Author Topic: Fisher-Price Tape Recorder  (Read 215 times)

plongeur66

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Fisher-Price Tape Recorder
« on: December 24, 2016, 11:21:19 AM »
Grabbed this out of the Badwill bin a couple of months ago. Free, so what did I have to lose?

Checking it out this morning, I noticed that the FF and REW buttons went down, but PLAY would not. I put batteries and a tape in. Motor ran and moved the tape on FF or REW, but play button still jammed. I took the back off and inspected the mechanism, then I decide to take a look at the bottom of the cassette compartment:

I notice TWO white levers. The one on the right is expected. It's to lock the record button when a cassette has the record-prevention tab punched out. You would have to cover the hole with tape to re-enable recording on that tape. Fisher-Price decided to add the second lever to disable the PLAY button also whenever there wasn't a recordable cassette in the recorder.  I taped over the holes on my test cassette and everything works fine. It cut out a couple of times when I shook it, lightly filing the battery terminals fixed that problem.
Going price on feebay for these is about $40. Some are listed as "defective, play button stuck". Sellers don't know better, apparently the badwill minion that tested it didn't know either.
Belt is still healthy after 32 years. Many feebay sellers saying "You can't buy USED stuff like this - the belts degrade into a gelatinous mass like the boobs on a geriatric ex-pornstar after only a couple of years! You need to drop $200 on one of my overpriced refurbs!"
Keep the belts away from smoke (cooking grease can be worse than tobacco) and they may well last more than 32 years. Best to run the equipment for 15-30 minutes once a year to keep the bearings lubed and to make sure the belt doesn't develop a flat spot where it is sitting on the motor pulley.
With prices appearing to be on the rise, I'll keep this for several years before selling it.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 11:24:30 AM by plongeur66 »

Scav

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Re: Fisher-Price Tape Recorder
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2016, 10:38:46 PM »
Very neat. Hard to believe it's still working great after all these years!

This takes me back. I had one pretty similar but a little newer design when I was small.

At an early age I figured out the tape trick and ruined a few good cassettes before I learned better. Always been a tinkerer I guess.