Wow – remember the world without mobile phones! If you wanted to talk to someone in another house or place you had to go into the hallway, dial a number to a phone in another hallway (in their house) and hope they were at home!
You also had to get your parents permission and stand there while everyone else listened to your conversation!
Well then bring yourself into that world and then imagine what it was like to own a walkie-talkie!!
I had one of these and to be able to talk, privately with someone else – whoever had the other receiver – was AMAZING!!! You could agree to have the walkie talkie on at a particular time and then speak then – like at 9pm!! After your bed time!
You also had to say the word “over” after you ended any sentence – so they know you’d stopped speaking.
Sure, in todays world where there are mobile phones it might seem boring. But at the time, to be able to talk to a friend a few houses away at 9pm at night was truly ground shattering!
There were of course a few drawbacks – before the advent of rechargeable batteries they could get very expensive. If you accidentally left the receiver on overnight you would be left with no batteries – and batteries were expensive for a child. Also the signal didn’t stretch too far. The more expensive the walkie talkies were the further their reach. I had one that went about 300 metres. I remember going out onto a racing track with a friend to test them.
But you could also play things like WAR and gain an advantage over other teams by knowing what your team were doing.
They resembled a telephone handset, possibly slightly larger but still a single unit, with an antenna sticking out of the top. There was always something quite special about extending the antenna! I miss them on mobile phones today.