“When you red about animated music boxes, all it means is that one or more parts on the outside of the music box moves while the music is playing. Music boxes in clear plastic cases don’t technically qualify under the label of animated music boxes. These are a diminutive derivative from the huge animated figures that did their dances in huge town hall clocks. Only a few of these grand old clocks survive, but animated music boxes that fit inside your home can easily be found.
The most famous of animated music boxes are ballerina musical jewelry boxes. One even holds a poignant place in a scene from “”The Silence of the Lambs””. The ballerina doesn’t do an awful lot – she just spins about in a circle while the music plays. However, this has become something of a cultural icon in the last fifty years. No little girl’s bedroom seems to be complete without a ballerina animated music box. They can still be easily acquired today.
Far more impressive were animated ballerina music boxes that didn’t have anything to do with places to keep jewelry or other treasures. These looked like little porcelain dolls in a tutu standing on a metal base. When the music played, the ballerina would not only turn – and then do half-turns – but would rise up and down so the tips of the ballerina slippers would come down only on the beat.
Finding New Treasures
There is a thriving collector trade in animated music boxes which meets virtually on the Internet. You can find many vintage animated music boxes on websites from specialty online stores or from online auction sites like eBay. However, not all animated music boxes have to be old. You can also get brand, spanking new personalized music boxes. Keep in mind that these will be hand made and so they will cost a lot of money.
If you don’t like to buy something you haven’t first inspected thoroughly, there are still real world options for you in finding animated music boxes. You can check out antique shops, flea markets, swap meets and gift stores. You could also check out toy stores, which often have a few selections of kid-safe animated music boxes.
Do you remember the classic toy from the 1970’s, Fisher-Price Record Player? That was a music box made to look like a record player. Although it only cost a few dollars in the 1970’s, they are now highly sought after collectables that can often bring in prices of $500 (US).”