Midland Micromobiles: A Brief History
The first model was introduced in 1977. It had a size of 2 1/2 inches and cost $199.00 (about $1,600 today).
Later models were released with larger sizes, but they still remained at the same price point. By 1980 there were three different models available; the smallest one being the MMC-100, which was priced at $249.95 (about $1,900 today); the next one was the MMC-150, which was priced at $299.95 (about $2,000 today) and the largest one was the MMC-200, which was priced at $399.95 (about $3,500 today). These models all used a similar design. They were made from plastic and featured a single speaker in each earpiece and two small speakers on either side of it. There was no remote control or any other features.
In 1981, the company changed its name to Midland Radio Corporation. That year they released a new model called the MMC-300. This model featured a much improved radio system and included some additional features such as a cassette player, FM tuner and VCR recorder function.
The MMC-300 retailed for $499.95 (about $4,800 today), while the MMC-400 sold for $599.95 (about $5,600 today). The MMC-500 was a limited addition model, which was only available to the National Guard and similar organizations.
In 1983, the company improved on their technology once again with the release of the MMC-600. It was equipped with game and computer functions, in addition to all of the features of the MMC-300. It was priced at $699.95 (about $5,800 today).
They also released a smaller version called the MMC-400, which was equipped with similar features, but was smaller and lacked the recording capabilities of the MMC-600. The MMC-600 was priced at $799.95 (about $6,900 today).
The MMC-800 was introduced in 1985 and retailed for $999.95 (about $8,800 today). Midland continued to create new models each year.
In 1996, they released the GXT1000, which was the last model that they ever made. It was a very advanced radio and it included a color touch screen. It also had an Internet browser and was capable of sending e-mail as well as faxing capabilities. This model cost $1,899.99 when it was first introduced (about $2,900 today).
The company was not able to keep up with the rapidly changing technology and they were unable to compete with other major manufactures. In 2004, the last of the Midland radios were produced and sold to retailers, but only a few of them actually sold. The company had previously laid off half of their employees in 2003 and then closed altogether in 2006.
Many of the different models that were created are still prized possessions by collectors around the world. The oldest ones are the most valuable and can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Gastric Retention and Controlled Release Delivery System (J Liao, P Liu, S Dinh, B Singh, S Majuru… – US Patent App. 15 …, 2019 – Google Patents)
- Bacteria as actuators for hybrid (biotic/abiotic) swimming micro-robots: Design, modeling, and implementation (B Behkam – 2008 – search.proquest.com)