How much do you know about the most celebrated personal stereo of all time, one that is today turning the big Three Oh? A lot? OK, hell, let's see what you got:
1. In the Walkman's first 10 years, how many different designs did Sony release?
2. What was the full product name of the first Walkman?
A) Super Karate Monkey Machine
3. What is the official, Sony-approved plural form of Walkman?
D) Walkman personal stereos
4. What is another name that the Walkman was to have gone by?
D) Super Karate Monkey Machine
5. What was the original desired name for the Walkman?
A) Stereo Buddy
B) Music Boy
C) Stereo Walky
6. What was the inspiration for the Walkman?
A) Sony founder Masaru Ibuka wanted to listen to opera tapes during his long trans-Atlantic flights
B) Sony president Akio Morita wanted to listen to music while he played tennis
C) In 1978, Sony's cassette division had lost its radio-cassette business to the radio division, and needed to impress their bosses with something new
D) All of the above
7. How many Walkman units sold in the first 10 years?
A) 1 million
B) 10 million
C) 50 million
D) 100 million
8. And how many competing Walkman clones sold?
A) 10 million
B) 50 million
C) 100 million
D) 150 million
9. Complete this sentence from a 1981 UK Daily Mirror article: "The Walkman has become the _________ of electronics."
C) Lucky Strike
D) Hula Hoop
10. Which all-time great wrestler/movie star does the figure in the Walkman 10th-anniversary monument (at left) resemble?
A) "Macho Man" Randy Savage
B) Andre the Giant
C) Jesse "The Body" Ventura
D) Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
1. (D) 170 different models, so basically 17 per year on average, enough to suit every man woman and child. [Source; Image Source]
2. (C) TPS-L2 - We're not entirely sure what happened to TPS-L1, but they quickly switched to the WM naming system. [Source]
3. (D) "Walkman personal stereos," which is totally unfair for journalists with tight word counts. "Walkmen" is a band, however, if you like bands named after your personal electronics. [Source]
4. (A) in the US (B) in Sweden (C) in the UK, but alas never (D) [Source]
5. (C) "Stereo Walky" – but, fortunately, Walky was already trademarked by Toshiba [Source]
6. (D) All of the above, and probably a handful of other apocryphal tales, too. [Source, Source; Image Source]
7. (C) 50 million [Source]
8. (D) 150 million, proving you can't patent a general concept, no matter how slick. [Source; Image Source]
9. (B) Skateboard [Source]
10. (B) Andre the Giant—seriously, doesn't he? [Source]
ANSWER KEY [Image Source]
Special serious thanks to Don the Intern for kicking ass all over the research end of our little Walkman 30th-anniversary party. Don't forget to check out our gallery of the craziest Walkman models, and of course, those brilliant Walkman ads from back in the 1980s. Hat tips to Pocket Calculator's Walkman Museum and to Tim and Nick Jarman's Walkman Central.