Tell me I'm not alone in recalling one of the best items in the toy box of late-'80s childhood: the Pocket Rocker. I came across this commercial from 1988, the year Fisher-Price introduced the mini-cassette players, yesterday and got so nostalgic that "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany, which I played ad nauseum in my little pink and black Pocket Rocker, has been playing in my brain ever since. (The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" and Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is A Place on Earth" were also in frequent rotation.) The thing was genius. The "tiny players, tiny tapes" appealed to kids' (or at least my) love of anything miniature. It also introduced the bookish, MTV-deprived among us to pop music. I made up dances in the living room, which involved learning to walk like an Egyptian and teaching my younger sister how to be a backup dancer. I think we both benefited.
Thus I was floored to discover that some of my contemporaries with a similar soft spot for 80s girl pop had no recollection of the device. When I started gushing about this lost totem of my youth last night to three female friends, they all denied knowing what it was, then confessed they'd first thought I was talking about a vibrator. (Friends, that would be the Pocket Rocket. Rocket.)
Nonetheless, I did a little digging today, and for the similarly obsessed, here's a list of every Pocket Rocker player, cassette and accessory ever produced. (Remember the belt clips? Anyone?) I also discovered that one is being auctioned off on eBay Friday with the highest bid currently $30.99. I briefly considered buying it so one of my younger co-workers could experience the magic, then resisted. It wouldn't be the same.