out there – from the first-time record listener to the seasoned vinyl enthusiast.

What we like

  • You don’t need to set up any external gear, it’s all integrated into the design
  • Perfectly merges with different interiors and environments

What we dislike

  • Quite fragile, and prone to skipping if you don’t position the record properly.

8. Polycade Sente

The Polycade Sente is an ingenious design that allows the owner to mix the hardware components they need, allowing them to swap out controllers to support different kinds of playing styles, and more than just a single player.

Click Here to Buy Now: $1999 $2499 (Get $500 off Presale Discount).

Why is it noteworthy?

The Polycade Sente lets you easily swap or add different kinds of controllers and input devices to ensure compatibility with almost all games in existence. The center-mounted half panel has inserts for cup holders. Some games require shooting, so Light Gun add-ons can also be installed on each side.

What we like

  • Can be installed on a freestand add-on so you can relocate it anywhere in the room
  • Features a modular design that makes it easy to upgrade or replace parts with standard off-the-shelf components

What we dislike

  • Bulky and space-consuming design, not designed for homes with space constraints

9. ‘A for Ara’ Speakers

‘A for Ara’ has designed two retro-modern speakers with an eclectic blend of design styles. The speakers are called the FS-1 and FS-2, and they have a larger-than-life appeal to them, as well as a nature-inspired whimsical design.

Click Here to Inquire

Why is it noteworthy?

The speakers can broadly be split into their two visual parts, the base unit, which houses the audio drivers and the acoustic cabinet, and the upper phonograph-inspired horn which serves both visual and functional purposes. Visually, it resembles a large morning glory flower, while acoustically it helps amplify sounds and channel them in a particular direction.

What we like

  • Combine audiophile-grade engineering and tuning with an avant-garde appeal

What we dislike

  • Bulky and space-consuming design not intended for smaller homes

10. The Petzval 80.5 f/1.9 MKII Basic Art Lens

The Petzval 80.5 f/1.9 MKII Basic Art Lens is an interesting reinvention of the original 19th-century Joseph Petzval portrait lens. The lens is designed for modern-day analog and digital SLR cameras and is optimized for video. Designed for full frame sensors, it delivers great results with crop sensor cameras as well to help you capture the authentic vintage aesthetics and create a vibe that will help uplift your photos.

Click Here to Buy Now: $399.20 $499 ($100 off).

Why is it noteworthy?

The intriguing lens captures vintage aesthetics using contemporary and modern SLR cameras and even features a large spectrum of beautiful swirly bokeh effects. It is equipped with a helicoid focusing mechanism and a topless aperture diaphragm.

What we like

  • Optimized for still and motion photography
  • Features a dual aperture system with special shape aperture plates

What we dislike

  • Lack of weather sealing and protection for shooting outdoors in the elements

Man builds 13-foot mammoth bumper car which by surprise is street legal

Retirement is often associated with relaxation and leisure. But for Dan Hryhorcoff from Pennsylvania, retirement meant diving into an entirely different realm of creativity: one that involved building extraordinary vehicles that defy traditional expectations.

After years of working on a submarine and various other innovative projects, Dan embarked on an intriguing automotive endeavor during the pandemic and came up with a Bumper car, twice the normal size, but rendered street-legal. Dan’s automotive journey first began with a replica of a vintage Murray General pedal car that he sought to magnify into a larger-than-life fiberglass creation (Dan honed the knack for working with fiberglass through his prior project—a fully functional submarine).

Desginer: Dan Hryhorcoff

However, Dan’s real automotive masterpiece emerges in the form of this gigantic street-legal bumper car. This striking creation measures an astounding 13 feet in length, 7 feet in width, and 5.5 feet in height, doubling the dimensions of a regular bumper car. The inspiration for this colossal bumper car came from a 1953 model bumper car at the Knoebels amusement park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania.

Dan was captivated by its design, reminiscent of a Chevrolet pickup truck from the post-World War II era. Spending meticulous hours at the amusement park, he gathered information and captured every detail necessary to replicate and magnify the charm of the vintage bumper car. Dan’s attention to detail and creativity shone through as he fused elements of a Chevrolet Aveo and a motorcycle wheel into his design, reshaping the traditional bumper car into a unique, functioning vehicle.

With the front of a Aveo integrated into the rear and a motorcycle wheel at the front, his bumper car boasts incredible maneuverability with sharp turning capabilities. The choice of materials was always critical in the construction of this larger-than-life automobile. The exterior, crafted from fiberglass, not only ensures durability but also adds a touch of nostalgia by paying homage to the original bumper car’s design. What truly sets Dan’s creation apart is its ability to be street-legal, a rarity for such unconventional vehicles.