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View Full Version : Disney Ukes at Toys R Us



Papa Tom
11-07-2010, 05:27 AM
If you're looking for that first uke for a little one in your life, check out the $20 plastic Disney ukes at Toys R Us. They are available in Princess, Toy Story, Handy Manny, Sponge Bob and maybe some other models, too. I didn't get to play one, but I was pretty impressed to see that they have geared tuners. Attempting to strum and tune one inside its box, I was able to pull off a high G, followed by CEA on the strings without breaking them.

I made the mistake of buying some junky $15 pressed wood models for my grandkids at a Ron Jon store. The kids were fine with them, but they always wanted ME to play them. Unfortunately, they wouldn't stay in tune for more than a few seconds at a time, so now they all think I'm a stinky ukulele player!

Anyway, these Disney models seem to be a cut above. If anybody buys one, I'd like to hear some feedback!

Doug W
11-07-2010, 05:47 AM
We have a workplace Christmas party coming up and we are supposed to bring a white elephant gift for under $20.00 US. Yesterday I stopped at a ToysRUs on the way back home. I was hoping for a SpongeBob uke but they didn't have any. I did, however find a "First Act" Discovery, model FG4022 for $19.99, (Under $20 US).


Attempting to strum and tune one inside its box, I was able to pull off a high G, followed by CEA on the strings without breaking them.
This uke had a plastic tie wrap over the strings, so it was especially tricky tuning it and playing it in the box but I was able to tune it well enough to decide that it would work for my situation.

Intonation - like a $20.00 uke. Okay if you stick to stuff below the 7th fret.
Tone - like a $20.00 uke. It is actually OK in the below $30 sense. Sounds better than the $30 Mahalos and not as good as a Makala Dolphin.
Materials - some type of laminate wood
Craftsmanship - just a step below the $30.00 Mahalos.

It comes pre-dinged in a number of spots so you don't have to wait for that first time you drop the uke on the floor.

There is a bit of space between the plastic nut and fretboard. This may be a special feature that I don't understand.

The sticker postition dots aren't exactly centered.

Conclusion: This uke would work for someone learning the basics. It will certainly work as a White Elephant gift.

Note: I also did read online where a kid got this model uke home and when he tuned it the neck broke off.

itsme
11-07-2010, 08:09 AM
It comes pre-dinged in a number of spots so you don't have to wait for that first time you drop the uke on the floor.
That made me snort tea out my nose! :p

SuzukHammer
11-07-2010, 09:19 AM
lol. Yes, doug, I like the "special feature" comment as well.

THanks for the laughs.

kenikas
11-07-2010, 09:31 AM
Another uke in the low price range that seems to be pretty good is the Rogue Soprano from Musicians Friend/Music123, I got one a week or so ago on a recomendation from MM Stan and although I haven't had time to really work with it much it seems like a pretty well made uke with reasonable intonation. I need to change out the crappy (GHS?) strings on it for some Aquila's and lower the action a bit but for $24.99 with free shipping to the conus ($29.99 with a gig bag) it's hard to beat! It also came with a "special" feature, a cheap chinese pitch pipe for a GUITAR! They also have a baritone for $29.99( I think).

Jerlial Prophet
11-07-2010, 09:32 AM
I picked up the Disney Pricess one for my daughter at Walmart for $10. All Plastic, except the tuners. Horrible strings, took a LONG time to get them into any semblance of a tuning but it is finally holding steady. Doesn't sound great but definitely sounds great for $10. After playing it a little bit I pick up the Dolphin with Aquilas and the Dolphin is way WAY better. The princess uke also has a very thin body. I'm considering putting some Aquilas on the princess uke and seeing what happens.

bazmaz
11-07-2010, 09:44 AM
Nice - but we all really know that the first uke should be a Makala Dolphin - bought one for my daughter - she only just turned one!

She plays with it (in a fashion) every day!

Ukulele Jim
11-07-2010, 09:47 AM
Nice - but we all really know that the first uke should be a Makala Dolphin

Seconded.

The cheap Disney ukes are kinda fun, but plan on replacing the strings and lowering the action if you really want to play it. And forget about D or any barred chords actually sounding in tune.

Papa Tom
11-07-2010, 10:18 AM
Cheez, guys....

I was talking about a TOY, not trying to spark a debate about whether it's worth saving pennies for a better instrument. Sure, there are better beginner ukes if you think your kid is really gonna be interested in the thing after two weeks, but not all of them have Cinderella or Handy Manny on the front.

I guess you've made a valid point about whether or not I'd actually be able to play recognizable songs on these instruments, though. Did the $10 Disney uke have geared tuners?

bazmaz
11-07-2010, 10:22 AM
Papa Tom - thing is though, my Dolphin cost 25. The Disney plastic uke costs (UK equivalent) 15. I spent an extra tenner - quite frankly, whether I think she will stick to it or not, it was 10. For that price difference I went with the actual instrument.

I think toy instruments actually do more harm than good - as soon as a kid tries to actually learn something and has the instrument fighting against him or her, then you face a risk of them abandoning for good.

The Dolphin wont do that

Sorry to rant. Then again, this is a Uke passionate forum

Papa Tom
11-07-2010, 01:41 PM
>>>Sorry to rant. Then again, this is a Uke passionate forum<<<<

No problem. I was just trying to keep it "lite." My grandchildren are not going to be ukulele players. They're going to be doctors and lawyers like their parents. I'm the only low-life musician in the family :) So it really doesn't matter how well their first ukulele plays on the 12th fret. If it has the right picture on it, they will remember it like I will always remember my Beatles and Monkees ukuleles. I was just wondering if this particular $20 uke series is more playable for ME than the garbage I bought at Ron Jon.

Jerlial Prophet
11-07-2010, 03:22 PM
Did the $10 Disney uke have geared tuners?

Yes, the $10 Disney Uke at Wal-Mart has geared tuners. They are the exact same ones they sell at Toys 'R Us for $20.

Ukulele Jim
11-08-2010, 03:54 PM
My grandchildren are not going to be ukulele players. They're going to be doctors and lawyers like their parents.

How sad for them that they're life is already mapped out like that.

Kauai808
11-08-2010, 04:21 PM
>>>Sorry to rant. Then again, this is a Uke passionate forum<<<<

No problem. I was just trying to keep it "lite." My grandchildren are not going to be ukulele players. They're going to be doctors and lawyers like their parents. I'm the only low-life musician in the family :) So it really doesn't matter how well their first ukulele plays on the 12th fret. If it has the right picture on it, they will remember it like I will always remember my Beatles and Monkees ukuleles. I was just wondering if this particular $20 uke series is more playable for ME than the garbage I bought at Ron Jon.

Picked up the Toystory uke at walmart for my 8 month daughter. I gotta admit, it is better then I thought. The strings are horrible so when the thing is tune, the strings are actually all different tension with the high g seeming like it is the most accurate. The other strings, although in tune, are really slacked. When fretting chords, the strings bend very easily. My only intension of buying this uke was for my daughter to drool on and beat her older brother with it. If she wants to play down the road I would get something real, but overall $10, can't go wrong.