Bored to death with Brexit, Trump and the general state of the world? Stick this retro tech in your stocking to forget the present-day drama and escape to the festive bliss of yesteryear.
Sure, celebrating Christmas like it’s 1995 means no steaming flicks in 4K and no deploying your smartphone as a distraction from pesky relatives, but with this haul of throwback goodies to play with, you wont need to.
Know a host who’s fond of Christmas past? From instant cameras with old-school style to gaming revivals right out of your childhood, this vintage kit is sure to be a hit with any nostalgic recipient. Especially if you catch their reaction with that camcorder from the attic.
Elago W5 Stand (£14)
You could dock your Apple Watch on a stylish nightstand, with modern lines and a barely there design. Or you could slip your Cupertino ticker and its charger into this silicone reincarnation of the Gameboy, complete with D-pad and dinky buttons.
Faithful down to the speaker grille and chunky form factor, the stand ships in four shades but, really, grey is the only way to play when it comes to what is, Switch notwithstanding, Nintendo’s greatest creation. All you need is an 8-bit face to complete the look.
Sony NW-A100TPS Walkman 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (£400)
Four decades ago, Sony released a product so seminal that its moniker became a synonym for portable audio. And, while it might be less relevant in the streaming era, the Walkman remains the original pocketable player.
Acknowledge the anniversary in true audiophile style with this special edition of the latest iteration, complete with a nostalgic skin inspired by the tapes that went inside its forebear and support for audio of such high quality that you’ll wonder whether analogue ever actually happened – until you fire up the in-built vinyl processor.
T-Lab T-120 t-shirt (£29)
Netflix might have changed the way we consume TV, but video tapes were way more interactive. Back when box sets came in boxes, skipping an intro meant deploying your finest fast-forward finger timing and binge-watching required you to leave the sofa every few hours to switch the tape – only to find the previous viewer hadn’t rewound the next instalment.
Celebrate the zenith of magnetic ribbon with this technicolour tee, styled like a T-120 sleeve – complete with optimistic claim of ‘pure sound quality’.
Roberts Rambler BT (£100)
There’s no shortage of ramblers when all of your relations are around. If it’s not your dad going deep into the Deep Purple back story, it’s your uncle off on one about the seminal significance of Led Zeppelin’s second album. Give them a focus for their retrospection with this smart Seventies throwback.
Styled like the original Rambler, complete with gleaming grille and countless right angles, the lightweight BT brings streaming support to the nostalgia party. There’s Bluetooth on-board, alongside DAB and, for those who still like an aerial, FM. Warning: may result in exposure to records older than you.
East End Prints Nokia 3310s (£40)
Nokia’s fabled 3310 turns 20 next year. Want to pay homage to the indestructible icon? You could buy an original on eBay and use it to replace your door knocker, treating every day that it continues to ring as a tribute to its legendary longevity.
Or, for a celebration that’s less likely to confuse the postman, stick this stylised throwback poster on your wall. Sure, you can’t use it to play Snake, but it’ll set off your N-Gage cushions wonderfully.
Casio G-shock GM-5600b-1ER (£199)
Asking for a timeless ticker might seem like an exercise in contradiction, but if it’s enduring design you’re after, Casio’s retro wristwatch remains a classic. With its square face and chunky case, the distinctive lines are all Eighties and all the better for it.
Want rugged credentials to match the throwback relevance? Subtler than a rubber bumper, this G-Shock update is, like a superfan at a Terminator convention, all about the retro metal, with an ion-plated case that’s at once evocative, enduring and easy on the eyes.
Cassette Speaker (£20)
For the ultimate retro surprise, you could spend weeks hollowing out an old cassette, cramming tiny speakers inside and waiting for the perfect moment to reveal your analogue deception. Or, for the same effect without all the wiring and plastic shards, try this Bluetooth number.
Artfully disguised as classic tape, the only hint that it’s non-standard is the USB charging port – and, you know, the fact that it’s playing music.
The C64 (£100)
Fire up the Frankie and pull on your neon t-shirt: the Commodore 64 is back. Again. And this time it’s full-size. Packed with 64 games in all their 8-bit glory, this retro reboot is no throwback knock-off.
Besides an authentic beige finish and bundled micro-switch joystick, the new-old C64 can also load additional games via USB. Once you’re bored of Boulder Dash, you can even have a crack at coding in VIC-20 BASIC. Don’t know how? Relax, don’t do it.