How attitudes change. Once viewed as cheap and cheezy, portable, battery-powered Casio keyboards suddenly seem kinda cool in retrospect. The Casio VL-1, perhaps the most infamous of the Casiotone line, featured mechanical beats, paper-thin sounds, and buttons that barely qualified as a keyboard, and doubled as a calculator.

Now, not only do those very points make it sound like more fun, but the whole design starts to look more inspired than gimmicky. Battery power? A simple interface? An ultra-portable design that fits in a case? Why aren’t more synth designers thinking this way? What’s stopping Roland, for example, from giving us a retro-themed, impulse-buy toy for $99?

Join the members of the Create Digital Noise forums in awe:

Signs this keyboard is cool: via its own Wikipedia entry, the only two pieces of evidence you’d need. One: it it the only musical instrument ever to have stood in for Strong Bad’s head. Two: it gets associated with the quote “turn that bloody blimey space invader off,” a phrase we really need on the upcoming CDM t-shirts.

Of course, a sentient VL-1 may have written that Wikipedia as a vanity entry. We’ll let the keyboard enjoy itself anyway.

VL-1 on Wikipedia
Maximum Cheesecore: The Ultimate Casio VL-1 Super Site
Synthmuseum: Casio VL-Tone