Design, Nostalgia, Music
Mark Batty Publisher, Hardcover, 9780982075487, 190pp.
Publication Date: February 23, 2010
Toy Instruments compises an eye-popping collection of musical toys made between the 1950s and 1990s. Created to excite children about learning how to play an instrument, the toys turned out to be very fun for adults as well. Just ask David Bowie; he used the Stylophone in his song "Space Oddity."
Culled from author Eric Schneider's personal collection, Toy Instruments explores this niche of the toy industry, doing so with an informative and humorous approach that demonstrates how even in today's world of Guitar Hero and Wii, these musical toys are emblematic, and enigmatic, artifacts from bygone eras. As DJ Spooky writes in his introduction, "I think of the material that Eric Schneider has compiled as a kind of 'object' time machine, reaching back to the heart of what electronic music represented when it was new."
Paul F. Miller is Curator of The Preservation Society of Newport County.