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The Legendary Sony Dream Machine Cube Alarm Clock Radio

Updated on November 23, 2011

The Dream Machine, its many imitators and the '80s "Cube" phenomenon...

Quite possibly the most beloved digital alarm clock radio ever designed, the Sony Dream Machine Digicube clock radio is truly a timeless classic. Back in the early 1980s, the modern white cube-shaped clock made owners feel like the future was just around the corner. Though the Dream Machine is a quintessentially retro piece of '80's vintage electronics, its style has traveled seamlessly through the decades and looks just as clean and modern as it did 30 years ago. The genuine Sony quality can still be heard when a radio station is dialed in, and most Dream Machines still out there have survived, intact and in working condition. They are still highly sought after, and each slightly different model has its own cult following.

We have been avid collectors and dealers of the Dream Machine for quite a few years now, picking them up at yard sales and thrift stores. We have discovered there are quite a few different cube-shaped clock radios manufactured in the '80s by all sorts of different companies. You may call them rip-offs or copycats, we call them inspired tributes!

The following retro digital clock discoveries are from our personal collection...

sony dream machine
sony dream machine

This is the original Digicube model ICF-C10W Dream Machine, the space age white cube with classic retro style and genuine quality. It measures 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches.

Pink Sony Dream Machine ICF-C10W
Pink Sony Dream Machine ICF-C10W

An ultra-rare pink color ICF-C10W Dream Machine from 1983...

Sony Dream Cube
Sony Dream Cube

The next model was the ICF-C20W, which had a slightly more rounded look, giving it a real Space Odyssey feel

Sony Dream Machine Cube Clock Radio
Sony Dream Machine Cube Clock Radio

Finally, here's the IFC-C121, very similar to the ICF-C20W, but the overall feel and quality seems to be just a little bit lower.

Soundesign Cube Clock Radio
Soundesign Cube Clock Radio

Soundesign manufactured their own version of the Dream Machine. It's a sleek black cube alarm clock radio marked as model number 3638 and is slightly larger than the Dream Machine, measuring 5 inches.

cassette cube clock radio
cassette cube clock radio

Another one from Soundesign, the addition of a cassette player to the AM/FM clock radio must have made this one a minor hit in its day.

magnavox cube clock radio
magnavox cube clock radio

A rare one from Magnavox, the D4000 clock radio has a silver finish and a cool retro hi-fi look. It measures 4.25 inches square.

panasonic leaning cube clock radio
panasonic leaning cube clock radio

Panasonic literally turned their cube clock radio on its end with this undisputedly rad clock radio that sits balancing on a corner! It can also sit square, of course. The digital readout and the radio tuner dial are also offset, so no matter which angle you choose, some part of the display is in perfect horizontal position. The model RC-60 clock radio measures 4.25 inches.

Sonic wedge vintage clock radio
Sonic wedge vintage clock radio

This ain't Sony...this is Sonic! The CR323 from Sonic Corporation has an unusual wedge shape geometric design that stands out a bit from the long list of dream machine copycats. It shows moderate wear and tear, but overall is clean and still looks good. All functions are operating properly and the unit measures 4.25 inches x 5 inches x 5 inches.

cosmo cube clock radio
cosmo cube clock radio

From Cosmo Clock, the Cosmo Cube model CR-2051 measures 5 inches square. The outer shell is a weird fleshy salmon pink color and the design is, like, totally '80s.

tozai cube clock radio
tozai cube clock radio

Last, but certainly not least, is an obscure entry from the Tozai Corporation. This model ATC-35 has a very simple, yet futuristic design. It looks like something out of a 1981 Omni Magazine back issue with its soft rounded edges, bright white shell, and black lozenge-shaped buttons.

That covers all of the cube clock radios from our personal collection. Each one has since been shipped to new loving homes all over the world. eBay is one of the best outlets for finding a wide selection of vintage 1980s cube clock radios. Instead of getting a boring new alarm clock, why not spend a few bucks on a great vintage timepiece? The technology is pretty much the same, they’re reliable, and they have a unique look and style that simply is not duplicated today.

Comments, please!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just picked up a yellow Dream Machine Cube at Value Village for $3.99 - couldn't resist. It works perfectly! It's an ICF - C11W. Love it!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I still own and use model 3638 (pictured above). Do you by chance know what year it was made?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've given up on finding a Sony ICF-A10W for less than $100 ... who knew they'd get so pricey? The one I had back in the '80's melted in the sun when I accidentally left it in my car (should have left it next to my bed) ... I've been trying to find the "Here Comes The Sun" melody from that clock (just a sound file of the melody) with no success. There are several Youtube videos of it, but they don't play the whole melody - they keep cutting it off before it ends. Sigh.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      The Sony Cube Still wakes me up every morning

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have the radio it is like new I will record the song for you!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Does anyone know what specific model played the digital sounding wordless "here comes the sun" . . . . I am finding a lot of the Sony Dream Machine Cubes but whenever I ask the sellers all say the alarm is just a beep or the radio, not the song . . .

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I just noticed you replied to my comment back in August - thanks! I would love a recording of it - sorry I didn't see this sooner!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a red one for sale in my Etsy shop! www.fishlegs.etsy.com

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      I have the original in white (well, now a little yellow). I bought it in 1986 and I still use it to this day. Works perfectly. It will be a sad day when it stops working, if that ever happens.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Hi, I've got sony digicube icf -c10w, but i can't set time. How to set the time clock? I hope, that you help me.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Hi, I have an ICF C10W in silver grey. Very good condition. Been safely boxed since late 80's.

      Is anyone interested in buying it. Would like it to go to a good home as have fond memories from 83'

      Thanks

      Michael ( london )

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I HAVE ONEi USED FOR MANY YEARS AND PUNCHED THE SLEEP TAB MANY TIMES TO STOP THE WHOOPWHOOP ALARM, BUT IT STILL WORKS. THE BUTTON FOR THE ALARM RESET IS A BIT WORN DOWN, BUT SONY QUALITY. I HAVE ANOTHER SONY RADIO I HAVE USED IN THE BATHROOM WITH A HANDLE, AND IT STILL TUNES TOO. IT WAS THE SAME ONE IN ''LOVE IS STRONG" BY THE STONES WHEN RON IS STANDING BESIDE IT. HUMIDITY TAKES A TOLL ON THE PLASTIC PARTS, BUT THE ELECTRONICS KEEP GOING, NEEDS TO BE CLEANED WITH ELECTRONIC CLEANER EVERY SO OFTEN, AND ITS TAPED TOGETHER, BUT THE TUNER STILL BOUNCES BACK.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I would love a recording of the song as well. I've given up looking for the actual clock. Thanks!

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      Cameron 4 months ago

      I had a white Sony Dream Machine back in the 80's and am looking to buy one. My question is this, my old clock had a soft blue/turquoise LED Display which I'm in search of, not green or red. Are models correlated with display colors? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

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