Product Type: Stylophone keyboards and synthesizers
Newest Review: ... no one can hear the noise you make and most importantly a volume control. The Stylophone needs 3 AA batteries that are inserted in the b... more
What is that noise? Oh it's a Stylophone. . .
Stylophone Pocket Electronic Organ
Member Name: trayrope
Stylophone Pocket Electronic Organ
Advantages: Nostalgic toy.
Disadvantages: Noisy, hard to play.
Around Christmas time my Husband decided that he wanted a Stylophone, it was one of those toys he had never been brought as a child and he always remembered that the annoying kid down the road had one and he never did.
I had a quick look on eBay and found that they were relatively cheap. For a modern remake of the original Rolf Harris one it is around £10.00, there are also some original ones on eBay selling for around the same price. We managed to buy a second hand one from a local person for £3.50.
For those of you who don't know a Stylophone is a miniature analog stylus operated synthesizer. Invented in 1967 it was a popular toy until the mid 70's, Rolf Harris was the face of Stylophone, whenever anyone mentions Stylophone I instantly think of Rolf Harris.
The modern Stylophone measures 15.5cm x 9.5cm x 3.5cm, it looks pretty much the same as the original item apart from it has connections for your mp3 player, so you can play along to your favourite song, a headphone jack, very handy so no one can hear the noise you make and most importantly a volume control.
The Stylophone needs 3 AA batteries that are inserted in the battery panel on the back, these do last for a good couple of weeks considering the level of noise the Stylophone makes. To start making beautiful music you need to unclip the stylus from its handy niche on the top of the Stylophone, set volume to maximum and then press the stylus onto the metal keyboard, what then emits it's a high pitched squeally, wailly, warrbly sort of noise. To improve the sound coming from your musical instrument you can switch the vibrato switch on this then gives a lovely wibbly sound to the squeally, wailly, warbly noises, there is also a switch on the side marked 1, 2, 3. I am not sure what difference switching this makes to the sound and there is also a twisty dial underneath, this seems to make the Stylophone go higher pitched.
My husband was delighted with his present, he switched it on a started trying to play a song, when the lovely tuneful! Noise that is very authentic to Stylophone was emitted he did look a bit puzzled and continued in his attempts to make music like he remembered from his childhood for about an hour, he then passed it to our then eleven year old daughter to see if she could get anywhere with it. Amazingly after a few attempts she managed to play the theme song to Wallice and Gromit, which she then played repeatedly for a couple of days much to mine and my husbands delight.
I am in two minds as to whether I recommend this toy; on the one hand it is very authentic looking with its black and cream plastic casing and silver grid on top, the stylus is really well secured and easy to grip, the keyboard area is marked out 1 through 10 on one side and 1.5 through 11.5 on the other, the extra functions like headphone jack and volume control are great as not everyone appreciates the music a Stylophone makes, these are all pluses. On the other hand it is a bit of a gimmick, bringing back childhood memories for my husband and no doubt many others, it is really difficult to get any sort of tune out of the thing and I found it nigh on impossible to find a modern Stylophone music book.
The toy was popular for less than a week in our household and now languishes in a tub under my daughter's bed, but for around ten pounds it is almost worth buying for the nostalgia factor alone. My Husband wanted one as soon as he saw it but he soon got bored of it, if he could have time travelled back to 1975 and given it his five year old self it would have been wonderful, but unfortunately it does not come with a time machine.
In conclusion it is a bit of a gimmick but would make a nice gift or stocking filler for some one who was a child in the late 60's early 70's. If you can get one cheaply it is worth it for the couple of hours of fun and the amazement on your kids faces when you explain to them that this was the toy every child wanted in the 70's.
Thank you for reading xx
Summary: It is a bit of a gimmick but would make a nice gift or stocking filler for the right person.