Fleamarket suitcase portable record playerIf you want to play your records in the park, y’all know what to do: get your mitts on a portable LP player.

You can pick up a first-rate, modern suitcase version at JB (see: the Flea Market player, to the right), but the turntable production companies of yesteryear really were a dab hand at adorable design (if occasionally lacking in the quality department).

Here are our faves, with one contemporary inclusion which will take your listening from Das Auto to Das Awesome.

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COLUMBIA ROBIN REDBREAST TURNTABLE

During the ‘60s and ‘70s there was a trend that saw mini piano keyboards included within kids’ turntable designs, so that musical tots could play along with their favourite tunes. This one’s as cute as a Murakami mural.

COLUMBIA SE-8 LADYBUG TURNTABLE

Open the ladybird’s wings and you’ll find a world of sound underneath! There are still plenty of these charming ‘70s-era players around on eBay, should you find yourself in that polka-dot frame of mind.

Composite image of two portable record players

L – R: Columbia Robin Redbreast turntable; Columbia Ladybug turntable

JANEX THE FLINTSTONES BIG SOUNDER 45 TURNTABLE

About the convenient size and shape of a handbag, the Flintstones Big Sounder boasts a sweet 3D-relief cover scene of Barney scratchin’ and Fred getting jolly – and there’s a grate in the lid, so you can close it up and still hear the music while you admire the art. Our only criticism is that the designers missed an opportunity by making the stylus a regular straight arm, instead of shaping it like the long-beaked bird from the cartoon.

Flintstones portable turntable with vintage box

HITACHI MQ-22 PANDA TURNTABLE

This one is far too charming to pass up – plus, pull out one of panda’s ears and you’ve got yourself a microphone, perfect for amplifying your angelic voice as you wail along to Belinda Carlisle.

Panda portable turntable with vintage box

STOKYO RECORD RUNNER

Touted as the world’s smallest record player, the ‘Sound Wagon’ (as it’s also known) is an official Volkswagen product. It’s self-propelled, so you just find a flat surface to put your record on, plop the Wagon at the outer groove, and watch the li’l bugger trundle in circles around your record. Motor, amp and speaker are all by Audio- Technica, and are all in-built.

volkswagen portable record player sitting on red vinyl record

Read about the top 5 weird and wild record packages (that you haven’t seen before)!