After the jump I’ve enclosed a description of my amateur design project, a Lego version of my Fisher Price turntable. Lego Cuusoo, a new platform by the Lego Group displays user-submitted designs for potential Lego collections. If the project receives 10,000 supporters (think Kickstarter), Lego options it for production. My idea was recently rejected by Lego Cuusoo because the site does not accept works in progress or projects with placeholders. And that’s totally cool because the finished product WILL be better. My goal here is to show the evolution of the project.
Objective: To create my first Fisher Price turntable out of Lego.
Inspiration: A Fisher Price turntable was one of the first toys I remember playing with as a child.
I have a clear memory of playing records in the hallway of my family’s small apartment in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY. I had a Sesame Street record, original music from Star Wars, and a record that played nursery rhymes and theme songs from popular cartoons. Not only did my first turntable give me an outlet to hear the melodies synonymous with my childhood, I did not rely on watching TV to sing my favorite songs.
My Fisher Price turntable was the one audio component I could operate without the assistance or supervision of an adult. Growing up as a toddler in the early 1980s, I was too young to know how an 8-track stereo worked, or how to play a cassette, or even grasp the concept of AM/FM radio. My Fisher Price record player was all I needed.
Fisher Price introduced the portable record player in 1978, three years before I was born. It used electricity through a standard NEMA AC power plug. The playback settings supported 12-inch records at 33 1/3 RPM or 7-inch vinyl at 45 RPM. The turntable platter had a built-in 45 RPM adapter that twisted upward so that it could fit the wider-holed 45s. The tone arm came with an attached needle. There isn’t a separate cartridge for the needle that would connect to the tone arm, similar to professional turntables. Fisher Price’s turntable design is simple, and not complex like a Technics turntable, which I would later own as my tool of choice throughout my decade-long DJ career. Fisher Price released a series of multi-colored styles for the turntable: one that was orange, brown and off-white; one that was blue, white and grey. There was also a model that was clear, grey and white, complete with two speakers. Dust covers were also included in the turntable package.
My vision for remodeling the Fisher Price turntable with Lego will be smaller model compared to its vintage counterpart. The mock-up I’m creating measures 4 in. x 4.5 in. The base consists of pieces varying in size and color. Twelve brown planks on the bottom and 26 beige blocks on top of the foundation. Six clear orange bits and eight clear red bits are the background color gradient that illustrate the speed and volume settings. Brown pieces will be added for the speed switch, and I’ve used a spinning tire to illustrate the volume control. Orange blocks represent the tone arm and needle.
The most essential section is missing—the turntable platter with the 45 adapter attachment. Filling this void will require finding circular pieces or possibly square-shaped one-bit blocks to create the circle shape. The round pegs in the shape of the circle is placeholder frame for the platter.
A dust cover will be added to this design. Using a pair of two peg blocks that shift up and down, I will be able to create the hinges for the turntable’s dust cover.
Long Term Goals
* To create the Lego Vintage Fisher Price Turntable through Fisher Price Inc.’s licensed design.
* To build the entire series of Fisher Price turntables starting with the 1971 Fisher Price Change-A-Record Music Box.
* To build a fully functioning Lego turntable that plays music.
All pieces were purchased from the Rockefeller Center Lego store in New York City. I plan to update with new developments.