41 years ago today the first ever mobile phone call was made, which means that mobiles are officially old. And some are worth big money.
It’s time to find your clapped-out blower, because old-school bricks are worth moolah. We asked retrobrick.com founder Tom Cable about the lumps of ’80s plastic becoming collectibles…
01 ERICSSON T28S
Launch date: 1999
What they said: “Small, intelligent, tasteful.”
Retrobrick will give you: £30-40
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “One of the smallest and lightest original pocket phones. Still very popular today and can still be used as an everyday phone.”
02 NOKIA MOBIRA CITYMAN
Launch date: 1987
What they said: “A technically advanced and highly versatile piece of equipment.”
Retrobrick will give you: £150-250
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “In 1987, the then Russian president, Mikhail Gorbachev, was handed a Cityman to hold by a savvy Mobira/Nokia employee as the media snapped away. So the model became known as ‘The Gorby’.”
03 NOKIA 9000 COMMUNICATOR
Launch date: 1996
What they said: “This phone does fax, email and telephone.”
Retrobrick will give you: £30-50
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “This was the start of the smartphone revolution. Sixteen years ago it was the first phone to include features we now consider normal.”
04 MOTOROLA 4800X
Launch date: 1992
What they said: “Helping you take your life on the road.”
Retrobrick will give you: £100
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “The 2011 Virgin ad set in 1984 shows a yuppie on his phone. However, the first UK mobile call was made in 1985 by Ernie Wise, who called Vodafone HQ in Reading from London’s Docklands.”
05 MOTOROLA DYNATAC
What they said:“Using cellular phones may be as commonplace as seeing someone check time on an electronic watch.”
Retrobrick will give you: Up to £1,000
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “The phone had a talk time of 60 minutes and would need a 10-hour charge. So to make long calls you’d carry three batteries with you.”
06 MOTOROLA STARTAC
Launch date: 1996
What they said: “So hi-tech it could only have come from Motorola.”
Retrobrick will give you: Original versions with red LED displays are worth £150+.
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “The name and design was derived from the Star Trek Communicator. I’m not sure whether the Star Trek creator got a royalty.”
07 NOKIA 8910I
Launch date: 2005
What they said: “Yep, it’s exciting.”
Retrobrick will give you: £500 for an impeccable original. £200 for a refurbished job. £80-100 used.
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “If Darth Vader made a phone, this is what it would look like.”
08 MOTOROLA 9800X MICROTAC
Launch date: 1989
What they said: “Once you’ve experienced it, there’s no turning back.”
Retrobrick will give you: £250
Telephone tom’s fun fact: “One Motorola representative was boasting about it being ‘pocket-sized’, but when quizzed he admitted his shirt had been tailored with oversized pockets to fit the phone.”
IS YOUR MOBILE WORTH LOADS?
Antiques Roadshow dude Mark Hill explains the phenomena behind mobiles becoming collectible…
Why the hell are people paying good money for obsolete phones?
Throughout the history of collecting, things that are ordinary have become more collectible the older they get.
Do people do it for money?
Value is important to collectors. But a lot do it because of love.
How do you know if your old phone’s a cash cow?
Go for iconic designs like those big Motorola phones. If there’s something unusual about it too, it’ll sell. Like the Ericsson T28s, which had a tiny flip out microphone that often broke off. That sort of unusual feature is collectible.
What should you do if you think your phone’s collectible?
Find out as much about it as you can. Find accessories such as the charger and make sure it’s in good condition. If it’s cracked, it’ll reduce the value.
Got one? Then sell it here: