The Legendary Sony Dream Machine Cube Alarm Clock Radio
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...
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.
An ultra-rare pink color ICF-C10W Dream Machine from 1983...
The next model was the ICF-C20W, which had a slightly more rounded look, giving it a real Space Odyssey feel
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.