1975 called. It wants its toy phone back.
This is the Fisher-Price Rotary Phone. Officially it’s called the Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone. Rotary Phone sounds better. The phone makes no chatter noise but does make the classic rotary phone sound when you dial the numbers.
The Fisher-Price Rotary Phone is a great learning tool for babies, it simulates what growing up in the 1970s must have been like. You may remember it from your youth, your parents’ may remember it from theirs. The design of this toy has not changed since the Nixon administration. The first baby who played with this toy probably has grandkids.
It’s currently my 8-month old daughter’s favorite toy. She’ll never understand the context. She will never see a real rotary phone. Unless she sees one in the movies and then the context will be all wrong. She’ll wonder why the real phone has no googly eyes and why the string to walk it down the street is missing. For her the parody came before the original. It’s like she’s watching Spaceballs before Star Wars and thinking Pizza is better than Jabba.
Though, in the toy’s defense, it is teaching her how to dial an obsolete form of technology. Here’s how.
How to use a rotary phone according to a baby.
- Dial numbers. Randomly and repeatedly.
- Remove phone receiver.
- Place phone receiver into mouth.
- Mumble and slobber into phone.
- Dial more numbers while on call.
To call collect follow these steps but dial 0 first. Sometimes she’ll repeatedly slam the receiver on the phone. This must be her learning to deal with customer service.
When it comes time for her to learn how to dial a real telephone I’ll have to go out and buy a toy iPhone or mini-Blackberry. Or I could just download the iPhone app for the Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone. Outdated baby toys? Yes, there’s an app for that.