The Most Popular Retro Item: A Nostalgic Delight for All

Choose the retro item you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Nov 17, 2023 09:01)
Step back in time and cast your vote for the most popular retro item on StrawPoll! We've curated a nostalgic collection of iconic treasures from the past, and now it's up to you to decide which one reigns supreme. From vintage vinyl records to classic arcade games, this ranking is a trip down memory lane that will spark joy and ignite conversations. So dust off your Walkman, put on your leg warmers, and join thousands of others as we celebrate the groovy, the rad, and the totally tubular. Don't see your beloved blast from the past on the list? No worries! Simply suggest a missing option, and watch as your fellow retro enthusiasts rally to vote it to the top. The time machine awaits, so head over to StrawPoll and make your mark on the ultimate ranking of retro awesomeness!

What Is the Most Popular Retro Item?

  1. 1
    Vinyl Records
    MARRS / 4AD · Public domain

    Vinyl Records

    Emile Berliner
    The resurgence of vinyl records has made it one of the most popular retro items. Many music enthusiasts prefer the warmth and authenticity of vinyl sound over digital music.
    Vinyl Records are analog sound storage medium in the form of flat disc made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They were popular from the 1950s until the late 1990s, before the rise of digital music formats. Vinyl records became the primary medium for music consumption, offering a unique listening experience with warm and rich sound quality.
    • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
    • Size: 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter
    • Rotation Speeds: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 revolutions per minute
    • Tracks per Side: Typically 2-5 tracks per side
    • Grove Depth: 0.04 - 0.08 inches (1.0 - 2.0 mm)
  2. 2

    Polaroid Cameras

    Edwin H. Land
    Polaroid cameras have become popular for their instant gratification and vintage aesthetic. The photos produced by Polaroid cameras have a unique, retro feel that many people enjoy.
    Polaroid Cameras are instant film cameras that produce self-developing prints. They became popular during the retro era and continue to be cherished by enthusiasts today.
    • Film Type: Instant film (Polaroid)
    • Film Size: 3.5 x 4.2 inches or 2.1 x 3.4 inches
    • Lens: Fixed focal length lens
    • Shutter Speed: Varies between models
    • Flash: Built-in or external flash
  3. 3
    Atari Consoles
    Evan-Amos · Public domain

    Atari Consoles

    Atari, Inc.
    The Atari consoles were some of the first home video game systems, and they have a strong nostalgic appeal for those who grew up playing them.
    Atari Consoles were a series of popular video game consoles created by Atari, Inc. during the late 1970s and early 1980s. These consoles played a crucial role in the rise of home video game systems, helping to establish Atari as one of the leading companies in the industry.
    • Release Dates: 1977-1992
    • Processor: MOS 6507 or 6502
    • Memory: 128 bytes - 64KB
    • Graphics: Varied across different models
    • Sound: Varied across different models
  4. 4
    NES Consoles
    JCD1981NL · CC BY 3.0

    NES Consoles

    The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a groundbreaking video game console that introduced many popular franchises, such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.
    The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) Console is a popular retro gaming console that was released in 1985. It is a home video game console that became one of the most successful and iconic gaming systems of its time.
    • Release Year: 1985
    • Processor: Ricoh 2A03 8-bit CPU
    • Graphics: Picture Processing Unit (PPU)
    • Colors: 56 on screen
    • Audio: Pulse Code Modulation (PCM)
  5. 5

    Cassette Tapes

    Cassette tapes were the dominant music medium in the 1980s and early 1990s before CDs took over. Many people enjoy the tactile experience of handling a cassette tape, and the retro aesthetic is popular as well.
    Cassette tapes are a popular retro item that were widely used for audio recording and playback during the late 20th century. They are small plastic cartridges containing a length of magnetic tape wound between two reels. The tape consists of a thin plastic film with a ferromagnetic coating, allowing it to store audio signals.
    • Year of Invention: 1962
    • Maximum Duration: Up to 120 minutes
    • Playable Sides: Two (Side A and Side B)
    • Audio Quality: Moderate to good, depending on tape quality
    • Popular Formats: Compact Cassette (C90, C60, C30), Microcassette, Mini-Cassette
  6. 6
    Despite being largely replaced by computers, typewriters have a strong following among writers, artists, and collectors. The tactile experience of typing on a typewriter and the unique sound it produces are part of the appeal.
    Typewriters are mechanical devices used for typing letters and characters onto paper. They were widely used before the advent of computers and digital technology. Typewriters have a keyboard layout similar to that of a computer keyboard, but they work purely mechanically.
    • Year of Invention: 1868
    • Type of Typewriter: Mechanical
    • Typing Mechanism: Typebars striking an inked ribbon
    • Number of Keys: Typically around 50 to 100 keys
    • Fonts: Limited to one or a few typefaces
  7. 7

    Film Cameras

    George Eastman
    Film cameras have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as photographers seek the unique look and feel of film photography. Many vintage film cameras are highly sought after by collectors.
    Film cameras are mechanical devices used to capture photographs on photographic film. They were widely used before the advent of digital cameras. Film cameras allow users to manually control various aspects of the image capturing process, such as exposure, focus, and aperture. They provide a unique and nostalgic approach to photography, with each roll of film offering a limited number of exposures.
    • Film Type: 35mm, medium format, large format
    • Shutter Speed Range: Typically 1/1000 to 30 seconds
    • ISO Compatibility: Depends on the film used
    • Lens Compatibility: Interchangeable lenses
    • Focusing System: Manual focus
  8. 8

    Rotary Phones

    Almon Strowger
    Rotary phones were the standard telephone design for many decades before being replaced by touch-tone phones. The retro design and tactile experience of dialing a number appeals to many people.
    Rotary Phones are vintage telecommunication devices that existed before the advent of touch-tone dialing. They feature a circular dial which is rotated by hand to input the desired telephone number. The rotary dial is typically located on the front panel of the phone, along with a handset for speaking and listening. These phones were widely used from the late 19th century up until the 1970s.
    • Year of Invention: 1891
    • Dialing Mechanism: Rotary
    • Functionality: Analog voice communication
    • Construction: Mainly metal and plastic
    • Weight: Approximately 2-3 kg
  9. 9
    Boomboxes were a popular portable stereo system in the 1980s, and their retro design and powerful sound have made them popular again in recent years.
    A boombox is a portable music player that gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a device that combines a cassette tape player, AM/FM radio tuner, and two or more loudspeakers, all housed in a single, portable unit. With its powerful sound and portable design, the boombox became a symbol of urban youth culture and a popular item for playing music on-the-go.
    • Size: Typically range from 20 to 30 inches in length.
    • Weight: Varied, generally between 10 to 20 pounds.
    • Power Source: AC power adapter or batteries (usually D-cell batteries).
    • Cassette Player: Single or dual cassette decks for playing and recording cassette tapes.
    • Radio Tuner: AM and FM radio bands with manual or digital tuning.
  10. 10

    Record Players

    Thomas Edison
    Record players, like vinyl records, have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Many people enjoy the warm, authentic sound produced by vinyl records and the tactile experience of handling a record.
    Record players, also known as turntables or phonographs, are mechanical devices that play audio recordings from vinyl records. They were a popular way to listen to music before the advent of digital technology. The record player consists of a rotating platter that holds the vinyl record, a tonearm with a stylus that reads the grooves of the record, and an amplifier that converts the analog signal into audible sound.
    • Speeds: 33 1/3, 45, or 78 RPM
    • Platter Size: 12 inches (30 cm)
    • Drive Type: Belt-driven or direct-driven
    • Cartridge Type: Moving Magnet (MM) or Moving Coil (MC)
    • Wow and Flutter: Usually less than 0.25%

Missing your favorite retro item?


Ranking factors for popular retro item

  1. Demand
    Assess the current market demand for the item. Are people actively looking for it, discussing it online, or showing interest in purchasing it?
  2. Rarity
    Consider how rare or unique the item is. Items that are hard to find or have a limited supply often become more popular and valuable over time.
  3. Nostalgia factor
    Determine the level of nostalgia associated with the item. Items that evoke strong emotional connections and memories are often highly sought after.
  4. Cultural significance
    Evaluate the item's impact on popular culture, art, fashion, or design. Items that have a significant influence on or represent a specific time period will likely be more popular.
  5. Age
    Generally, the older an item is, the more popular it might become. As more time passes, fewer of these items may be available and their desirability may increase.
  6. Condition
    The condition of a retro item plays a significant role in its popularity. Items that are in excellent or like-new condition are usually more desirable than those showing wear and tear.
  7. Functionality
    Assess if the item is still functional or can be used for its intended purpose. Functional retro items are often more popular than purely decorative ones.
  8. Brand or artist
    Items from well-known brands or created by renowned artists are likely to be more popular and hold their value over time.
  9. Media exposure
    Retro items that have recently appeared in movies, television shows, or other media outlets may experience renewed popularity.
  10. Market trends
    Be aware of current market trends in the world of retro and vintage collectibles. Some items may become more popular as trends change over time.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular retro item. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or retro item is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 220 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each retro item once every 24 hours. The rank of each retro item is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular retro item

Retro items have always been popular among people who love to reminisce about the good old days. These items bring back memories of a time when things were simpler and life was much more carefree. From vintage cars to classic vinyl records, retro items have a charm that is hard to resist. When it comes to the most popular retro item, there are many contenders. Some people might argue that old-school video games or vintage clothing are the top picks, while others might point to classic movies or toys from the past. Despite the wide range of options, there are a few retro items that seem to stand out in popularity. These include things like old-fashioned soda fountains, classic cars from the 1950s, and vintage jukeboxes that play classic tunes. Whether you're a collector or simply enjoy the nostalgia of retro items, there is sure to be something that catches your eye. So why not take a stroll down memory lane and explore the world of retro items today?

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