Should I open NIB HP-42S??


I'll be receiving in a few days a NIB HP-42S from my nephew. He bought it new for college and never even opened it. When he heard I like HP's, he said he'd send it to me.

Now for the big question --- Should I keep it in the box or open it up and play with it???? I know it'd be worth more money if it stays NIB, BUT I really enjoy playing around with the calculators. I guess I just answered my question - I'll open it up.

What do other people do in this situation??



I'd buy a second one (maybe used) to play with,
and let the NIB one as is;-)

Another option would be to simply open it and play with the machine.
If you don't need the box and it's inlets,
you could sell it to me w/o the calc and manual.




The few Pioneer models I've seen have been packed with batteries installed. For that reason alone, I suspect you'll want to open it & remove the old batteries.

If the batteries are not included (doubtful) or are packaged separately, then this should not be an issue.

But (again, if it's like the few I've seen) the ckear plastic packaging is re-sealable (it simply pops apart and back together again), so opening it shouldn't affect the value all that much.

By the way, does your nephew have any idea what these things are worth?


Despite the somewhat elevated price of vintage HP calculators, I still think of these as tools and toys, not an investment vehicle. I suspect from your post that you do, too. If the value is diminished by $50 or even $100 by opening the shrink wrap, is that really a lot of money in the overall scheme? For a starving student, maybe. For the rest of us, probably not.

So, I say open the calculator and have a little fun. If guilt persists, put $1000 into a presently undervalued stock of an otherwise good company, and tell yourself that the real investment far outweighs the hobby/collectible one. (It may not be true, but you'll feel better.)

best regards,


Even old, I don't know if the unused stamps are worth something to the stamp's collector ?

As a collector, I love items with stories behind them.
(Remember those good'O tube radios, wall clocks,...antique things).

If it's mine, I'll take it out and have fun with it for a while, taking care about everything (box, manuals, case....) of course.

IMHO though,



I'd follow the herd on this one :), and open it. In fact, is this an investment (forget the percentage, just how much _money_ could you ever make on it?), or is it a gift out of the blue? It's obviously not the former....

As Paul mentioned, you'd be wanting to remove the batteries for long-term storage, and it might be perfect for many more decades than you will be (so why not enjoy it while you can?). Now if *I* only had a cousin like that....


I would sell to a collector, and share the money with the relative - remaining money would be enough for buying a used 42s.

IMHO the issue here is *value*. Being NIB unoped has no value to you, but is very valuable for someone else. I don't think it is ok to destroy such a value. I myself bought two 32sII NIB NOS, but sold both after buying a used 32SII to play with.


While your advice is very practical, a used Hp42s often gets $150 on ebay while a NIB may only get $180-220. And there is no guarantee these numbers are fixed. What could easily happen is selling the NIB unit for $180 and then having to pay $160 for a beat up, barely working Hp42s. The $20 can easily be eaten up in shipping and insurance.

What do you end up with? A beat up 42s and $5. Hp32s's are still in limited retail circulation but the Hp42s has been discontinued for over 8 years.


Hmmm... My logic was about value, and I stand for it. In my case, I sold the 32s without making any money, but I would certainly loose money if I opened them. In this 42s case, selling on ebay, but buying offline *could* make the math work.



open it, play with it (I'm expecting a New-In-Blister HP32SII and I'm gonna open it) and keep it in the best conservative look. Then, after, say, 45 years, you give it to your grand-grandson and tell him: "If you don't want to keep it, sale it, and don't forget to ask for a good amount of money." And hope this fever goes on...

I don't.


Two months ago I opened a 12c blister. It is a China unit, with all the known issues. One thing was remarkable - the smell. Last time I felt this smell was in 1980, when my parents gave me a 34C. It is not quite as a brand new car smell, but I like it best.



This is definitely something we cannot find in already used calculators. And I agree with you one hundred percent: this smell is never forgoten. The closest one is from brand new automobiles; just closed to, not equal to.

I felt this new calculator's smell at least 12 times. I consider myself a lucky guy, but I used to "taste" it when I was alone; what would people think of it?

Best regards, Renato.


A lonely pleasure... This is getting much beyond fever. In another post someone longed for a HP given to a "old girlfriend". He mentioned the HP, but not the girlfriend...


This is very understanding among us here... (I hope Doc. Mike Myers is not reading)


Sure! The smell of a brand new HP simply drives you crazy. It's exactly like the smell of a perfume used by your beloved one!


You bet!


Just got the package & opened it up. The batteries
haven't leaked. - New batteries installed & works like a
champ. First time I've been able to play around with a
42S. Seems like it was intented to be a transistional
calculator from the HP-41 (which I love & use every day) and
the HP-28/Hp-48 series (also use both).

I'm glad to see that most of you are like me - HP's are just too neat to sit on a shelf - even if the value goes down by using them.

Just some additional information - when my nephew told me he'd give me the calculator, I went on e-bay and printed out several that had sold & told him that he could sell it himself on e-bay. He declined and told me that he'd rather I enjoy it than make a few bucks on it. Thus, I would not feel right in selling it. Needless to say, Uncle Bill will be sending nephew a very nice Christmas gift!!

I like the suggestion someone made - play with them, enjoy them - and then pass them on to the grand children.

I firmly believe that the value is in the enjoyment - not letting them sit on a shelf gathering dust.


I'm glad you opened the pack. And be sure I'd feel the same if you had decided to keep it closed. Your decision, our suggestions, right?

Anyway, you can count on us (do you allow me, folks?) to support you on using this nice calculator (I'd write magnificent, but this is something the user must feel, not read about). I believe it was designed to those who wanted the most of the HP28 with the classic RPN interface. Symbolic algebraic and object types are not supported, but almost all numeric resources (if not all) available in the HP28C/S are also available in the HP42S. And classic RPN prevails

You bet I'm saving mine to my grand-grandson, too. I'd like very much having some old, usable, collectible stuff like this from my grand-grandfather (books, 78 RPM vynil, slide rules, whatever).

Enjoy your new tool (not a toy).

best regards.


I have two circular slide rules (Mear's Water Flow & Pipe Flow Calculator, made by M.H.Mear & Co. England) in excellent condition with cases & manuals, heritage from my grand father. He've used them daily and I've played a lot with these slide rules and bothering him some times when I was a kid visiting him.

Today, I really don't care about their values... They just mean so much to me.

Fond memories grand'Dad,



Great! I hope it smells like a brand new HP. By the way, I keep two things from my grandparents (both were born in Japan): a vintage soroban (japanese abacus - older than any calculator or slide rule), and a vintage japanese pocket watch (i used it daily, one day the glass fell, and the hands broke when I pulled it out of the pocket - ouch!).
This is a great forum - different opinions and (almost) no flames.

I was also given three HPs, that belonged to the late father of a co-worker. A 11c was ok, a 32E needed work, and a 21 beyond repair. My friend did not ask me to keep them, but I will


"Smell new car ? Yuk!" - as so Larry said (the Three Company show).

Joking (nothing to do with calculator)



Acutally new car smell comes in a bottle and the manufacturers spray it in their new cars. You can buy it at some auto parts store. Please don't confuse it with "US Government Standard Bathroom Malodor"... a completely different product all together.


I opened my NIB HP-41CX .... I couldn't resist!

I didn't buy it to make money and wanted the fun of using one.

Of course if you don't want yours then post it to me and I will open if for you!!!


Yes Gordon, I share your experience. A few weeks ago I bought two new HP41CX and one of them I just opened. It feels a lot different than a used one. That's my personal HP41CX which I'm now going to use. I always take good care about such things. Even after many years they seem like new. That's the way I like it. But on the other hand I also enjoy repairing used calculators like a HP 67 wich I restored this weekend with the help of the restoration article at MoHPC. The cardreader had a gummy wheel and most of the keys were bad. Now both issues are resolved and it works like a charm. I really enjoy our common hobby. Cheers Daniel

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