THREE STARS TN-201 'MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC'

This Three Stars TN-201 Boys Radio was manufactured in Japan by Matsushita Electric circa 1961. I know who manufactured it after coming across this photo on an obscure Russian website. I know the model number because I have the box. The majority of these Boys Radios have no reference to the manufacturer or model number on or in them. I have also seen this radio branded as Mello-Tone, Man Tone, Honey Tone, GMK and **** (Four Stars). I wouldn't be surprised if there was one branded as Five Stars out there somewhere as well!

Matsushita Electric is one of the largest consumer electronics firms in the world. The are the company behind the brands JVC, Panasonic and National. Matsushita Electric was founded by Konosuke Matsushita in 1918. He started off by manufacturing electric plugs and in 1927 produced a bicycle lamp, the first product to be marketed under the brand name 'National'. Matsushita introduced radio sets and dry batteries in 1931 and in 1955 it used the 'Panasonic' brand name for the first time on audio speakers and lamps. They probably made their first transistor radio around 1956/57. Matsushita sold transistor radios branded as National, Maco, Panorama, Truetone and Panasonic.

 

 

 

 

 

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This Three Stars Boys Radio features a slick black and gold under-painted tuning dial and a white red and black under-painted face. That odd looking ‘M’ with the arrow through must stand for Matsushita. The cabinet of this radio is interesting in that it curves around the tuning dial following its outline. There is also a hint of tartan in the perforated metal speaker grill.

When I look at this radio I see the golden tail feathers of a phoenix in the tuning dial and I see a nasty devils pitchfork hidden in the ‘M’ with the arrow. What does this mean? That I should see a head doctor? Probably!


 

 

 

 
 

 


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This Three Stars Boys Radio comes with a removable aerial, earphones, and a genuine vinyl case! It is also complete with its original gift box featuring groovy graphics. The print on the box states ‘ALL Transistor. This is a two transistor radio but the name ‘Three Stars’ alludes to it having three transistors…

It is not a good idea to store these radios anywhere near their old vinyl cases as the vinyl reacts with the plastic cabinet of the radio causing melt marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSIDE...
 This Three Stars Boys Radio uses two Hitachi transistors.