The Mozart Magic Duct-Tape-Resistant Cube

The Mozart Magic Music Cube is unique in the universe of toys in that its construction utterly resists repair via either crazy glue or duct tape. Oh, sure, you can try, but I promise your fix will not hold. The battery retention panel is severely weakened by the presence of a switch right in the middle of the plastic, which leaves it with almost no structural integrity to resist the pressure of the spring-backed, outward-pushing battery. There is so little surface area to which one can apply glue without permanently sealing the battery in place, and no place to apply duct tape adequately without disrupting the large side buttons which are, after all, the point of the toy.

A two-foot fall is all it takes to snap the battery retention panel. Miles broke Simone’s cube. All repair attempts failed (the only thing I can imagine working would be to encircle the whole unit with an old leather belt, but that would of course ruin the lines, not to mention the functionality) so we replaced it for her. Then Miles went to visit and broke the replacement in the same way within minutes.

Embryonics, you owe us $70.

Music: The Fall :: My Ex-Classmates’ Kids

35 Replies to “The Mozart Magic Duct-Tape-Resistant Cube”

  1. I suppose Embryonics designed the cube using Iraqi improvisatory methods.

    Look at it this way: If the thing were designed properly, they wouldn’t sell so many. Poor design props up our economy. Look at the Bay Bridge: They built us one in 1930-whatever, and now lots of folks get to make money building another one two lanes over! They wouldn’t have that chance if it’d been designed properly the first time.

  2. So, this is an old entry in your blog, but it showed up as I googled Embryonics cube… in search of a way to replace only the battery cover! I am so pissed. I don’t want to throw this away but haven’t been able to repair or replace this. *sigh* At least I know I am not alone.

  3. How did you find the company there are no addresses or phones numbers anywhere I can find. Do you have a contact number or address

  4. Thanks for your blog I have been looking all over for a way to fix the broken battery cover on the music cube! I’ve just contacted munchkin and I hope it works! I can relate to all those parents who’ve had the broken toy sitting around forever. Its too hard to explain the meaning of broken to a toddler.

  5. Same deal, broken battery door conver. All repair attempts failed. I will contact them as well. Thanks for the info.

    Mike

  6. Thank you for the information. We too have the same unfixable cube problem. A heavy-duty rubber band is a temporary, albeit dangerous, solution to soothe the weeping toddler. No telling when that rubber band will snap, however. Time to hide the cube.

    Why couldn’t the less-tuneful, woofing, panting plastic dog toy from Grandma break instead?

    Thank you again.

  7. Same problem as everyone else. It took me awhile to figure out munchkin made it. I called them and am trying to get a replacement battery cover. Very unhappy 14 month old. Why don’t they just add screws at both ends? AAAAAAhhhhh.

  8. Mama broke the cube!! Oops! Mama needs to replace in a hurry. I wish I would of found this web page before I super glued myself to the badly engineered cube! Contacting Munchkin Corp next and will reply with my findings!

  9. Ahhh -THANKYOU.I am yet another with a broken door on my cube! I will now follow the link to the new door. Again thankyou all!

  10. Well…I am pleased to report that I emailed the company and they responded within one day…. no kidding!! And all they asked me for was my home address. I gave it to them and a month later I rec’d the battery cover free of charge and it is on the cube which my 2 1/2 year old was happy to see for 3 minutes!! Oh well! The only reason it took them a month was the holidays! The email address I used was cserv@munchkin.com Good luck to all!!!

  11. Yes,me too – I emailed and even though I am in Europe they sent me a new door ASAP!
    Excellent service!
    And the new door is a (slightly) improved version – a little bit more reinforcing of those weak points.
    Good to see a good product being supported by a good company….I would still like to see a redesign though….maybe for the Beethoven Cube…

  12. Too funny that all of us found this page to fix our broken toy! I was going to give the thing to Good Will, but decided they wouldn’t have much use for a broken toy, either, so I decided to give it one more chance, and do another search. Now I know where to go! Hope the new battery door lasts longer than a month!

  13. Wow. I thought I was alone with this problem! Glad to see we all have each others support getting through this.
    I have not one, but two of these blasted cubes. Of course, its my childrens favorite toy.
    Clear packing tape works pretty good for awhile. You will have to replace it every few weeks. Thank god for the link to the manufacturer! I’ve just emailed them and I hope to hear back soon.
    Cheers!
    Marc

  14. Thank goodness I found this blog! Our toy has been broken for over a year and I really wanted to get it fixed for our fourth child! I know she will love it and I am so thrilled that I know how to get a new part for it!! Also tried superglue and duct tape. Just as everyone else said, it didn’t work. Thank you!!

  15. I just requested my second battery door and had to google this site to remind me how I got it fixed the first time…

    Do give them a call. As everyone else pointed out, they are very responsive and will get the new battery door in the mail the next day.

    From their web site:

    Our Customer Service Representatives are here from 8:00 AM – 5 PM (Pacific Time), Monday-Friday. So call us at our toll-free number for questions about our products and company.

    By Phone:
    800-344-BABY (2229)

    By Email:
    cserv@munchkin.com

    By Mail:
    Munchkin, Inc.
    16689 Schoenborn Street
    North Hills, CA 91343

  16. Thank you so much for this site. I e-mailed Munchkin and received the part about a month later. My elation quickly turned to disappointment when the cube still wouldn’t work with the new part, though it fit perfectly. It took us a while to figure out that the spring that pushes down on the batteries was slightly shorter on the new part. With our old spring transplanted, the cube worked again. Happy toddler = happy parents.

  17. I have no idea how the one we have broke. I went to get it for my daughter and discovered the fatal flaw. The thing is we have had it for over 9 years. Not bad for an electronic toy.

  18. I know I’m taking a chance and it’s ok, but I’d like to know how to take the cube apart. One of the LEDs is either burnt out or not working and I’ve tried everything, but can’t get the cube to disassemble. It’s the LED beneath the french horn. My guess is that the corners slide out and that would present some screws underneath, but I can’t get the corners to budge. Any ideas?

  19. Richard – Since I wrote this post 7 years ago, my boy is 8 now and no longer has the cube :) So I really can’t say. Worth a shot though. The worst that can happen is it turns into a pile of LEDS and diodes for your child to play with :)

  20. Thanks for getting back to me. I figured as much, but I thought maybe someone else would have an idea. I don’t want to break it. It’s just annoying me. He doesn’t even realize its broken.

  21. Hey Richard,
    i see it’s been a year ago you posted your question but did you ever find out how to open up the cube? I’ve got a similar problem now and need to get behind the main orchestra button, but i can’t get anything to budge…

  22. If you’re unable to order a new door from the company, First report the problem to Consumer Product Safety Commission at http://www.saferproducts.gov/Default.aspx
    since the easily breakable door leaves your child exposed to batteries. If your toy has cracked panels, report that as well, since the shared plastic is sharp and could seriously injure a child (internal punctures and cuts) if swallowed.
    Next, request a new door from the company: http://www.munchkin.com/customer-service
    Lastly, with the cover in place (without batteries) drill a small hole, smaller than the screw size you plan to use, though the plastic cover just to the right of the on/off switch and into the toy cube. Trying to put a screw through the plastic without first drilling a pilot hole will probably crack the plastic. Then to be on the safe side, only allow play with adult supervision, as your fix may fall apart.
    As for removing panels around the instrument squares, they snap off but you have to be careful not to break the fasteners.

  23. Hey,
    I see I’m a little late but this might help you Nicolas, and others, needing to open the cube. Upon recieving a defective Mozart cube, I decided to try and fix it (given that the company where I bought it from was sending me a new one).
    The cube’s main orchestra button didn’t work yet all other buttons did. In trying to fix it, I need to open it up. To do this you need to:
    – have a drill, hammer, and hole punch
    – looking at the cube, you can see just a little bit in from the corners there is a small circle in the colourful plastic
    – use your drill to drill through these circles. Drilling these will reveal the tread-end of a screw
    – after drilling, use a hammer and hole punch to hit the screw. After doing this for all 4 corners, the plastic side should easily come off
    (note: to reconnect the side back on, you can use a strong adhesive glue or just some packaging tape on all sides)
    Hope that helps :D

  24. So my question for all of you is…. How can i hack this thing to make it less LOUD? Man, it needs a volume control! I thought about putting tape over the “speaker holes” but the sound seems to come out everywhere. Any suggestions?

  25. Ten years later and this post is still helpful. Thanks for the advice everyone! I emailed for a replacement and we’ll see what happens!

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