back to article Dixons to flog off old 'brands' Miranda and Saisho

Struggling retailer Dixons Store Group has appointed an IP firm to flog off two of its now-defunct brands. Metis Partners is looking for offers for Saisho and Miranda. Saisho is offered with "goodwill in the brand and reputation", we're told. It also holds 16 international trademarks. Metis reckons Saisho has made £27m in …


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  1. tanker1

    "goodwill in the brand and reputation"


    1. Graham Marsden


      ... they're hoping that people would have forgotten the sort of cheap plastic junk that Dixons put out under the Saisho label...

  2. Danny 14
    Thumb Down


    Seriously? I wouldnt even give them a poound for it. I'd start getting calls from grandmas with dodgy Tvs.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Is there any Goodwill in a Dixons brand?

    Dixons is past redemption, and I can't see how there's any goodwill left in any of its brands.

    People now only buy from Dixons because either (a) they know no better or (b) they need something right now, for whatever reason, regardless of value for money, and a Dixons store is near by.

    I do remember Saisho products being up there with Packard Bell for sheer shoddiness, but I don't recognize Miranda at all. Who would buy brands like these?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Miranda was indeed a Japanese company and they made some very nice 35mm cameras; the most popular in sales probably being the Sensorex (I should know, i have a half dozen of them plus various Miranda (Soligor) lenses).

      Back in the day, my first one was $215 US and Nikkormat was going tor around $300 US if i recall right. They had a full range of lenses and accessories available and (at least on the Sensorex) interchangeable viewfinders. Some other models had interchangeable focus screens.

    2. MJI Silver badge


      In 60s and 70s Miranda was a Japanese SLR manufacturer, when the went bump Dixons aquired and destroyed the name.

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


      Can't even pop down to the highstreet to Dixons. It's not there, having gone web only half -a-decade ago.

      All of the Dixons stores they wanted to keep were re-branded

      I always avoided Saisho as a brand, and - strange as it may sound - I was a committed Practika camera user, so never considered (not that I would have ) a Miranda camera.

      1. Dagg Silver badge

        Miranda was ok

        My first SLR was a miranda, it was a very good basic easily to use camera and worked very nicely. It had a pentax screw mount so there was a lot of lens around that you could use. I've still got slides (Kodachrome 25 and 64) that I shot with it.

  4. Dave Murray

    goodwill in the brand and reputation

    Saisho is barely worth tuppence then.

  5. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    "Saisho has made £27m in sales under Dixons' care since 1982"

    With brands like Sony, Apple and Samsung making that sort of figure per micro-second, that says it all! ROFL! LOL!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I've contacted them to tell them about my interest in the Saisho brand

    My maximum bid would be 2 quid.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      A title is required...

      I'll go as high as ten pesos, depending on the exchange rate with Mexico... They'll have to pay shipping though.

      Hand grenade because they've already imploded...

  7. Anthony Hulse

    These "brand" names say to me...

    Fake Sanyo and Fake Minolta. Chinese knock off shop tactics. IMO they're worth One Zimbabwean Dollar each and not a penny more.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      Don't forget Chinon...

      Fake Pentax. I have an old Chinon badged 35mm SLR camera, and the rubber slidey bits on the sewn on strap are marked Pentax. And it takes Pentax K mount lenses.

      Good camera too! At least twenty years old, and still works fine.

      1. Andrew Newstead

        Me too

        CE4 - cracking camera. Still got it and still works. Not used it for a while since going digital, though.

        Chinon is not like the other Dixon brands, it was actually an independant Japanese camera company that Dixon's were the sole UK importer for. It had quite a good reputation for it's lenses, I still use my CE4's 50 mm lens on my digital SLR in manual mode - fast and bright.

        Chinon used the Pentax mounting formats like a few camera manufacturers (Practika for example), this allowed them to take advantage of lots of 3rd party lenses made for Pentax cameras.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: Pentax mounting formats

          ITYF the 42mm threaded lens mount which was adopted by many manufacturers including Pentax was actually first introduced by Praktica, not the other way round.

          1. Nuke

            Pentax Lens Mount

            They are talking about the Pentax Bayonet K mount, not the M42 threaded. Pentax did indeed introduce the K mount and encouraged other makers to adopt it too. The minor makers Chinon and Ricoh did so, but otherwise this brave attempt at standardisation was futile. The present day Pentax SLRs are still basically K mount with added electrical contacts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      One Zimbabwean Dollar

      LOL! I have over $110 trillion of them

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hang on to them

        It's cheaper than toilet paper plus you have an opportunity to wipe your ass with the face of Mr Mugabe.

  8. Marvin the Martian

    I've lived for 14y in the UK...

    I've never registered the existence of these brands. I'm always a bit surprised by the UK's love for Mickey Mouse brands and/or rebadged random stuff --- Goodmans here, Morphy Richards there, what's the idea, making it sound like your maverick uncle bodged them together? --- but suggesting there's some brand/value/goodwill for Miranda (for Miranda Hart: yes!) really takes the biscuit.

    In the end I tried to google it... "Miranda" -- nope; "Miranda electronics" -- nope; "Miranda brand" ["did you mean miranda bran?"] -- nope. Etc.

    1. mamsey

      Should've tried...

      ... miranda photographic equipment

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Bad examples - Goodmans and Morphy Richards

      You can add Bush, Grundig and Ferguson.

      These were all recognised brands in their own right back in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. They were not badge-only brands, and did their own product development. When the companies fell into hardship, as they all did because they tried to maintain a UK manufacturing base when making things in the far-east became much cheaper, the brand name was bought by companies that specialised in generic goods made in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea and more recently China, putting the name on the product, and presenting them to patriotic UK buyers as if they were still made in the UK. Nothing illegal, but you can bet the "Made in Wherever" was in as smaller print as they could manage while not infringing Trading Standards.

      This was to capitalise on the "Buy British" campaign that tried to keep wealth in the UK during this miserable period of austerity.

      If you look at Bush, it's been traded between companies for years, and is now effectively an Argos brand name.

      I used to enjoy trying to spot how many different brands a product could be spotted with. Made shopping with my parents much more bearable.

    3. AdamK

      What have you learned in 14y?

      That's easy. The British mostly don't care if its good. They just want cheap, cheap cheap and hope for the best. As for Matsui, I remember a few years ago there was a misrep issue about whether goods had to reflect the origins of their name. The Moben kitchens thing lasted for years. No they did not have to be Scandinavian. The Matsui issue was about applying the name to a Yugoslavian fridge.

      Grundig are no longer owned outright by Koc in Turkey, they are just licensed to use it for a bit and then it returns to Harvard international who someone rightly said used to be called Alba Radio, They may have made indifferent stuff since the Fidelity stereos I remember from my youth, but they are one of the most consistently successful private companies. The failure of Grundig, Dual, Aiwa, Sansui and Akai, Zenith etc (not Akai Pro, a separate concern) indicates its not just a British phenomenon.

      And for anyone who argues with my thesis for "crap if its cheap enough" I have one word. Amstrad.

  9. Timfy67
    Thumb Up


    I still use a Miranda flash unit from around 1984 on my dSLR. It hasn't failed a shot in some 27 years on a myriad of different film and digital cameras. I also have a fully functioning Saisho 14" telly that was purchased to hook up with my new (at the time) ZX Spectrum!

    I'm a cheap date!!!

    1. James Hughes 1

      me too...

      I've got a aged Miranda flash in the loft, Olympus fit from about '88. Worked fine the last time I used it (on a OM10, which is also in the loft!)

      Got a Canon now, so no longer used.

  10. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton


    I've never even bloody heard of these "brands" before. Actually I wasn't even sure Dixons were still going, I'm quite shocked they are!

    Paris coz at least I've heard of her even if I don't know who she is and what she dose!

    1. DrXym

      In house crap brands

      Tesco has Technika, Argos has Bush / Alba / Goodmans / Cookworks, Dixons has Logik / Advent etc., LIDL has Silvercrest, ALDI has Tevion and so on.

      I guess these stores don't like to pretend these brands belong to them even though they obviously do. It doesn't even say what quality the stuff is, some of it might be good quality, some of it might be bloody awful.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: In house crap brand

        I'm pretty sure that Bush and Goodmans have been around for FAR longer than Asda has.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In house crap brand

          Contrary to some claims, Alba, Bush, Goodmans and Morphy Richards are (or were) independent of the awful electrical retailers. Unlike the likes of Matsui (Currys) and the currently-under-ridicule Saisho (Dixons).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            That sounds like some sort of legal status --- as in, "Negotiations for the sale of this brand have been stopped, as it is currently under ridicule"

        2. DrXym

          Bush, Goodmans, Alba etc.

          Argos, and yes the brands used to be independent, owned by Alba plc. From reading Wikipedia it seems Alba plc renamed as Harvard International and that the Alba, Bush & Goodmans brands were purchased for exclusive use by Argos in 2008. So Argos owns the brands, presumably Harvard makes the kit or OEM sources it. Grundig used to be an Alba brand too but was bought out by Beko.

          The situation has reached comic levels of stupid in the past. I recall Argos selling 3 Freesat boxes by Goodmans, Bush & Grundig with about £30 difference between the least and most expensive models. They all contained the same electronics, the only difference being the fascias and branding.

  11. MJI Silver badge

    Miranda WAS a good brand.

    There was the real Miranda, I have a Miranda Sensomat.

    Pretty good camera except mine now has a light leak on the back cover, but it is over 40 years old. I have a few Tamron adaptamatic lenses as well.

    We absolutely DETEST Dixons for using the brand for shoddy rubbish!

  12. mamsey

    ...Last updated: 05/14/04

    1. MJI Silver badge

      These are the real ones

      Not the Dixons stuff!

  13. Ben79
    Thumb Up

    Just what I needed!

    A "recognisable" brand to adorn my new start-up - manufacturing retro dusty hi-fis with a hardboard back and missing knobs.

  14. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Pretend Japanese

    Didn't dixons get nicked years ago for saisho - for conning people that the stuff was Japanese not British ?

    There was a big fuss in the papers at the time, claims we were going to rename Sheffield to Japan to put made in Japan on stuff

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Pretend Japanese.

      I think that was the aforementioned "Matsui". What they got screwed for was using the strapline; "Japanese technology made perfect." in their ads. Yes that was a Currys brand, but this was after it became part of Dixons group.

      The only suprising thing is that the grounds for screwing 'em were purely that it wasn't Japanese, as there's another word in there that's even more obviously total bullshit.

  15. Cyberspice


    I still have my 30+ y/o Miranda SLR. Its Pentax K mount compatible. It was a nice little started SLR with a 50mm fixed length lens. It tought me a lot about photography and was robust enough to cope with being dropped a few times.

    I assume that it was a pre-Dixons Miranda product.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Not sure

      They had their own mount.

      Mine is a 1969 model

      Last made in 1976 or 1978

      Dixons knicked in it 1980s

      Is it a DX3?

  16. Jim 59


    Big brands aren't always best. My Saisho "ghettoblaster" has been in daily use for 25 years, including today, so they must have done something right. In the meantime I have owned kit from Sony and Philips that has broken after a few short years.

  17. Zog The Undeniable
    Thumb Down

    The antithesis of "Superbrands"

    Saisho and Miranda were right up there with Alba and Crown as brands. Proof, if you like, that landfill quality in electronics existed long before the current trend to manufacture everything from cheese in Chinese slave camps.

    When I did a Saturday job for Currys in the 1980s we had a top-of-the-range Alba tower stereo unit delivered. We took it out of the box to use as a display model and the entire front panel fell off, exposing the cheap electronics inside, because no-one had put any screws in.

    I briefly owned a Crown personal stereo which played all tapes about 25% too fast. I timed "Bohemian Rhapsody" and it got through it in under 5 minutes, making Freddie Mercury sound unusually falsetto. Got a refund on that one.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      You forgot Amstrad

      Made the Trotters look legit.

      Their kit was shocking.

      Tape decks would not run to speed.

      CD sounds as good as a really good AM radio

  18. Richard Porter


    Matsui was Curry's equivalent of Saisho. I've had a Matsui microwave oven for many years and it's given excellent service. Moreover it has a simple keypad interface that lets me key in the number of minutes and seconds I require. I hate equipment that tries to second guess me the whole time.

    Saisho just sounds like fishy Japanese food.

  19. Cornholio

    It surprises me...

    ...but my 1988 Saisho portable is still working perfectly well. Smashing picture, used every day.

    Looks like it's going to outlive the analogue transmissions that it was designed to receive.

  20. Michael 36

    Deckchairs - Titanic

    That is all.

  21. Repo

    I remember Chinon

    They made some decent stuff at one point.

    As for Amstrad, I've no idea why people think Alan Sugar is so great. His stuff was/is cheap cack that was ridiculed almost as soon as it came out. Famous for ripping us off. Well, this is the UK after all I suppose...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Seems to have done OK though?

      I mean, he appears to have made quite a good living out of selling cheap cack to the less discerning consumers. As you say, this is the UK

      I like Argos where I recently bought a steam iron for £3.99 because the holiday park I was staying in was going to charge me a fiver to rent an iron for 1 day. I did have to smile when asked if I'd like to take out an extra years Warranty though

      And we wonder why there is so much waste

    2. Equitas

      Not so sure about that ......

      Had reason to boot up a 20-year old PPC this week -- booted first go, and hadn't been touched for 15 years.

      And I can't say that my first real computer, a 1512, ever let me down.

  22. Alan Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Not all bad...

    I had a Matsui microwave for over 20 years, and it took a hammering in that time too. Power supply finally popped earlier this year, got replaced by one a lot smaller and you have to set the timer by twiddling a knob for ages. That one may not see this year out, I want one with a proper keypad again.

    I've got a Miranda video light too. Other than awkwardly taking 5xAA batteries, it works fine. I got it used off eBay for a few quid.

    Warranties, heh. Argos tried to flog me a warranty for £6 on a £15 desk fan.

  23. Equitas
    Paris Hilton

    Memorable Miranda

    advertised during the early to mid 1960s using a model with extraordinarily large Bulgarian airbags

    Paris -- no known resemblance to said model

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