Customer Reviews: Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube
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on February 22, 2001
This was purchased as a gift for my 1 yr old and became the immediate favorite of both my daughter and her 3 yr old brother. This is the first game that they can both play together. It keeps them occupied for hours, and the music, while clearly electronic, closely mimics the sound of real instruments and is not at all irritating- so we don't mind listening to it for hours. It is also exceptionally durable, having now been dropped, kicked, licked, and knocked out the car window. No cracks, no broken pieces, and still plays as well as it did the first day out of the box.
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on February 13, 2009
The MUNCHKIN Mozart Magic Cube is a poor-quality copy of the original EMBRYONICS Mozart Magic Cube.

My guess is that Munchkin bought out the rights to this toy from the original manufacturer, which went out of business, then "redesigned" it more cheaply. While keeping the overall shape and function the same, they changed the outside colors, and the inner workings as well.

My older son received an Embryonics version in 2004, and we all loved it dearly until its battery cover broke. My younger son received the Munchkin version as a replacement gift, and we have all been sorely disappointed. The sound quality is horrible--the Munchkin cube sounds squeaky, tinny, and ridiculous, especially compared to the Embryonics version (which wasn't perfect, but much, much better).

You can still find the older Embryonics version online. It has all yellow sides, the buttons are printed with different colors, the edges and corners are all purple, and it has the name "Embryonics" printed above "Mozart Magic Cube." I found used ones and a "new" one--it was in Munchkin packaging, but was the old version as described. Look closely for the name "Embryonics" on the cube.

Shame on Munchkin for cheaping out and ruining a great toy, then coasting along on the great reviews and reputation of the original (notice that most of the favorable reviews of this product are several years old--they are for the Embryonics version). If you can't find an original, skip this one.
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on July 1, 2003
I am on my second child and this toy continues to be a favorite.
The cube has six buttons. It will play one of six Mozart tunes. One button switches between the tunes while the others turn on and off specific instruments (piano, violin, harp, french horn, flute).
The cube has rounded corners with durable rubber bumpers that make it both safe and durable. It is amazing how much abuse this toy can take.
My oldest received the toy when she was 13 months and now nearly three years later she is still playing with it as is her younger brother.
A little pricey, but very-well made. A toy that will last from one child to another.
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on October 15, 2001
We bought this last year for Christmas for our (then) 18-month-old. She loved it, but the real surprise was last month when our 10-month-old discovered it. To say he loved it would be a real understatement!! He loves to crawl around after it and will play with it for 30 minutes at a time--amazing for a baby to play with something for that long.
The music is a pleasure to listen to, especially compared with most musical baby toys. Like the other reviewers, I would have liked the addition of a volume control, but otherwise this toy is perfect. The batteries even seem to last a very long time. I was amazed that my 2-1/2 year old and 10-month-old can be mesmerized by the same toy.
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on November 2, 2005
My wife and I have been living with these 8 tunes for the last 4 months with our 7 mos. old. He was attracted to the noise and lights from the outset, and it remains his favorite light and noise toy to this day. He can manipulate it easily, and is fascinated by his control over the sound.

The toy itself is very well designed. The panels take just the right pressure to activate, the chip does an excellent job of determining whether a press is designed to turn a panel on, off, or was just an errant double-tap from a youngster with less than 100% control over his appendages. The rounded rubber corners are safe, flash enticingly, and apparently taste delightful.

There are only 2 reasons I give this 4 stars rather than 5. The first is that moisture can seep around the panels and destroy the contacts inside, keeping the panel from operating. We've lost one panel so far to well-aimed spit-up. Babies and wetness go hand-in-hand, after all. The second is that while the eight songs are well-chosen, it would be nice if manufacturers started designing these toys with the ability to either purchase or download additional tunes to update the cube. For nearly 50 dollars, either a tune-stick slot or a flash USB port would be a very welcome relief to parents who have heard the french horn solo to twinkle, twinkle little star for an hour straight.

**Six month update***
The cube is still going strong, except for the one panel I mentioned as having failed earlier. Although we use rechargeable batteries it is still nice that it really sips battery power. The set of included alkalines went nearly 6 months before needing to be replaced.

The cube is still a favorite toy, and has grown with our son. Now it is baby's first boom-box -- he drags it with him to other toys, gives it a casual slap to get it started, and enjoys the music while he plays with his blocks or toy cars. When he really focuses on it, he enjoys making it change sounds by activating or deactivating the various panels. He has the sing-along version as well, and he will fire them both up and frown at the cacophony; much like a 3-foot orchestra conductor.

The bottom line is that this toy has been a winner from day one, and continues to be a winner. For its price, it is a fantastic value, and for the fun it brings our baby, it is priceless. If I could, I would update our star rating to 5. My earlier comments are still valid, but it's really the maestro's toy, and it's pretty clear how he feels about it: 5 stars all the way.
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on September 30, 2008
I have read through some of the ridiculous low-star reviews and can't believe how anal people are. This is a baby's toy for $20. It's not a minature version of the New York Symphony stuffed into a $600 Bose music player, like some people are expecting.

Since this is a child's toy, I think it's serves it's purpose well. The music is clear. The lights flash when the music plays. I think it's neat that you can add or subtract musical instruments during the song that's playing so your baby can hear what each individual instrument sounds like.

My daughter loves the toy. It keeps her occupied for long periods of time and she's learning the names of each instrument and how they each sound both together in an orchestra and individually.

The people who are expecting this to be something more than it is need to understand that the toy wasn't designed for their enjoyment. The toy was designed for children. And, in my opinion, it's an exceptional toy that will keep most children entertained which, in and of itself, is a blessing.
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on January 12, 2009
We purchased this item both for our daughter and as a gift. The construction is rock hard plastic and a sound quality that would embarrass a monkey with a hurdy-gurdy. Please listen to the sound 'quality' before you decide to buy.
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on January 2, 2013
There are really mixed reviews for this product, and I think this is for two reasons: 1) the fact that different people are looking to this product with very different ideas of what they think their kids will get out of it and 2) the fact that the product quality really did go downhill when Munchkin took over from Embryonics. Let me try to help you sort out both points.

Before I do, I should mention that I originally got the Munchkin version, didn't like it, and ended up replacing it with the original Embryonics version, which I like much better. My 19-month-old seemed to enjoy both versions.

Before you get this product, ask yourself, "What value do I think it will have for my child?" Here are a few possibilities:
1) You just want some kind of musical toy with which the child can interact to change the song that's playing. If this is your thought, you will probably be happy with either version of this toy. (Then again, if that's ALL you want, you'd probably be just as happy with the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes toy, which my son enjoys, and which is both cheaper and more portable.)

2) You want a musical toy that's a bit more interactive, where the child can change the sound of the song that's on. In this case, you'd also probably be happy with either version of this toy. My 19-month-old son loves to press the buttons to turn on and off different instruments, change the song playing, and just listen to the music and dance and clap to it. He does seem to enjoy this more than the Baby Einstein player mentioned above, perhaps because he can change things up in a greater variety of ways.

3) You hope that your child will start to recognize the sound of different instruments from this toy. If you have any thought like this in your head, banish the thought of getting this toy - you will likely be disappointed with either version of it. You will certainly be disappointed on this count if you get the Munchkin version. On the better, original Embryonics version of this toy, the piano and harp sound reasonably true to their real sound and the flute is recognizable on the higher notes, at least. The french horn, however, is barely recognizable as a brass instrument, and doesn't have any of the beauty and timbre of sound that a real French horn does. And the violin - forget it! It doesn't even sound like a string instrument, and I doubt a child hearing the violin part on this cube and then hearing a real violin would hear any similarity. On the newer Munchkin version, only the piano sounds like the same family of instrument - kind of like a harpsichord, as one musically-trained reviewer has noted. The rest of the instruments sound like synthesized crap. (I suspect that none of this will matter to you in the least if you just want a musical toy your child can interact with in some way, and despite this shortcoming, I think most toddlers would enjoy either version of the toy just because it is plays music and does so in an interactive way. Nonetheless, in this day of tiny, inexpensive high-quality music players, I don't get why they couldn't make this to sound more like real instruments, and to have better sound quality overall.)

4) You would like to enjoy this toy with your child, or at least not be driven crazy by it while he is playing with it. As you can tell from what I've said already, I definitely agree with other reviewers that the newer Munchkin version of this toy has much inferior sound quality than its predecessor. Not only are the Munchkin instrument sounds largely unrecognizable, but the music overall sounds tinny, with the result that it is really grating to listen to it for any length of time. And if your kid likes this toy as much as ours does, you will be listening to it a LOT. I think that for this reason alone, it is probably worthwhile to check the listings until you can find the older Embryonics version of the music cube. Even if you aren't especially musically inclined. Then again, if your kid already has lots of toys that sing and make noise (mine doesn't), you may have developed the ability to tune out any kind of tinny synthesizer-produced ruckus, in which case you might as well save yourself the trouble of hunting down an Embryonics cube and just get the Munchkin version.

Also, it is worth noting that the newer Munchkin version is marginally better-looking, in case that matters to anyone reading this review. On the Embryonics version, all the sides are a somewhat drab yellow, with only the edges and centers of the cube offering any variety in color, whereas the Munchkin version is more colorful - this is the version pictured in all the product photos.
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on October 28, 2003
My son received this toy when he was 4 months old, and was instantly taken with the music. Now at 15 months, he still loves this toy, but he can also press the buttons to make the music play himself. I have noticed that he almost always presses the flute button, so I think that he has learned from this toy which sounds he likes better. So not only is this toy great fun for little ones, but it is also educational. I have also given this toy as a gift to many of my friends babies and have always gotten positive feedback.
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on April 30, 2010
Please save your money and don't buy this product. The majority of good reviews were made long ago when this toy actually had decent build quality. The model that's been shipping since 2009 is questionable at best. My toddler played with it only a few times before it stopped working. We've received zero help from manufacturer. It's unfortunate they switched to cheaper components as this was a promising toy.
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