Top 25 "It" products of all time: #11 -- The Sony Walkman


Before the iPod, there was the Sony Walkman. This hand-held cassette player with stereo playback revolutionized the way people listened to and related to music. Introduced in Japan in 1979, it allowed everyone and anyone to tune out.

Tired of listening to your sister's Depeche Mode? Put on your headphones and listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival or The Eagles instead. Your siblings keep winning the battle over what to play on the car radio? Pull out your Walkman and listen to whatever you want.

By cleverly marketing the device to young people, celebrities and those on the go, Sony hit on the cool factor and created a whole new market for portable stereo players. One month after going on sale in 1979, all 30,000 units had sold out. And competitors like G.E. and Toshiba soon followed with their own versions.