A classic piece of junk that would likely net 20-30 bucks if I wanted to part with it. The Fisher-Price Music Box Record Player. You see, there was a time where there was no tiny computer chips that could play small tunes like "London Bridges" and I doubt the yewts of today would even care about it. When they can hear Devo2.0 on their electronic devices that also allow them to keep in touch with the world, the music box worn out it's welcome. They are a thing of nostalgia. But I tell you what, the guys that invented THIS... I'm amazed in it's plastic tech. It was something next to indestructible that took no batteries and brought minutes of rainy day fun...
Here was the power. Wind up. It had an On-Off switch which was unusual for most music boxes. But then, most music boxes wouldn't allow you to change the tune like this one could. I guess I had the music box experience when I was being potty trained. My john had a wind up music box attached, and I think it was "London Bridges". It was white, it was sealed and I guess it was a way to make you feel less intimidated by everyone waiting as you were alone and trying to #2. You could fart along with it. Jolly fart along music for a jolly toidy. Really. It's what we had. Honestly.
The "platters" were two sided, so there were 10 songs to play on this "record player". One was "No. 9" by the Beatles and I think another was "You're Gonna Miss Me" by the 13th Floor Elevators. It was a really progressive music box system. Had great mono sound amplified by a plastic bowl right under the tone arm. While Mom played her Neil Diamond "Tap Root Manuscript" and Dad jammed his soundtrack from "Hair", I spun up the single version of "Dark Star" by the Grateful Dead. (They are the biggest reference on this blog after all. )
Here's the real money shot. You put the "tone arm" on the record and it plays a tune. The head of the tone arm was actually made of teeth which would spin and ring the corresponding music box chime. However, the record provided the energy to moves the wheels to ring the chimes. Resulting sound was a music box ditty. See? Brilliant! Now, in 2017, there are some web sites out there where you can order NEW compositions to play on this "TOY". Wow. You can make anything with a 3-D printer. Kinda neat to hear "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on a wind up music box.
Here is the reason why I have all the records. A storage slot. Wouldn't all great toys be better with a storage slot for accessories? Of course, smash up cars lost doors down heater vents or Mattell Football lost it's battery door when you were on the bus to school. Well, maybe I didn't lose the battery door, but anything is better than that annoying SCREW they put in all the modern toys and games. Leave the screw out, lose the damn door anyway.
I said "almost" indestructible about this toy and usually they were. Lots of these got left outside and then rained and then, the thing wouldn't play because rust would develop. Plus the records got used for Frisbees or serving trays for dumpster dining. I did my beloved first record player in when I used it to stand on to try to reach candy or something else. My foot went right through the bottom. That sprung the wind up mechanism and made it a piece of junk. I cried, and then I begged and got a new one for Christmas. That's this fine toy. Lasted a really really long time. Of course a scant two years later, I bought a Bakelite 45's unit with AM radio and my first REAL single Paul Simon: Slip Sliding Away. It was cold that winter and we were diving around in a rusty 1967 Ford Fairlaine 500 Wagon and many a lime I had to get out and push that beast to get it up our driveway. I felt that 1.99 single from Clarkins Department Stores summed up everything. The nearer your destination, the more you kept Slip Slidin Away. Many years later I worked for Tokyo Shapiro and my boss said the company was started as the electronics "jobber" for Clarkins. Meaning they controlled all things electronics and Clarkins got a little cut. The good ol days of retailing.
Finally? Worldwide pants. I keep this record player safely wrapped in a pair of old Haggar corduroy pants. Back when mom still bought my wardrobe, she bought me this embarrassing crap. I hated these other than they were warm in Northeast Ohio winters. Problem with them, as you grew, sometimes you'd do something in school and RIIIIIPPPPPPP! The seat of your pants would split letting everyone see your semi-tidy whiteys. I had two pairs go this way. One time I was sent home. The second time I put on my gym shorts and wore them the rest of the day. What a good look. We moved after that year. Yes, the most important item, they are made in the USA. Haggar Kwality. Junk Blog. -Ric