Fisher-Price Vintage Musical Box Toys

In 1959 the company made its first wind-up toy with a Swiss musical movement, the Jack and Jill TV Radio. The Patent for this radio was granted in 1963 and was applied to all future musical radios made by Fisher Price. It had an all wood case, decorated with nursery rhyme lithographs and with a carrying handle and moving spring antenna on top. In 1961, the Ten Little Indians TV Radio appeared – the same toy, except for a different litho scheme, colour scheme, and song. In 1962, Fisher-Price also began to use musical movements imported from Japan.

In 1966 they introduced the Music Box Pocket Radios,  the first were Frere Jacques, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. From 1966 to 1977, 17 different pocket radios were made, each with a different colour, litho scheme and song. The traditional nursery rhymes had begun to be give way to popular songs of the day, sometimes from films. The Tote-a-Tune Radios followed in 1978. These also contained 12 note musical movements, from either Japan or Switzerland. They were made until the early 1990s, 24 versions in all, with different colours and tunes. 

The Musical Tick Tock Teaching Clock was first made in 1962 and in 1971 a clock radio. From 1964 various versions of musical TV appeared. Other toys based on cylinder musical boxes included the Lacing Shoe, Movie Camera, Ferris Wheel, Merry-go-Round and Change-a-Tune Piano.

In 1971 Fisher-Price introduced the first toy simulating a disc musical box. This was the Record Player, complete with five interchangeable double sided “records”. The Change-a-Tune Carousel had a similar mechanism and three records.

From Issue 3 (Winter 2015/16) of Mechanical Music World. To read this article in full become a member and receive a copy. Full details on “Membership” page.