Sony's 'Walkman Wall' exhibit celebrates 40 years of the music player

Sony's Walkman Wall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic player
(Image credit: Endgadget Japan)

It's been 40 years since the first Sony Walkman hit shelves – we hope that doesn't make you feel old – and to celebrate Sony has laid on quite the spread. But think less finger-food and dip, and more a wall of 230 Walkmans. That's right, Sony has created a 'Wall of Walkmans' for an exhibition in Tokyo.

The exhibit sees writers and experts present their thoughts on the iconic portable player, and allows visitors to demo older models that Sony hasn't stuck to the wall. There is also a selection of custom Walkmans designed by various artists.

The players are grouped by section. Naturally you have the legendary cassette players that kickstarted the Walkman line, but alongside them are Discman CD players, MD Walkmans (remember when MiniDisc was a thing?) and, unsurprisingly, Sony's newer digital music players.

A giant yellow WM-F5 – another memorable Sony classic – marks the entrance to the exhibition, which is set to run through the summer. There's also a pop-up store selling Walkman memorabilia, which we truly hope includes that t-shirt with the unravelled cassette tape and HB pencil on it.

While Sony wasn't the first to initiate magnetic cassette technology, the Walkman was the device that brought the tape out of living rooms and cars and into our pockets (and, yes, hearts). Sony sold 50,000 of the devices in the first two months of the Walkman's 1979 release. By the time production ended in 2010, that number was 200 million.


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.