Mr. Microphone

Mr. Microphone

“Hey good lookin’! We’ll be back to pick you up later!”

Few that watched television in the 70s could ever forget the presence of a man named Ron Popeil, who regularly hawked the products manufactured by his company, Ronco. A master of mail order merchandising in his day, Popiel gave the world such memorable devices as the Pocket Fisherman, the Veg-O-Matic (and plenty of other “O-Matic” gadgets) and the iconic Ginsu knives. But while all of these products were marketed toward adult audiences, there was one particular gizmo that was geared towards kids and teens – a fun little device known as Mr. Microphone. Let’s take a look back, starting with the flashback that is sure to bring back some memories.

With Mr. Microphone, anyone could be the host of their own radio program, transport their own personal PA system, and pick up dates with their newly acquired entertainer status. The secret was a simple AM radio transmitter that was built into Mr. Microphone’s plastic casing. Simply turn on a nearby radio, speak or sing into Mr. Microphone, and soon your voice was instantly transported to the airwaves. You could sing along with your favorite songs or become a bonafide star (at least in your own mind.)

Mr. Microphone was a huge success, with astronomical sales numbers that followed well into the next decade. And it proved to be a precursor to another huge fad that was just around the corner – karaoke. Even today, Mr. Microphones are quickly snatched up whenever they make an appearance at a yard sale or a thrift shop. And unlike many other gimmicks from yesteryear, its appeal is still easy to understand today – up-and-coming and wannabe performers may never land that elusive record deal or sing for the masses at Carnegie Hall, but with Mr. Microphone, anybody could be a star.

Did you broadcast your voice proudly over the airwaves, via this memorable toy? Better yet, did it ever help you land a date? Be sure to share your stories of stardom with us in our comments section, as we pay tribute to the infamous and unforgettable Mr. Microphone

15 Responses to “Mr. Microphone”

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  1. Jennifer harris says:

    Hey,Good lookin,I’ll be back to pick you up later! I always wanted a Mr.Microphone,but never got one.

  2. Becky & Kenny Murray says:

    Actually got one – still in the plastic – at an auction yesterday!!

  3. CJ Maguire says:

    Looking for an original Mr. Microphone for a prop in motion picture. If you have one for sale, please contact with a price.

    • kathleen says:

      I have one but I’ve done all the research I could and can’t find out the value. If your still looking for a Ronco Mr. Microphone New Still In package. Please contact me and we could work something out.
      Thank You
      Kathleen

      • Tim says:

        Kathleen, I would buy that Mr. Mircophone from you right now. It’s a perfect gift for someone very special. I will pay good for it. :)

        Let me know!

        Thanks!

        Tim

      • Jeff says:

        Hello Kathleen,

        I am very interested in purchasing your original Mr. Microphone if you still have it available. I would need to overnight my payment to you today, so that you could overnight the microphone back to me tomorrow, as I need to receive it by Friday. I will pay the extra for you to overnight it back to me. Please let me know ASAP today!

        Thank you,

        Jeff

      • Joanne Evans says:

        Kathleen,
        Did you ever sell that Mr. Microphone? If not, I’d be interested in buying it.
        Thanks! Joanne

    • DanJ says:

      Should be easy enough to fake.

    • Jeremy Theodore says:

      I have a vintage Mr. Microphone in the original box with celophane untouched, so new, untouched condition, let me know if anyone is still interested.

  4. Charlotte says:

    I was the proud owner of a Mr. Microphone back in the day! I remember playing with it a little, but if memory serves correctly, the sound was never all that clear and the charm wore off pretty quickly. Maybe if I’d been older and could have driven around annoying people (and/or picking up good-lookin’ dates) with my Mr. Microphone, I would have enjoyed it more.

  5. Gina says:

    Another toy parodied by The Simpsons. When Bart got one of these, he tricked the whole town of Springfield and the singer Sting into thinking there was a little boy named Timmy stuck at the bottom of the well.

  6. Kevin says:

    Mr microphone, where art thou?!

  7. anon says:

    So many great sound bites in this ad. The product itself was crap however. If you want to study and learn about advertising/marketing for television and radio, this is THE one minute lesson.

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