In the early 1970's, talked my parents into buying me a cassette recorder after seeing one in use in class at school. They bought me one at Barker's Department Store in Monroe, a Panasonic portable. At the same time, mom bought a store brand 8-track player with two external speakers. Cassettes are still in limited use to this day... we all know where 8-tracks went! I won that war!
In 1982, talked my parents into buying my first VCR. Both VHS and Beta were around that early on, I chose VHS. Got a Curtis Mathis model, one of those heavy things from the Curtis Mathis store, 4 year warranty included, WIRED remote, pop-up lid to put the tape in... $649 retail, not including tax. VHS won over Beta.
In 1984, I was working, bought my first CD player, even though the format was new. Bought the cheapest I could find, a Sears "Proformance" brand, no remote, thing weighed about 20 pounds, had a HUGE heat sink sticking out the back, and had a warning sticker about not opening the machine, because of the possibility of "severe radiation". Had 16 numbered buttons on the front with red LED lights above them. If a disc had over 16 tracks, you just had to guess! Cost before tax, $599. CD became a viable format. At the time, LPs and cassettes had the most shelf space at the music store, record companies waited before they released the CD version to see how the other versions sold. You found the CDs in the store in a SMALL rack at the back of the store! Usually $16.99 each, at least at Sears and Musicland.
In 1994, bought a Philips CD-i machine. 'Nuff said.
In 1999, bought my first DVD player, a Fisher brand from Sears. Cost $299. Luckily DVD has stuck around!
In 2009, bought my first Blu-ray player. Waited till the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format wars were over.
Bonus: the CD player I bought, from the Sears catalog...