Only what you need for your baby. Really. (OK – and some fantastic things you don’t that are pretty cool.)
I didn’t have a lot of mainstream toys when I was a kid. My parents were more “use your imagination/we walked uphill barefoot both ways” types, so Lincoln Logs and plain Legos were about it. One exception was the Fisher Price Record Player Music Box, which I LOVED. Not only was I a big fan of music boxes, but this one had ten different songs (five 2-sided “records”) and a carrying slot for those records plus a handle on top, which meant that as a tiny Type A, I could take the whole shedbang with me.
When I heard Fisher Price was re-releasing a line of their classic toys, including the record player, I was so excited for Astrid. (Well, me, but whatever.) They haven’t been easy to track down either. Target carries them but not online, only in some stores and in limited quantities.
I’m sorry to say though that I have to recommend against getting one. The updated player is a cheap re-make. The music box mechanism is no more: the records don’t have the little notches that actually produce the music when they run under the arm. That’s been replaced by a tinny, battery-powered speaker. That also means you have to provide batteries instead of just winding it up with the dial, and you have to find ten minutes to replace those batteries by collecting your screwdriver to open the battery compartment. The remake also isn’t nearly as sturdy as the original.
Once I’d tried it though, I couldn’t let go of the idea of having one again, so I turned to eBay and scored one for $45, about $15 more than the one I bought and returned to Target. It’s definitely not a must-have for little kids, but Astrid does love music boxes and it makes me smile. That combined with my nostalgia, overcame my general concerns about noise-making toys and Fisher Price’s tendency to over-color and over-feature their toys.
$45 (approximately, with shipping) original 1971 Fisher Price Music Box Record Player on eBay.
$29.99 for the inferior re-make at Target stores or $40 at Urban Outfitters online.
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