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1975 called. It wants its toy phone back.

2010 April 26
by distracted daddy

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.

On hold
  1. Dial numbers. Randomly and repeatedly.
  2. Remove phone receiver.
  3. Place phone receiver into mouth.
  4. Mumble and slobber into phone.
  5. 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 Outdated baby toys?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.

11 Responses leave one →
  1. April 26, 2010

    Just be glad that she’s not hooked on the Fisher Price Alphanumeric Pager and learning what it was like to be a drug dealer (or doctor, I suppose) circa 1988.

  2. Michael permalink
    April 26, 2010

    Dear Distracted Daddy,

    You are truly a talented writer with a hilarious knack for sharing your observation!

    Keep it up and I will keep reading….


  3. April 30, 2010

    Thanks for the kudos. I’m going to try and get a few posts up each week. Just posted a new one.

  4. May 3, 2010

    Hahah…that brings back memories. About 10 years ago, one of my teenage son’s friend was over and wanted to stay for dinner… I told him, “call your mom and ask if is ok”. At that time we still had a rotary phone on the wall. The boy walked over to the phone, picked up the reciever, then curiously looked at the dial and said “How do you work this phone”?

  5. May 18, 2010

    Just be glad they no longer make the Fisher-Price Western Electric Candlestick phone. Those things would be recalled in a heartbeat today.

  6. Blogueuse permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Did you notice how short the telephone cord was, they can’t even put it up to their not far-off-the-ground ear. Frankly, I never heard of people of my generation choking from Fisher Price toy phone cords, but hey…As for more newer generation technology, my son also had the Fisher Price cell phone, which he completely ignored and instead was obsessed with my husband’s disconnected cell phone (which we continue charging for his sake)…Now he’s 3 1/2 and my mom has taught him to play solitaire on the laptop, so soon I expect to be invited as his guest to the tournament…

  7. May 30, 2013

    You put your friends information for shipping address.

  8. June 1, 2013

    This is such a fantastic idea. A friend of mine sent me your weblink. It’s such a good way to engage readers offline and get physical mail which everyone loves. I may should do this after my blog is up and running a bit more.

  9. June 2, 2013

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  10. June 3, 2013

    Well I truly liked studying it. This information provided by you is very helpful for correct planning.

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