‘Retro miners’ unearthing gems

I enjoyed Sean Brierley’s article about the craze for nostalgia, and his amusing tale of his feelings and apprehension at being uncomfortably close to 40 (MW January 22).

I was reading the article on a crowded train, when the man sitting next to me, having obviously seen the picture on the page, said:

“Isn’t it fantastic they are bringing back the Chopper bike?” He then went onto recount how he and his mates were thinking of buying one for their children. Two things surprised me. Firstly, he was the third person that day to say exactly the same thing; and secondly, he only looked to be in his early to mid-30s.

My reaction has nothing to do with the excellence or not of the bike, but how long ago the first Chopper was first launched (35 years) and the fact that it has been out of production for the past 24 years.

The reason I know these facts says nothing about my interest in cycling but my devotion to Google. There are more than 2,000 references to the Chopper, with numerous websites devoted to its loyal following.

Despite its two decades of absence from the shops, the product has retained a sizeable group of fans. I wonder how many other discontinued products with loyal enthusiasts are waiting to be relaunched. As a result of the Web, we now have the tools to scan for such products. Perhaps I have just discovered a new branch of market research – retro mining, anyone?

Dick Stroud

Managing director


London SW1

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