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Sesame Street Elmo plays piano electronic musical book

1 Feb

Sesame Street Elmo Plays Piano
Play-A-Song electronic toy book20180129_221611

Almost 2 weeks ago, I received a request from one of my viewers at Katrina’s Toy Channel, she wrote:snip for blog post

That very day, I boogied over to Amazon and bought this electronic toy book!

The book was much larger than I expected at 12.5″x13″. It is a large hardcover book with an attached piano on the right hand side. The piano has 9 keys, each corresponding to it’s own color: violet, light green, red, sky blue, pink, green, orange, purple and yellow.

To the left of the keys, there are 10 buttons, ( bottom to top ): Elmo, blue mitten, Barkely, moon, 123, Zoe, sun, Cookie monster, Big Bird, Little Bug. Each key plays it’s own song.


The picture above doesn’t exist as a page in the book, ( though it certainly should! ), I made it for you using the back cover and the keyboard. It really explains how this toy book works!

The book features 10 classic nursery rhymes, changed by a word or 2 to allow Sesame Street workshop to copyright and patent the rhymes – though hardly original. I would call it low hanging fruit, and disappointing that a large corporation can’t manage to hire talented writers and musicians to create original works. But children won’t care or even realize the toy makers unoriginality. Here are the Sesame Street Nursery Rhymes and the classic nursery rhymes that they copy:

Here we dance Looby Loo              – Here we dance Looby Loo
3 Little Pigeons                                  – 3 Little kittens
Rig a jig jig                                          – Rig a jig jig
Hey Twiddle Twiddle                       – Hey diddle diddle
1, 2 buckle my shoe                          – 1, 2 buckle my shoe
Little Miss Zoe                                   – Little Miss Muffet
Oh dear what can the matter be? – Oh dear what can the matter be?
Cookie Monster had a farm           – Old Mcdonald had a farm
Mary had a little lamb                    – Mary had a little lamb
This little bug went to market       – This little piggy went to market

The pages of the book are very sturdy. They are not paper, as I would have guessed that they’d be. They are cardboard: the consistency of a shiny cereal box. A child would need to put in some effort to damage this book. The pages do have a tendency to stick together. In fact, I shot the complete play video for this toy book two days ago, just now realizing that I missed the Little Miss Zoe page altogether as it was thoroughly stuck together. I re-shot and re-posted the whole video at considerable inconvenience.

The book is set to be played in a ‘landscape’ orientation. There are 20 pages in the book, they are paired in sets of 2: one page features the illustration, and the other page features the nursery rhyme and the color coded music.20180131_190932

How to play:
-Press a song button and sing along.
-Watch the piano keys light up one-by-one with the melody.
-Then follow the lighted piano keys to play the song yourself.
-Match the colorful music notes in the book to the piano keys to play on your own!

Watch the Full Complete Play Video!

This book featured in this article, and in the above video is for sale on eBay:

This toy requires 3 watch style batteries. These are strange sized batteries that will not be
stocked in the average home. When your child’s toy needs new batteries, a special trip to acquire new batteries must be made. These batteries cost $5.99 for 2 sets, ( 6 batteries ).
I would have preferred to see 4 AA batteries instead. A common battery, easy to find, and easy to buy in rechargeable!

Aside from the non-original lyrics and melodies, and aside from the battery style selected to power this toy, I like this toy and I think that your child will LOVE it!

-beautiful and stout hardcover
-sturdy pages
-multi-colored piano keys
-cute illustrations featuring lovable Sesame Street characters


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Battery operated toy trouble shooting guide

11 Jul

You’ve just purchased that REALLY GREAT singing, dancing, walking, talking and jiggling toy off of eBay, but when you tried to play with the toy it did NOTHING!!

Don’t despair, TROUBLE SHOOT! While all battery operated and electronic toys can stop working for no explicable reason, many times it is a simple problem that can be easily remedied.

Here is your basic trouble shooting guide:

  1. Insert BATTERIES. Here at Katrina’s Toys we ship our toys without batteries. We do this for many reasons: it’s against USPS rules to ship batteries, it adds unnecessary weight to shipping.
  2. Batteries installed wrong. Make sure the batteries are in the right slots, facing the right direction, and completely seated in their little slots.
  3. Old Batteries. Try some fresh batteries. Or if you’re using some cheap brand, try a different brand. If using re-chargeables , make sure it is fully and properly charged.
  4. Battery compartment lid is not screwed on snuggly. Some toys will not work unless that lid is re-installed. Using a screw driver, gently hand tighten those screws to re-install the lid.
  5. Check your on/off switches. Some toys have actual on/off switches located most often on the voicebox or on the battery compartment. However, some toys are activated by light, by voice, some by squeezing sensors located in feet, tummies, ears etc. Please contact your seller if you are not sure how to “turn-on” your toy.
  6. Re-set the reset button. This will be a tiny hole, most likely located on the battery compartment lid. Insert a paper clip end or a pencil tip and give it a little poke.
  7. Corrosion: If the toy has been sitting for a long time with batteries stored inside or the battery compartment has been exposed to moisture and air there could be some corrosion. In addition to replacing the batteries, clean the battery contacts. I have had good results with q-tips and plain old windex. For heavy corrosion you can also try a baking soda paste.

These tips will solve most problems. However, sometimes toys will stop working for absolutely no reason at all. They will require more advanced repair.

Fresh batteries here!

Katrina’s Toy Blog recommends rechargeable batteries – so much better for the environment, and you will find them to be better for your wallet too!! Here’s what you will need from Amazon.

Energizer AA Rechargeable batteries NiMH 2300 mAh 1.2V NH15 – 12 Count

EBL 8 Bay AA, AAA, Ni-MH, Ni-CD Rechargeable Battery Charger – Upgraded ETL Certified

DISCLAIMER: I often review or link to products & services that I regularly use and think you might find helpful. To support my blog and my youtube channel, I use Affiliate links wherever possible, which means if you click one of the links in this video or description and make a purchase I may receive a small commission or other compensation. Thanks for the support!
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Busy World and Busy Town of Richard Scarry

26 Apr

busy busy world

busy busy town

Busy busy Town by Richard Scarry

Scarry’s most famous series of books was about Busytown. While his books are largely populated by common animal species such as cats, rabbits, domestic pigs, and mice, he proved to be quite adept at giving human characteristics to a seemingly endless number of creatures. Beavers, raccoons, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, owls, bears, goats, elephants, foxes, gorillas, crocodiles, dogs, wolves, anteaters, hyenas, baboons, chickens, worms, and insects were just some of the other animals to be featured in Scarry’s works. Many of his later illustrations feature characters in traditional Swiss clothing, such as lederhosen, and show architecturally correct drawings of half-timber houses. Examinations of drawings featuring mechanical devices, such as the rigging on a sailboat, also show that they were drawn with accuracy. His books have been popular with children throughout the world. Over 100 million copies of his books have been sold, and they have been translated into 30 languages.

The Busy World of Richard Scarry is a animated Children’s show which  aired from 1993 to 1996, first on Showtime, later on Nickelodeon, and ran for 65 episodes. The television series was based on the Busy Town books.


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Peppermint rose dolls by Mattel

11 Apr

Peppermint Rose was a line of dolls and plush toys  and figurines, made by Mattel and American Greetings in the early 1990s. It also inspired an animated half-hour special that was made in 1993, aired syndicated and released on video.

The line consisted of four dolls:

  • Peppermint Rose – Leader of the group, dressed in pink and white. In the animated special, her full name was Rose Richards and she was a typical stereotype of a valley teenage girl.
  • Miss Vanilla Daisy – Brunette, dressed in white with assorted colors. In the animated special, she was the smart-mouth tomboy.
  • Lemon Kiss Lily – Light brown haired girl in violet and lily-colored dress. In the animated special, her final name was Lemon Drop Lily.
  • Merry Mint Violet – African-American girl in deep purple and green dress. Other than the doll, she was included in the animated special but not in other products such as stickers, puzzles and cards.

“Discover a world of sweet scent-sations! Now girls can create candy-floral perfume they can wear! Two scented ways to play! Each 9 inch candy flower-themed doll comes with 12 floral scented and 12 candy scented Perfume Petals. Girls dissolve Perfume Petals in water to make real fragrance combinations they bottle and wear! Dolls join in the fragrant fun with 2 skirts – one floral scented and one candy scented. Girls layer both skirt looks to make luscious scent combinations. Peppermint Rose, Lemon Kiss Lily, Vanilla Daisy, and Merry Mint Violet dolls all have lovely long hair for lots of hair play, too! Dolls also include: basket to mix perfume, perfume bottle, doll fashion, hat, shoes.”

There were four dolls produced. Each one came with two fragrances, a rose comb, removable hat and a pair of shoes. The two fragrances were differently scented like the two parts of their names. For instance, Vanilla Daisy’s box reads:

“Magically make a Vanilla or Daisy perfume. Wear both for a floral and candy scent-sation!”

Complete set of Peppermint Rose dolls

 The plush toys were called Candy Blossoms.  They are large rabbit-like creatures with huge ears and flowers on their heads, they were sold as plush ‘teddy bears.’ There is a small compartment on the top of their heads that held a perfumed substance.

  • Lollipop Posey
  • Bubblegum Violet

Candy Blossom Lollipop Posey plush toy

Candy Blossom Bubble Gum Violet plush toy

The figurines were called Sweet Spray. They are much like the Candy Blossoms but sold as little figurines.

“Make your own sweet play perfume. Pour into Sweet Spray and mist on. Three adorable animal friends who spray candy-floral perfume! Each comes with 12 floral and 12 candy scented Perfume Petals girls dissolve in water to create sweet scents to wear. Girls simply pour water into rotocast animal atomizers, add “flowers,” fasten flower cap, and squeeze. Sweet Sprays have floppy fabric cars in candy-floral prints that coordinate with the dolls.”

Sweet Sprays atomisers were three plastic bunnies with large, floral printed fabric ears. They could be filled with the perfume provided and squeezed to mist out the scent.

  • Peppermint Posy
  • Bubblgum Daisy
  • Lemon Kiss Blossom

Sweet Spray Bubblegum daisy

Sweet Spray Peppermint Posey

Sweet Spray Lemon Kiss Blossom


Merry mint violet


Lemon Kiss Lily

Vanilla Daisy

peppermint rose


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1980’s Wind in the Willows plush by Fiddler’s Elbow

30 Mar

1980’s Wind in the Willows plush by Fiddler’s Elbow

In 1981, Fiddler’s Elbow collaborated with Ariel Books to produce bean bag toys based on the classic children’s story The Wind in the Willows illustrated by Michael Hague. The toys were featured on the cover of the American Express Christmas catalog.

These are bean filled plush dolls all about 7” in height. They are meant to look like the illustrated versions depicted by Michael Hague.

Mr. Badger: He is a kind but lonely figure who simply hates society and crowds. He has a big black and white head and is strong. Mr. Badger is seen as the wise one who always advises and guides the other characters. He is friendly and hospitable as he takes care of those who come to house. He is the quiet, steady friend who prefers his own company but will also come and help if you need him. He is a good planner as he plans the attack to get back the Toad Hall from the Wild Wooders.

Mole: The Mole is a mild mannered, home loving animal. He is shy, hardworking and enjoys sunshine and loves the river. He is keen to swim and wants to learn how to row a boat. The rat teaches it a few things of the river. The Mole is happy and eager and readily learns how to swim and row a boat

Ratty: He is hardworking, relaxed, kind and friendly. He loves the river and teaches the Mole many things about the riverside. He teaches the Mole how to swim and row. Ratty enjoys the simple pleasures of food and gossip. He has a brown little face with whiskers, bright eyes, small ears and thick shiny hair. The Rat knows a lot about the river and many stories of life on the river which shows how knowledgeable he is. He even plans a picnic with the Mole and warns him about the Wild wood. The rat likes to sing songs and knows how to row a boat.

Rabbit and Rodent: Described as goof or a mixed lot.


Mr. Toad: He is the richest character and the owner of Toad Hall. Although he is good natured, he is impatient and likes adventure. He is always trying something new and gets bored quickly. He never learns from his mistakes. He is crazy about cars and wants to drive forever even though he does not want to take lessons. He is a reckless driver and has been twice to the hospital and at least three to four times has been arrested for dangerous driving. His interest develops from houseboats to caravans to motorcars. He drives like a madman, is rude to the police and is caught for stealing. He escapes from prison dressed as a washerwoman. His friends finally reform him and win back Toad Hall from the Wild Wooders. The toad is good hearted but thick headed. He is boastful, strong and fearless but once he changes his ways, he becomes more humble, more sensible, thriftier (spends less money) and soon forgets about cars.

The Wind in the Willows is the original version, written by Kenneth Grahame, published in 1908.

Sequels include:

In 1983 Dixon Scott published A Fresh Wind in the Willows, which not only anticipated Horwood’s sequels (see below) by several years but also includes some of the same incidents, including a climax in which Toad steals a Bleriot monoplane.

William Horwood created several sequels to The Wind in the Willows: The Willows in Winter, Toad Triumphant, The Willows and Beyond, and The Willows at Christmas.

Jan Needle’s Wild Wood was published in 1981 with illustrations by William Rushton (ISBN 0-233-97346-X). It is a re-telling of the story of The Wind in the Willows from the point of view of the working-class inhabitants of the Wild Wood. For them, money is short and employment hard to find. They have a very different perspective on the wealthy, easy, careless lifestyle of Toad and his friends.

To view the Wind in the Willows plush available for sale click here:

Katrina9799s Household Variety shop specializes in toys: Disneyana, dolls, bears, plush toys puppets, action figures & more! We have 1000’s of neat items ranging from 2 – 50 years old in the shop. Stop by today and see what treasures we have in store for you. Katrina9799s household variety shop – the place for toy collectors!

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Why buy vintage toys? 7 great reasons…….

6 Mar


1. Save money

Buying used toys is a great way to save money while satisfying your child’s needs at the same time. Buying at bargain prices mean that you can get more for less, without sacrificing quality.

2. Increased variety

Buying used toys exposes you to a great variety that you will not otherwise see. Why not buy new ones? Actually, buying new toys can be pretty predictable, especially if you are looking at the latest arrivals. This is even more true when you are looking at popular brand names. You never know if you may come across something rare when you look at used toys. Remember that these are likely to be toys that are not manufactured any more. The variety that you are presented with will be less predictable and hence; more interesting.

3. Searching for great used toys is FUN

Have you ever browsed the hundreds of pages of toys on eBay and other lesser known shopping sites such as Bonanza? Wow! I could literally look for days and days! Even if you are focused on one type of item such as liddle kiddle dolls-you will have an incredible amount of fun just window shopping!

4. Good for the environment

Whenever you buy a used item you are literally saving an item out of the land-fill. This always feels good! How will we save mother earth? One way is by using our resources wisely and making good items last as long as possible.

5. Replace missing pieces to your child’s favorite toy or game

Is your child heartbroken because one of their favorite toys, that is in otherwise great condition, is missing a part or one of its accessories? The variety of toys in the on-line marketplace especially is so vast that you definitely can locate another model to ‘rob’ parts from to complete your child’s toy once again!

6. Re-live your childhood memories

Replacing that toy that held the fondest and most fuzzy feelings can be very satisfying!

7. Completing a collection

Starting a vintage collection can be fun! The more obscure the better as the thrill is always in the hunt! From garage sales, craigslist, thrift stores, eBay and other lesser known online shopping sites that you can find via google-the thrill is always in the hunt!!!

Here are 132 of my toy Collections!


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