Wednesday, May 20, 2009

KISS Radio

Love 'em or hate 'em, KISS was a force to be reckoned with in the 1970s. Their concert tours were like traveling circuses complete with pyrotechnics and over-the-top stage antics. With costumes and face makeup right out of a comic book, KISS (in the minds of many kids) rode the line between rock and roll musicians and living comic book characters.

KISS's stage show and persona were a perfect fit for the type of marketing that KISS began to employ in the mid-Seventies. At first, it started with the usual rock and roll merchandise items like posters, t-shirts, and belt buckles. Eventually, though, store shelves began to carry things like toys, games, puzzles, lunchboxes, school supplies, and sleeping bags. At present, KISS has left no stone unturned when it comes to KISS merchandise. Would you believe there's such a thing as a KISS branded house key? No joke.

In the 70s, things were a bit simpler when it came to music "on the go." There were no ipods, walkmans, or cell phones packed with music. There were, however, hand-held portable transistor radios. Most often, these small radios could only receive AM stations and would play music through a single mono speaker. Never leaving a marketing opportunity untried, the KISS transistor radio was born in 1977.

The KISS radio was only sold through mail-order and was promoted through low-budget television commercials. Cheaply made, the images of KISS on the radio are actually stickers that wrap around the four sides and top of the unit. The radio also features a hand strap to help the listener keep the radio from hitting the ground while dancing and grooving to the sweet sounds of AM radio.

I wonder... how many times did kids have to listen to "Muskrat Love" and "Copacabana" while waiting to finally hear "Rock and Roll All Nite" on these little plastic nuggets of audio AM bliss?

7 comments:

  1. I had one of those back in the day. Don't know whatever happened to it.

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  2. I have one for sale.It still has the bottom sliding battery compartment door which fit loosely and often was lost.
    1977 is a long time ago and I still have many vintage jigsaw '70s KISS puzzles. Ace Frehley is my 1st cousin by blood, and once the bands popularity got so big..I started collecting in 1976. I even have the famous mail order flames jacket for sale! johnhecht@ctc.net check out on www.craigslist.org north carolina chalotte and Type in garage music moving sale or KISS or Ace Frehley to see what I have plus mu GarageSale which is still going on. http://charlotte.craigslist.org/gms/1213942624.html

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  3. i actually have one of these - anyone know how much $ i can sell for??

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  4. I used to have one, too! I don't recall it being mail ordered, though. I miss that radio.

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  5. If you want to sell anything kiss related, go to this webpage & post a message. Im sure you will sell your stuff there.
    http://strutter.setbb.com

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  6. Does anyone know where I can find the value of this radio? I have one with the box. Much thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Do you still have your kiss radio? If so what would you sell it for?

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