The Guardians of the Galaxy effect on cassettes is already making itself felt in at least one one area: the cost of the vintage Sony Walkman that co-stars with Chris Pratt.
One Sony TPS-L2 cassette player, originally introduced 35 years ago, sold today on eBay for $900. Others recently sold for from $613 to $710. Current bids for other working TPS-L2s on offer ranged from $499 to $886. The top bids so far on even non-working models would set you back from $286 to nearly $600. Good luck with that Star-Lord costume for Halloween.
Before Guardians of the Galaxy‘s U.S. release on August 1, Sony TPS-L2 cassette players still weren’t cheap, but now they look like a bargain by comparison. A working TP2-L2 went for $135 on July 10, meaning the price would have more than quintupled. That may have been an exceptionally good deal: Others sold for just above $200, and models with vintage headphones or the original box went for closer to current prices. But you could fairly easily find a non-working TPS-L2 Walkman for less than a hundred bucks.
“Yes, they were pretty pricey before the film came out, but there is now an incredible scramble to get hands on this model,” says Jed Shepherd, who runs London-based cassette label Post/Pop Records, in a post on the Tapeheads.net forum. (For what it’s worth, the TPS-L2 originally sold for $200 when it was released in 1979.)
This all comes as the film’s director, James Gunn, has said he’s working on releasing Guardians of the Galaxy‘s soundtrack — Awesome Mix Vol. 1 — on cassette. The soundtrack rose to No. 1 this week on the Billboard 200 album chart.
The second annual Cassette Store Day is set for September 27.