Sony TPS-L2

Published: May 19, 2021
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The prototype for this portable music player, the first Sony Walkman, was built from a modified Sony Pressman. The Sony Pressman was a small tape recorder marketed exclusively to reporters and released in 1977. The metal-cased blue-and-silver Sony Walkman TPS-L2, the world's first low-cost personal cassette deck, went on sale in Japan on July 1, 1979. The original price was $150.00, around $270 in today's money (2021).

Before the new player was available to the public (instead of having a conventional introduction to the press, Sony arranged a bus tour with actors throughout Tokyo posing with the Walkman while the reporters listened to a recorded tour), the press lampooned it.

Sony TPS-L2

Some claimed that nobody would be interested in a tape player without a record function. Others pointed out that the most popular tape recorder of the time had sold less than 15,000 units, and Sony had produced 30,000.

Sony was unfazed by such criticism and pushed on with promotion, distributing the player to young people and celebrities around Japan, generating demand. Though the company predicted it would sell about 5,000 units a month, it sold more than 30,000 in the first two months!

Other names

The player was named differently in other countries:

  • Japan and some other countries -> Walkman
  • USA -> SoundAbout "Stereo Cassette Player"
  • UK -> Stowaway
  • Sweden -> Freestyle

first sony walkman


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Sony TPS-L2 value and price guide

What's your Sony TPS-L2 worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items with prices.

Item Title Date Price
Sony Boxed Sony Walkman TPS L2 MDR3 Boxed Sony Walkman TPS L2 MDR3 08/2021 $ 1 593.35
Sony SONY TPS L2 WALKMAN Cassette SONY TPS L2 WALKMAN Cassette Player W 07/2021 $ 1 391.88
Sony SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette Player 08/2021 $ 910.52
Sony SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette Player 08/2021 $ 864.13
Sony Walkman sony wm 2 sony dynamic Walkman Sony Wm 2 Sony Dynamic Stereo 07/2021 $ 820.68
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices10/2021-.--

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