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Hey Mr. DJ…

Back in the day, before iPods were standard-issue for the under-10 set, the Fisher-Price record player was, literally, the jam.  Kid-friendly, fully functional phonograph fun.  With your own collection of toy plastic records, you could rock out to any number of beloved childhood tunes until Mom came to tuck you in.

Fast-forward: British maker Fred Murphy revisited this iconic childhood toy, and armed with his 3D printer and some free software, he developed a way to print his own records, using any song.  Check out his prototype, which plays the Star Wars theme.

Gillian BenAry

When I’m not at MAKE, I’m cutting, sewing, folding, mailing, drawing, dancing, or loitering at the local library.


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Comments

  1. beardy241 says:

    I’d completely forgotten about this toy. I never had one (maybe that’s why) but I had friends who did. This could make a fabulous comeback with the ability to create new tunes.

    I’m sure I’m not alone as a parent feeling a bit irked giving high end technology to young children just because it’s cheap and commonplace these days. I remember _desperately_ wanting a remote control car when I was younger but they were way too expensive. Nowadays they give ‘em away with breakfast cereal!

  2. Okay: Now, I’m excited.
    We have a player, and some records… but new tunes, we print ourselves?!
    This is Maketastic!

  3. Larry Smith says:

    Actually, this is NOT a “record player,” it is a music box. A “record” is an analog recording of an actual sound wave, which the needle in the groove replicates for amplification by the horn or by electronics. A music box is a musical instrument in its own right, with tuned teeth that are plucked under the direction of a digital specification of the notes to be played and when. See http://www.mbsi.org/

  4. 0xfred says:

    Hi. It’s nice to find my project mentioned on Make. It’s been fun to do and even better to get such great feedback.

    Larry’s right, of course. Despite being designed to look just like your parents’ record player back in the 70s, it contains a music box in the arm.

    1. Barack Obama says:

      Yeah, I mean, he might be right and everything, but it sounds to me like he’s taking himself too seriously.

      Nice hack BTW.

      1. 0xfred says:

        Thank you.

        As the music is actually digitally encoded as pits engraved into a small plastic disc, I think you could say this was the first ever CD. Fisher Price were way ahead of their time.

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