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The portable record player, the most popular toy of the 1960s!

The portable record player was one of the most popular children’s toys from the late 1960s until the 1980s.
The portable record player, the most popular toy of the 1960s!
The portable record player, the most popular toy of the 1960s!

This portable device, which only played 45 rpm records, finally made it possible to take your music with you everywhere.

In 1960, when gramophones, phonographs and other record players were at the peak of their popularity, young people discovered rock and roll, the twist, and jukeboxes began to invade bars everywhere. However, children did not yet have their own devices on which they could listen to their favourite songs. And suddenly, a small, portable and easy to use electrophone appeared and changed the world.

A brand-new portable music device!

Designed for the very young, the portable record player was made of the plastic ABS. It had to be affordable, resistant and of course easy to use ... a far cry from all other vinyl turntables that worked by activating the tone arm!

Unlike other record players, the portable record player "swallowed" 45 rpm records whole. As soon as the record was inserted, it automatically began to play. The 45 rpm could be ejected at the touch of a button. However, it could not play the larger 33 rpm records.

A thundering success…

The best known is surely the made-in-Italy “Penny” portable record player produced by Lansay in 1972, with introduced millions of children to the joys of listening to music on their own. Because of its country of origin, its rounded lines, the perforated top side and its very "Italian design" aesthetics, it was impossible to resist its charms. It was originally available in red or orange, for example, in very "seventies" colours. A larger version of the device would follow a little later. In 1998, Lansay launched the first portable CD player designed to offer children a modernised version of this cult classic.

To this day, many devices such as CD-ROM players or games consoles still use this innovative insertion system. The device would go on to inspire various portable music players such as the Walkman, developed by Sony in 1979 and 1984 respectively.

A cult object for some nostalgics, the portable record player is still very much in demand, whether in its original version or the later version adapted to play CDs.

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