Monday, February 27, 2012

Tag Team "Whoop There It Is"

I had a lot of great toys when I was a kid. And by virtue of being the oldest of 3 children, I had fun toys coming in the house long after I was at an age where you'd normally get kid toys.

I was well into middle school, but could still be in the basement, fascinated by my little sister's ball popper.

Or looking at the same old Viewmaster reels that I'd been clicking through for (literally) half my life.

And I loved our Fisher-Price record player. If you don't remember this toy, check out the demonstration video.

See it on Youtube.

It came with 5 two-sided records, which each played some kind of classic Americana piece (and I mean "Americana" in the nostalgic sense, not the roots-rock sense).

It's how I learned some of the canon of songs that included "Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone" and "London Bridge" and "Edelweiss" (as well as the now-considered-kind-of-racist "Camptown Races"). Songs that pretty much every one of every age, knew.

Looking back on it, it was kind of strangely educational.

(I'll point out that I'm sure Fisher-Price was not intending to educate me; all the songs involved were Public Domain tunes, meaning they didn't have to pay any licensing fees)

One of the fun things about being a parent, is that you get to buy toys for your kid, and play with them yourself.

So we have a Ball Popper and Candyland.

Some of the toys are updated, like the Fisher-Price Little People farm, which is now totally plastic, but still has the barn door that goes "Moo!"

And though you can buy a vintage Fisher-Price Record Player, they don't make 'em like they used to.

We received, as a gift, its modern-day equivalent:

The Little Tikes Pop Tunes Music Mixer.

See my son and I play with it on Youtube.

First, I think it's kind of funny yet cool that they still make a "Kids Record Player" since most of today's kids have never seen a record player, and never will.

And I'm actually okay with the idea of the turntable being a Club DJ/Mixin'-And-Scratchin' kind of turntable. It's fun enough.

But I'm struck with the music choices. Here in 2012, music licensing is big business, and it's easy. So there is no need to rely on Public Domain tunes.

Instead, the "Canon" that my son is learning includes "Free Your Mind" and "Whoop There It Is."

"Whoomp There It Is?" Is that really the "Edelweiss" of this generation?

See it on Youtube.

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