Remember all these old toy instruments

February 3, 2010 · Posted in Electronic Music 

Toy Instruments comprises an eye-popping collection of musical toys from around the world made between the 1950s and today. Culled from author Eric Schneider’s personal collection, Toy Instruments is the first book to explore this niche of the toy industry doing so with an informative and humorous approach. With an intro from the author and a foreword from world-renown experimental electronic and hip-hop musician Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, the book collects the toy instruments you may remember from your past, and the wacky ones you’ll find hard to believe ever existed.

From the late 70s to the early 80s, the heyday of these bleeping, chirping, thrumming and keening devices, while children were busy driving their parents crazy with battery-powered sounds, adults were incorporating the unique tones into the earliest samples of electronic music and techno. And, just as dazzling as the cacophony of sounds produced by these toys are the designs of the toys, as well as their packaging. Made all over the world, the predominately gender-neutral design applied to the products and packaging is at times more fascinating than the toys.

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