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Sony TPS-L2

Published: May 19, 2021

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).

Sony TPS-L2

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. 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! The device was named differently in other countries:

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

first sony walkman

Browse other Sony cassette players:
WalkmanWM-10tape decksTC-KA3ES

Sony TPS-L2 value and price guide

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

Item Title Date Price
Sony The First Walkman 1979 Sony The First Walkman 1979 Sony TPS L2 MDR 04/2021 $ 1 386.62
Sony Sony Walkman TPS L2 Guardians Sony Walkman TPS L2 Guardians Of Galaxy 05/2021 $ 1 119.73
Sony SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette Player 05/2021 $ 1 056.10
Sony Sony TPS L2 Stereo Walkman Sony TPS L2 Stereo Walkman Cassette 06/2021 $ 944.00
Sony SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette SONY TPS L2 Walkman Cassette Player 04/2021 $ 902.70
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices07/2021-.--

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