Flashback Fridays: Panasonic Toot-a-Loop Radio

Part-radio and part-fashion accessory, the Toot-A-Loop was wearable technology. Worn around the wrist like a bracelet, or carried like a purse, the Toot-A-Loop was shaped like a tapered doughnut, twisting open to reveal the tuning dial on the inside. The AM-only radio also came with fun stickers so users could customise it.

In the early 1970s, the Apollo 11 had just landed on the moon, signalling the start of the new space age, Volkswagen Beetles ruled the roads and rollerskates were a must-have. The Toot-a-Loop fashion radio, with its objet d’art theme, unusual design and fun colours, embodied the sense of fun and youthfulness of prevailing pop culture.

This witty and vividly coloured battery-powered portable radio was intended to appeal to a youthful consumer market. Easy and inexpensive to mass-produce, the appliance typifies the populist approach of 1970s design.

Designer: Panasonic circa 1972