Turntables that feature a speaker horn circa 1920 or so, but that can play 33, 45 and 78 vinyl records (and feature a CD player) will be part of the RCA lineup during International CES this week … but they won't be available from Thomson, or TCL for that matter.
Under a licensing arrangement with a toy/consumer electronics company based here called Polyconcept USA, around 16 SKUs of nostalgia TV and audio equipment under the RCA brand will debut at CES in Las Vegas.
Polyconcept USA has been in business for around 10 years and has designed and sold consumer electronics products over the years. The company currently sells between 80 to 85 CE products sporting such popular brand names as M&M, Coca-Cola, Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, Looney Tunes, Coleman and one karaoke product under the Philco brand name.
Tony Colecchi, sales and marketing executive VP for Polyconcept USA, explained that his company has sold nostalgia CE products, SKUs that look like old Victrolas, 1930s-vintage radios, etc., for several years. Polyconcept turned to the RCA brand for several reasons, the leading one being "RCA is a powerful brand, especially for the types of products we are doing."
He has been reminding his staff and retailers who have seen previews of the line that RCA was "the first to do the 'Radiola,' the first to do TV, the first to do color TV, the first with DirecTV satellite systems, and it helped co-develop MP3. We love the connection with all those historic firsts."
Colecchi also noted that the used of the RCA brand with this merchandise will "set the future roadmap for us; it is the re-invention of nostalgia (consumer electronics.) For the past couple of years our competitors have been just showing the same square box for a turntable or an AM/FM/CD radio."
The Polyconcept USA exec thinks nostalgia CE is "a fashion business and with RCA we are using one of the top three CE brands in consumer recognition and one of the top 10 brands in consumer recognition for all products."
Among the RCA-branded products to be featured at Polyconcept USA's booth 125536 at the Las Vegas Convention Center are:
- The Newport turntable made with real wood and a metal horn that plays 33, 45 and 78 vinyl records and also features a CD player and AM/FM PLL digital radio with remote control;
- The Magnolia turntable with all of the Newport's features except that it is a "cathedral-style" audio system;· The Ansonia turntable, again with the same features, except for an authentic- looking radio dial control in the front of the unit;
- The Torrington CD alarm clock AM/FM radio, with all the typical control functions, is a tabletop product but looks much like a vintage console radio;
- And the previously mentioned RetroVision TVs, 21-inch and 13-inch units that come with a DVD player and remote, AM/FM analog radio and a storage cabinet.
Colecchi said at press time that the company is planning to introduce as many as 16 products, to be shipped between May through July in stages. Suggested retail prices will range from $39.99 to a 13-inch color TV with DVD at $229 or a 21-inch color TV at $499.99. (More details on pricing and shipment dates will be available during CES this week.)