It’s hard to get a foothold in technology, harder still to stay in the public eye for long enough to become an iconic product. But harder than either of those tasks is to survive the death of your brand and come back swinging for a new generation many years after everyone had written you off. Here’s a trio of comeback kings that could be making their way back into your life some time soon.
Concorde was the epitome of style and flash in the 70s and 80s – a supersonic passenger plane that had a max speed of over twice the speed of sound. First flying in the late sixties, it flew for 27 years before being shuttered after reporting low passenger numbers. While the quality of its flight was in little doubt, people simply weren’t prepared to pay the premium and so the aviation world took a collective step backwards in passenger flight speed.
As early as late last year rumours had persisted that a consortium had gotten together to restore the plane into service, and it would seem that by 2019, they hope to do so. For the sake of those eager to break the sound barrier, let’s hope they succeed.
Few gadgets were as ubiquitous and well known as Polaroid, the compact self-developing instant camera with its iconic square print outs and markable spaces. Missed upon being cancelled, the brand has now been reborn under the Impossible moniker, and early signs point to it being a thoroughly convincing comeback for the coolest camera on the scene.
If the Polaroid is iconic, then perhaps only the Sony Walkman can compete in the same period. Unsurprisingly, as people made the move from tapes to Minidiscs – well, a few hundred people anyway – to CD, to MP3 and finally, to smart phone, there didn’t seem a big gap in the market for a Walkman to stand out. Now the company are back, with an earphones-only MP3 system that’s fully waterproof and sleek enough to turn heads on the race track or in the pool. We can only hope the trend for day-glo leotards and bum bags returns next.