Toy companies have always liked making kids’ versions of adult products. After showing off the 2000s Hit Clips music player, Techmoan got his hands on the Mighty Tiny, a 1960s attempt to make a miniature record player. It required a bit of repair work, but he eventually got it to play some tiny vinyl discs. Ohio Art – of Etch-a-Sketch fame – created the gadget.
Awesome Record Players
Techmoan looks back at a popular toy sold from the 1960s to the 1980s. Made by General Electric, and later by Gabriel Toys, the Show ‘N Tell combined a record player with a filmstrip projector. As kids played the “PictureSound” records, the film strip moved through the light path, casting images onto a rear-projection screen.
Need a place to put your record player and records? El Paso’s 3ft Furniture makes these nifty wood stands that combine mid-century modern and farmhouse style. They sell a variety of models, each providing countertop space for a turntable and storage underneath for records, a speaker, and other items. This model is our favorite.
Proud Owl’s distressed wood rack provides easy access to your vinyl collection. Its asymmetrical design faces half your records forward and the other half sideways. Its right side has just enough room for a turntable or for displaying trinkets. It comes in various colors, with or without legs in 6″, 12″, or 20″ lengths.
Vinyl records are all the rage thanks to their warm, analog sounds. But if you’re going to go retro, why not go vintage? ROKR’s 424-piece kit gives you everything you need to build your own hand-cranked gramophone. A centrifugal governor helps maintain the record’s speed, and it can play 33s, 45s, and 78s.
We love how builder Laura Kampf is creates objects that are both thoughtful in their function and design. Her latest project is a curved wooden cabinet with a turntable and amplifier shelf, plenty of cubbies for storing records, and spaces for speakers that tuck neatly behind grille cloth.
Victrola’s turntable audio system features linen-wrapped wooden enclosures for both its record player and stereo speakers. It offers 50-watts of amplification, and can play vinyl at 33 1/3, 45 and 78 speeds. You can also stream music to its speakers via Bluetooth. It’s also available in oak and white variants directly from Victrola.
If you’re not too much a stickler for preserving your vinyl, there are lots of cheap turntable options. But if you REALLY don’t want to spend the money, and REALLY don’t care about your records, you could build one like the one Turnah81 made, using a cordless drill, a coffee cup, and a pushpin as a stylus.
Did you know can play a record without need for a turntable at all? The RokBlok is basically a wooden mini vehicle that drives around on top of your records, following the groove, and playing music through its built in speaker, or wirelessly over Bluetooth for more volume.
The Fine Brothers panel of youngsters goes hands-on with another technological dinosaur – a “portable” turntable. While they’re clearly fascinated with the mechanical music player, there’s no doubt they’re all going back to streaming digital tunes as soon as they’re done.
This incredibly minimal record player isn’t much bigger than a 12″ vinyl disc, concealing its tone arm, needle, and electronics underneath its platter. It even can play records while mounted vertically on a tabletop or on the wall. Has both RCA and headphone outputs.