Fisher Price Classics Retro Record Player

Editor's rating:
9.0
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Reviewed by Bobby Brower
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We like

  • Records are durable and made of a hard plastic that makes it difficult to break or damage the discs
  • The crank is easy to turn and when turned all the way, will spin the record for a long time
  • Records storage area has a lid that closes and keeps the records safe
  • The player comes with a handle that allows you to bring the record player anywhere that you are going
  • A smaller design allows for easier storage in the home
  • Changing of the records helps your child develop gross motor and tactile skills
We don’t like
  • The sound is not as sharp as the original

How it works

Many parents between the ages of 45-35 will remember the Fisher Price Music Box Record Player. The classic Fisher-Price toy that was first introduced in 1971 was a favorite among many children at the time. The classic record player came with five records that played on a music box mechanism with a crank that wound up the player so that you could listen to classic nursery rhymes and tunes at home. The music box had a storage area for the records and a handle so that you could take the music on the go no matter where you were heading. Today, Fisher-Price has brought back the record player with a few adjustments, but it still has that classic Fisher-Price feel from the seventies. With the same five records and carrying case, your child will be able to listen to their favorite music from a new and improved Fisher-Price Classic Record Player.

 

Design

Design

The design of the Fisher-Price Retro Record Player is similar to the design of the classic record player from 1971. The new player, however, is much smaller. Although the size is different, the player is still the same toy as the original. The player is all white with the Fisher-Price Music Box writing and font on the top. The turntable is the same size as the original with the same design as the first edition with the arm of the record player that slides back and forth over the record. The on/off switch is located just above the turntable and the crank is located on the front of the player. On top of the player is a handle so your child can transport the record player wherever they go and there is a snap-shut opening under the handle that is a storage area for the five records that come with the record player.

The four sides of the record player are painted red and have floral designs all around the record player with animal prints and musical instruments that give the player that same feel that it had in the early 1970’s when the record player was first released to the public.
How It Works

How It Works

The Fisher-Price Classic Record Player works very easy. All you have to do is slide the arm of the music box out of the way and place a record on top of the turntable. After you do that, slide the arm back over the record and turn the on/off switch to “on” and the music will start to play out of the speakers. When you are done listening to the music, all you have to do is switch the on/off switch back to “off” and then slide the arm out of the way and remove the record. The record can then be stored in the storage area under the handle in the snap-to-close storage cover.
Batteries Included

Batteries Included

The Fisher-Price Retro Record Player runs on batteries. The record player takes 3 AA batteries to operate, which are included in the record player, and the batteries help operate the mechanism on the inside of the music box that makes the music play. It is always a good idea to have extra batteries on hand when you purchase the record player in case the batteries that come with the record player are dead or worn out from being in the box. A fresh set of batteries are always a good idea to have on hand for when the batteries need to be changed.
The Crank

The Crank

The front of the Fisher-Price Classic Record Player has a crank on it. When turned, the crank is what makes the record turntable spin. As the crank winds down to an eventual stop, all you have to do is wind the toy back up again so that it can start to turn again and keep the music playing. The crank takes a large amount of time to turn until it is fully turned to the end where it will turn the record the longest. By turning it all the way to the end, you will not have to crank the record player often in order for it to turn.
The Arm

The Arm

The arm of the Fisher-Price Retro Record Player lifts and slides into and out of place. When slid into place it will rest on the record and begin playing music. When it is out of place, it will rest on the machine so that you can take the records on and off as you wish, depending on what song you want to hear play. Under the arm is the needle of the record that tells the music box what to play. There are four tiny buttons on the head of the needle that indicates the rhythm of the song depending on the grooves of the record. The grooves of the record press the button on the tip of the needle causing a message to be sent to the music box mechanism on what song to play. The mechanism on the inside of the box runs on a chip that plays the song and emits the sound to the speakers.
The Records

The Records

The Fisher-Price Classic Retro Record Player comes with five records that play ten songs. Each record is double-sided with an A side and a B side that each contains a classic nursery rhyme or classic song for your child to listen to while they are playing with the record player. The ten songs that are on the five records are: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Humpty Dumpty, Au Clair De La Lune, The Farmer In the Dell, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone, Jack and Jill, London Bridge, Children’s Marching Song, Hickory Dickory Dock, and Camptown Races.

Each record is made of a durable plastic that will withstand your children stepping on the records, throwing the records, and taking the records in and out of the record player storage area. Each record is also a different color so that your youngest ones who cannot read yet can know which of their favorite song is on what record depending on the color of the record. The colors of the records are purple, orange, green, sky blue, and dark blue. The grooves on the records are spaced out to play the proper song depending on what buttons on the needle are pressed by which groove.
The Record Storage Area

The Record Storage Area

The Fisher-Price Classics Retro Record Player has a handle on the top that allows you to carry the record player with you wherever you are going. You can take the player to anyone’s house or to the beach or the park because it does not plug in and requires only a crank to turn the turntable. Underneath the handle of the record player is a storage area for the five records. The storage area is covered with a snap-to-close cover that keeps the records safe and prevents them from falling out of the player and onto the floor. When you pull the cover open, you can then pull the records out and use them as you wish. When the records are placed back into the storage area, all you have to do is snap the area closed and the records are safe and sound.
Old vs. New

Old vs. New

There have been many debates about the changes made to the Fisher-Price Retro Record Player. The toy is marketed as the return of a classic, however, it has been modernized and may not be what many parents remember from when they were children. The biggest change from the old version is that the record player no longer runs on a traditional music box. Due to this major change, the records and the record needle have also changed. The music box mechanism runs on a chip that is digital so there is no longer the need for the records to have the music box bumps on them that caused the music box to play music. Now, the records have smooth grooves.

The needle also changed because the original needle was compatible with making the sounds come out of the music box where now, the needle sends digital messages to the chip to get the music to play. The new digital music also has a softer sound than the original music box that worked on an echo system. Many parents have been disappointed with the new sound, but the sound still comes out clear and can be heard. The one positive change to the new Fisher-Price Record Player is the update on the storage area. The old Fisher-Price Record Player’s storage area was open with no cover, so the records had the ability to slide out and fall out of the record player. Many parents are pleased with the new storage area that has a cover so the records stay protected and cannot get damaged or lost.
Tactile and Motor Skills

Tactile and Motor Skills

One of the developmental advantages of the Fisher Price Classics Retro Record Player is that it helps your child develop their tactile and gross motor skills. Every time your child opens the storage area, slides the arm of the record player back and forth or takes out a record and maneuvers it onto the turntable, they are learning to balance themself and use their arms and upper body to pick up items and move them where they belong. The muscles of their hands develop as they pick up the records and manipulate them in their hands to the proper side to the proper song they want to listen to, and as your child learns to read they can read the names of the songs on the records along with identifying the number of the record and its color. At the very least, your child will also learn to appreciate music and learn different sounds and melodies as they develop their aural sense as well.
Price

Price

The Fisher-Price Classics Retro Record Player is priced fairly reasonable for the quality of the player and what you get with the toy. For the low price, you get the five records with ten songs and a toy that runs on a chip and digital mechanism that will have a long lifespan so that the toy will be with you and your children for a long time. In the same way that the original has lasted many families for several generations, the new and improved Fisher Price Classics Retro Record Player will also last your family for a long time, which makes the price that much better. Like the original, the toy becomes more of an investment that can be passed down to another generation of music lovers.
Conclusion

Conclusion

The Fisher-Price Classics Retro Record Player is a great buy for the parent who wants to share the toys of their youth with their child. The record player closely resembles the original design that gives parents that nostalgic feel and the records play the original songs that came with the original player. Your child will be able to learn the same songs that you learned as a child and they will be able to develop a lot of their physical skills by playing with the records and cranking the turntable. For a fun toy that will give enjoyment at a low price coupled with the nostalgia that will allow parent and child to play with the toy together, the Fisher-Price Classics Retro Record Player is a fun buy for any parent and child who love to play and listen to music.
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