This is what nostalgia looks like: an analog clock, a rotary phone and a record player. Technically these three devices have been single-handedly outmoded by the iPhone I used to take this picture, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth remembering and sharing with our kids. This is why I adore these Classic Toys from Fisher Price. While newly produced, these classic toys look, operate and sound just like they did in the 1960s when they were first introduced.
My younger daughter instantly fell in love with the 1968 Music Box Teaching Clock. The knobs are easy for little hands to turn and the clock tune that plays while the cardboard night/day disc spins is charming. Batteries for this toy are included, so it’s ready to play straight out of the box.
I’ve been looking for a good teaching clock to help my girls learn to tell time the old fashioned way, and this one does the trick. It’s easy to spin the hands independently of each other to aim at the time of your choice.
The night/day disc is very helpful in helping kids understand AM versus PM when looking at the hands spin a full 24-hour rotation. While intended to be a kitsch toy in our digital age, it continues to successfully serve the purpose of teaching how to tell analog time.
My older daughter (age 4 going on 14) instantly recognized that the 1961 Chatter Telephone was, well … a telephone. Even though it looks nothing like our smart phones, she knew exactly how to talk on it. She must have learned from television.
Just I like I remember from my childhood, the eyes wobble up and down when the phone is pulled with the string and an internal bell dings as the rotary dial is spun.
The string between the phone base and handset is much shorter than I remember, but this change is for safety reasons (making it harder to get the string caught around a neck).
Both girls fought over the Music Box Record Player, because let’s face it: record players will always be cool. Unlike a modern mp3 player that just magically plays music digitally, a record player lets you SEE the music being played – a needle on a disc that spins around. And even though this plastic record player doesn’t have a real needle or vinyl LPs, the arm does swing over the disc that spins so it feels like we’re in on the action. The player comes with five discs that have a song on each side for a total of ten classic songs:
- Au Clair de la Lune
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Humpty Dumpty
- Jack and Jill
- Children’s Marching Song
- Camptown Races
- Hickory Dickory Dock
- The Farmer In the Dell
- London Bridge
- Oh Where Has my Little Dog Gone?
While the record player is for sure the coolest of the three toys to play with at any age, it is also the trickiest to operate. The player requires 3 AA batteries (not included) and a crosshead screwdriver to open the battery compartment. In order for the music to play properly, you must line up the small holes in around the center of the disc with two small pegs on the player turntable. Then you must swing the yellow arm over to the disc, wind the crank on the front of the player and then finally switch the power button on the top of the player to ON. The steps are fairly intuitive and only need to be taught to a toddler once. However, finger strength is required to move the arm back and forth over the record, and especially to wind the timer crank on the front of the player so my girls ask for help to get it playing.
All five record discs tuck nicely into a slot in the back of the player and are secured with a small door. Moving the discs in and out of that back slot ends up being just as fun for my 2 year old as actually playing the music.
All three of these classic toys are as fun to play with now as they were back when we were kids and you can buy all of them along with other classic toys from the very fun retro toy website, www.tinytoyarcade.com.
Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.