There are some toys that you feel weird calling a toy. Because the word toy, at least in the modern sense, can carry with it some negative connotations. Garish. Plastic. Overly-branded. Cheaply made. So when a toy comes along that is none of these things, that is in fact the antithesis of these things, you almost feel bad calling it a toy. But what else can you call something that's sole function is to bring on the fun?
Richard Upchurch got the idea for making the Voice Recorder while watching a group of kids playing. He came to the realization that while all of the toys made noise, none encouraged the kids to make their own sounds. He set out to make a simple machine that would record and playback sounds while allowing the user to change the pitch and speed of the recording. That's it. And that's enough. The kids will do the rest.
Here's the voice recorder in action:
Richard makes these by hand in various rooms of his Manhattan apartment. They are available at his Etsy shop ($48) and at various retail shops, including the MoMA Design Store in Manhattan. Check out the rest of his interesting projects at his website.
(Image: Richard Upchurch)