Tandy / Radio Shack free torch

M@elstrom

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I never bit on that. I think about every RS flyer that came in the mail had an ad for it, or a free battery, or some such nonsense. They had a battery club card, that IIRC, they punched every visit to the store, and on the 10th visit you got a free battery. Whoopee. :rolleyes:

The local incarnation Tandy Electronics had a battery of the month Club which I will admit on a fixed income (pocket money from chores) helped a lot with 9v batteries for the latest remote control vehicle craze 🤣

Of the 3 competing Electronics franchises here only Jaycar remains...
 

aznsx

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My dad had a Radio Shack 3D Kel-Lite knock off. It had the first gen switch with a mid size head. I tried for a while to find a used one to no avail. I had been exchanging emails with Don Keller at the time so I asked him was it just my imagination or did Radio Shack do that. He confirmed it saying it was "Japanese junk". He said the first gen did not come with a medium head, nor was it an option until the second generation.

A time later he emailed me and said a hollywood movie maker had asked him to make them 10 flashlights. He said he was building first gen's with medium heads and asked if I wanted one. Of course I did. About a month later one showed up at my house made with all new parts and a certificate of authenticity.

I call it "the Kel-Lite knock off of the Radio Shack knock off".
Cool! Now that is what I consider 'provenance', with a capital 'P'. I'm definitely not a collector, but if I was and had that light, I imagine that would be a leading contender for most prized / valuable light I had.
 

aznsx

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Of the 3 competing Electronics franchises here only Jaycar remains...
I'm constantly seeing their ad signage around the track when watching AV8 Supercar races (like last nite;-) and wondered: Do they only / primarily sell the usual 'consumer electronics' items, or do / did they also sell electronic components / parts like RS did here in the states?
 

letschat7

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Anyone have one of these back in the day?

I thought it was made by Brinkmann but apparently it is Lumilite. They have that name because they are a diet light that is low on lumens.
 

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KITROBASKIN

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Archer, Realistic. Remember those Radio Shack monikers?

 

aznsx

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Archer, Realistic. Remember those Radio Shack monikers?

Cool! Whoda thunk there was a site for that? I'll check it out, as that will certainly be an interesting 'time machine' experience. Thanks!
 

letschat7

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Archer, Realistic. Remember those Radio Shack monikers?

When I shopped there it was international brands like Sony, Logitech, Apple, Samsung, Altec Lansing, Maglite, Coast, Leatherman, etc. The prices weren't competetive to some place like Walmart but it didn't matter because you got service and there was rarely more than one person ahead of you in line.

I imagine this saved you money over them rebranding an item which I assume costs more than an already existing retail package item.
 

alpg88

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RS used to have some good items, i still have their 2aa florescent pocket light, still works. Used to be my go to store for components, they were pretty expensive thou, but they were the only retail store that sold them
 

raggie33

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Was looking at the catalogs lol. I think I saw a 13 inch tv for 400 bucks lol
 

Lowglow

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Was looking at the catalogs lol. I think I saw a 13 inch tv for 400 bucks lol
But the TV's were built super well which upped the cost, not like now with the cheapest capacitors and unavailable and unreliable modules. I had a used Tandy TV that was handed to my Sis who absolutely used the heck out of it with her Megadrive console and then it was passed to a couple more family members and it was still working perfectly.

As with modern cars, people now value lots of features for their money rather than lots of quality.
 

jz6342

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Well, it was totally free. If you had your own batteries you were all set.
If you were part of the Radio Shack club (whatever they called it) you could get one free battery a month as well :buttrock:
 

jabe1

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I had one of those 5 cell lights. My friends and I thought they were great just due to the size/ cost ratio.
I do miss Radio Shack, the first PC we had was a trs-80 that my dad purchased for a home business. It had a 5.25 floppy disc and the screen was probably 11" or so. This was sometime around 1980.
 
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PhotonWrangler

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The local incarnation Tandy Electronics had a battery of the month Club which I will admit on a fixed income (pocket money from chores) helped a lot with 9v batteries for the latest remote control vehicle craze 🤣

Of the 3 competing Electronics franchises here only Jaycar remains...
Another Battery of the Month club member here. IIRC they were regular zinc-carbon batteries, but the price was right and it kept my portable radio powered.

That simple punch card was great. If they had that today, they'd want your home address, email address, cellphone number and who knows what else to get the card.
 

letschat7

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When I bought batteries there as a teenager they cost more than Walmart but were Alkalines. It was the gold wrapper one. Id always have left over ones that never got used for anything.
 

M@elstrom

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I'm constantly seeing their ad signage around the track when watching AV8 Supercar races (like last nite;-) and wondered: Do they only / primarily sell the usual 'consumer electronics' items, or do / did they also sell electronic components / parts like RS did here in the states?

Both... components is why I primarily shop there but larger consumer goods are also on offer, our local re-seller has recently been upgraded to a fully fledged franchise... oh happy days (bigger selection) 😊

**** Smith Electronics was a similar format but was brought down by corporate mismanagement IMHO, both it and Tandy were owned by Supermarket Chain Woolworths, both suffered the same fate with DSE now online in name only as a store front to Kogan.
 
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PhotonWrangler

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Both... components is why I primarily shop there but larger consimer goods are also on offer, our local re-seller has recently been upgraded to a fully fledge franchise... oh happy days (bigger selection) 😊

**** Smith Electronics was a similar format but was brought down by corporate mismanagement IMHO, both it and Tandy were owned by Supermarket Chain Woolworths, both suffered the same fate with DSE now online in name only as a store front to Kogan.
Huh - I didn't know that Woolworths owned Tandy Corp. Interesting. I just read a Wikipedia article about DSE and it says that Smith had sold off the business before the shenanigans started. I hate seeing good retail sources for electronic components disappear.
 

M@elstrom

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Huh - I didn't know that Woolworths owned Tandy Corp. Interesting. I just read a Wikipedia article about DSE and it says that Smith had sold off the business before the shenanigans started. I hate seeing good retail sources for electronic components disappear.

Indeed a real travesty, prior to that we were spoilt for choice, if this topic interests you further there is a documentary called "State of Electronics" uploaded in segments on YouTube by the channel of the same name, it tends to deal with the Australian scene predominantly and features many local enthusiast icons, including DSE & Jaycar founders, Electronics Publishers etc.


Tandy Australia was sold to Woolworths in 2001 and run in parallel with the DSE Stores for a few years before beginning to wind them down.

 
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