For years, I had a boom box that was the envy of all my friends. It boasted not one, but two cassette tape players, so I could pop a recorded tape in one slot, a blank tape in the other, and crank out mix tapes like I was running a factory.
Need a love tape so your boyfriend knows just what that Duran Duran song meant to the two of you? Want another copy of that Jane's Addiction tune you taped off the radio? Longing to send a medley of your favorite alt-rock hits to the cute guy you met at camp? Come on over, I think we can do business.
My boom box is long gone, but a version of it probably exists somewhere in the collection of 400 boom boxes being sold by New Zealander Craig Kenton, who's been acquiring them for years. Kenton, 45, is a child of the 1980s like me, and his addiction started early.
"When I was a kid I used to stare goggle-eyed into shop windows wanting them," he told Stuff.co.nz. "They were a real statement of '80s culture."
He'd like to keep the blasters together, he writes in the auction comments. "It's too much of an iconic collection to split up," he writes. "It's world famous in the boom box community."
I thought my double-tape deck was cool, but Keaton showed a TV reporter one boombox that plays actual vinyl albums, and another with a pop-out keyboard. He's starting the bidding at $20,000, which is a steal that works out to $50 per boombox. John Cusack only needed one in "Say Anything" to make a whole generation of girls swoon.
But you'd better stock up on batteries. Kenton writes in the ad, "The big ones take 10 D cells."