Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Bring Back Happy Apple!  6

Posted on September 11th, 2007. About Uncategorized.

Prior to Gabriel’s birth, my mother sent me several of my favorite toys from my days as an infant. I was delighted that she had saved Happy Apple, which she reports was a preferred toy of both my brother and me. I found a picture online that captures the essence of both the apple and the box in which it was packaged.


In 2003 I was giving a baby shower for a dear friend, the theme of which was “our favorite childhood toys.” I immediately determined I was going to give her a Happy Apple, but after two separate trips to Toys R Us and some research, I realized Happy Apple was no longer made. What a tragedy! For those who never had a Happy Apple, it is basically a plastic apple with a weight in the base and a bell inside that makes a “dingle dingle” sound as the baby pushes it. It remains upright because of the presence of the weight.

So, I was disappointed – why stop making such a cool toy? Then, when Mom sent my Happy Apple to me to give to Gabriel, I was excited that he would have the chance to play with it. And he does – he loves it. It’s the one toy he consistently enjoys at the young age of two months. It’s teaching him to reach, to touch, to focus. It has been awesome to watch him learning from it.

Just after he was born was when startling headlines appeared about Mattel/Fisher-Price (now one company) and the presence of toxins, including lead-based paint, in many of their products. Production has now been outsourced to China, and their toys are no longer produced here in the United States. Following this news, I noticed on my Happy Apple that strangely uncommon phrase: “Made in U.S.A.” Wow, truly an antique.

I would like to call on Fisher-Price to bring back Happy Apple! Bring back what Happy Apple stands for – happy infants and young children, learning, from a simple, yet so clever, toy, crafted by Americans and safe to enjoy.

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