Evolution of Argos’ biggest ever products over the past five decades from computers to gaming consoles

IT has been a national staple since its launch in 1973, with excited children poring over its pages at Christmas.

Now Argos is putting every catalogue online for customers to reminisce – and The Sun has been given an exclusive early look.

Argos is going to put every catalogue since 1973 online for customers to reminisce about the ‘book of dreams’

From its first release to this year’s festive edition – called The Book Of Dreams in honour of its nickname, they give a fascinating insight into how technology and shopping habits have changed.

Here, we take a look at the evolution of some of Argos’s big products over the past five decades.

Personal Computers

In the 1970s, the Smith Corona Courier typewriter came with a type-writing course on cassette, £44.95.

But in the 1980s, the £189.95 Olympia Carrera typewriter came with an automatic correction function – the earliest form of spellcheck.

The 90s saw PCs enter our homes, but at a hefty price – this Opus was £1,098.

In the 2000s, computer towers and monitors are sold separately, like this £159.99 LG screen.

One of the must-haves for Christmas 2019 is a tablet, like this £99 Lenovo model.

Music systems

In the 1970s, you could play LPs and record on casette tapes with GEC’s £193 Music Centre.

Sony’s Walkman personal stereo led the way but this Ferguson cassette player, £28.95, was a cool(ish) alternative in then 80s.

A radio, CD, and cassette player came together in the Philips stereo, £99.99 in the 1990s.

iPods arrives with a bang in 2001, costing just uner £300, but prices fell and cost from £178.97.

Today, who needs a music player when it can all be done on your iPhone? The 64GB X model is yours for £899.

Watching the box

In the 1970s, this mini handheld Sharp telly had a 12in screen and manual controls, costing £69.95.

But in the 1980s, remotes were commonplace but viewers forked out £249 for the function on this Fidelity model.

Before the internet in the 1990s, there was Teletext – and it was a big selling point for this £239 Bush TV.

In the 200s, most TVs were HD ready and Freeview compatible, like the £299 one from Bush.

Now, we can get online videos, apps and more on smart TVs like this 43in LG, costing £299.

Gaming consoles

In the 1970s, you could plug the £31.99 Binatone into your TV to play tennis, squash and football, or buy toy hand guns separately for target games.

With Atari’s £69.99 video game console you could plug in various cartridges to play such 1980s delights such as Space Invaders or Pac-Man.

Sonic The Hedgehog was the cult game on the Sega console in the 1990s, costing £49.50.

The Xbox 360, £279, was hailed as the future with its high-definition images in the 200s.

Now, disc-free gaming is here – now you can go digital with an Xbox One console, £199.99.


This year's festive edition is called The Book of Dreams in honour of its nickname
This year’s festive edition is called The Book of Dreams in honour of its nickname