By Fisher Price – Fisher Price, CC0, Link
Pocket Rockers by Fisher-Price, a personal stereo brand popular with elementary school-age children in the late 1980s, played a unique style of miniature cassette tapes exclusive to Fisher-Price. Internet Archive Archivist Jason Scott has created a collection of Fisher-Price Pocket Rockers songs. He writes:
Pocket Rockers was a Personal Stereo brand manufactured by Fisher-Price in the late 1980s, aimed at primary school-aged children. They played a proprietary variant of miniature cassettes (which appeared to be a smaller version of 8-track tape) released only by Fisher-Price themselves. Designed as both a fashion accessory and a music player, the devices were enough of a teenage craze to even be briefly banned in some schools. Each volume was housed in a variety of stylish, translucent colors and contained two mono songs that could be clipped to clothing to showcase one’s musical taste. Tapes were available from several pop stars including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Tiffany or Debbie Gibson and even rock stars like Bon Jovi or The Bangles. The commercials featured an original theme song which was a parody of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Down on the Corner”. In addition to the standard blue on black and pink on black color schemes, 3 variations of Pocket Rockers were released using Memphis Milano (a popular and contemporary design style at the time). A collector’s set with such a design was released, and a deluxe system was also released, which included speakers and a display stand with an amplifier. Other official Pocket Rockers branded accessories included bracelets, a bandana, a variety of band storage options (cases, frames and clips), mini band clips, a carrying case, a purse and headphones. After a sharp drop in sales, the Pocket Rockers line was discontinued in 1991, eventually being dropped from Fisher-Price’s toy catalog in 1992. Today, the player and cassettes are coveted by collectors for their unique novelty and design.
Here’s a pocket rocker from musicians trying to sound like The Bangles playing “Walk Like An Egyptian” and “Manic Monday”:
“Due to licensing issues, some of the Pocket Rockers have provided songs recorded by anonymous studio musicians instead of the original artists. This is an example of that.”