Museum Playasax Display: What Were They Thinking

Ever since I saw the Playasax for the first time way back in December 2008, I was intrigued by these interesting player saxophones. Little did I know that in such a short time these little instruments would go from being museum curiosities, to fairly common eBay items—so common in fact, that I have stopped collecting images of them for my website.

From museum piece to collectible: the Playasax goes mainstream

Over the past few years I have written about quite a few that have appeared for sale on eBay, because I know a number of my readers like saxophone collectibles. I also researched the Playasax further, and found the original patent documents, therefore was able to write a page about the little instrument for my website.

Then just when I thought I had seen everything there was to see about the Playasax, I happened to stumble across this image on Flickr…


Playasax, player saxophone, museum display, Musicial Instrument Museum, Scottsdale AZ

Photography by: jessamyn Source: Flickr

Now the photographer doesn’t state where she took the photo, but my guess is that since it’s in an album titled Arizona 2014, the most likely place where she would have seen this  Playasax is at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), in Scottsdale, AZ. (A bit of detective work on my part confirmed this. Check out Pete Hales’ pics of his visit to the MIM.)

Now admittedly I’m pretty twisted, and see connections in the weirdest, and some would say the most inappropriate ways. But I ask you, does the way the MIM has chosen to display the roll of player music look familiar to you at all? Come on now, look hard. Does it? :clown:

If you’ve never stayed in a hotel, I’ll give you a pass. But if you have, then I ask you: If the way the roll of Playasax music is displayed doesn’t remind you of a hotel’s maid service, what does it remind you of?

Evidence of service

toilet paper roll, hotel bathroom, triangle fold on toilet paper, evidence maid service cleaned bathroom

Photograhy by: Scoobyfoo  Source: Flickr

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the MIM staff opted to display their Playasax in such a way to a resemble toilet roll. After all…   :shit:

Coincidence or not, if I was the curator of this museum, I’d be asking my staff: What were you thinking?

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

WERO Royal Saxophone: Germans Loved The Unibrows

A WERO Royal saxophone on eBay

There is currently a tenor on eBay that I would love to bid on, but since I just bought a baritone—and I really do have more than enough tenors already—I am going to restrain myself, and write about it instead.  :devil1:   The tenor in question is a WERO Royal saxophone, made by Werner Roth.

WERO Royal saxophone, tenor sax, tenor saxophone, silver sax, sax case, vintage German sax

Source: edaikenbay on

Based on what you can see in the photos, this tenor appears to be in very nice shape. Here is how the seller, who lives in France, describes the horn:

Saxophone vintage *** WERO ROYAL *** dans un état exceptionnel. C’est un saxophone rare car fabriqué à peu d’exemplaires. Sonorité puissante et veloutée…

Les tampons, les ressorts et les lièges sont parfaits. Usure minimale, pas de bosses ni de dépressions.
Livré dans une belle mallette vintage style “croco”.

*** Les frais d’expédition seront ajustés selon le lieu de livraison ***

Bonnes enchères à tous !

Google Translate says…

Vintage Saxophone *** WERO ROYAL *** in exceptional condition. It is a rare saxophone since made ??some copies. Powerful and velvety sound …

Buffers, springs and corks are perfect. Minimal wear, no bumps or depressions.
Comes in a beautiful vintage style suitcase “crocodile”.

*** The shipping costs will be adjusted according to the place of delivery ***

Happy bidding!

Here are the remainder of the photos of this WERO Royal saxophone…

The Germans and their love for the unibrow

Like the Max Keilwerth’s late-model, original Presidents and Hohner Presidents, his brother Julius’ King Imperial, the Hess saxophones I mentioned just the other day, and even this Weltklang, Werner Roth’s WERO Royal saxophones had eyebrow key guards. I don’t know what it was about the Germans, but they seemed to really like that style.

If you’d like to read more about WERO Royal saxophones in general, check out the WERO page that I have on my website. (Here’s a teaser: these saxes were made between 1949-72.)

If you’re interested in this WERO Royal tenor specifically, the auction for it runs until April 24. Bids are to start at €350.00, which estimates to be $483.47 US. At the time of writing there were no bids yet on this very interesting, vintage tenor saxophone.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

The New Nanoblock Saxophone

A Nanoblock saxophone: It’s not made with the Lego you grew up with.

While checking eBay yesterday, I happened across what appeared to be a Lego saxophone…

Nanoblock saxophone, building blocks, saxophone-shaped toy

Source: Tokyo-Hobby on

… but what upon closer inspection turned out to be made up of something called Nanoblocks ®.

I must admit that I never played with Lego much as a child. I only ever had one Lego set—a set that contained about 20 pieces and made a rooster. I was never very good at that one, so I suspect that this 120 piece Nanoblock saxophone set would stump the hell out of me! :bang:

According to the Nanoblock’s UK distributor, these toys first went on sale in October 2008. The reason for their name likely comes from their tiny size: the smallest are only 4X4mm (that’s 0.157″ for my US readers).

Kawada, the company that makes Nanoblocks, designs the building toys in various levels of difficulty ranging from 1—which includes their 120-piece alto saxophone—to 8, which they rate their award-winning, 6000-piece version of the Bavarian Castle Neuschwanstein at.

Getting back to the Nanoblock saxophone, this particular item was just released by Kawada on March 28, 2014.

Nanoblock saxophone, building blocks, saxophone-shaped toy

Source: Building Toys_Japan on

Nanoblock saxophone, building blocks, saxophone-shaped toy

Source: sparkingcats japan on

Danger, Will Robinson

Notice the choking hazard warning on the label. I have to admit, in the über safety conscious, über litigious society we live in—where it is not unheard of for some parents to try to prevent all dairy and egg products from entering the school because of life-threatening allergies—I’m surprised this product has even made it to the North American market.

For example, Kinder Surprise, an Italian chocolate egg with a disassembled toy inside, are sold in Canada, but are confiscated by US Border officials if discovered since they are illegal there due to their potential choking hazard. (Although it does seem that a workaround by the company has been developed of late.)

Let’s just all agree that we have to supervise our children, and not let any of them play with anything containing small pieces while they are still in the oral exploration stage of development. As a former paramedic, and instructor of the Red Cross Child Safe program, that really is the best advice I can give you.

Getting back to the Nanoblock saxophone, again, I haven’t seen the item for sale by any of the company’s foreign distributors, but there are currently a number of Japanese toy dealers who are selling them on eBay. If you are interested in ordering your very own alto saxophone, made of tiny, soy-based coloured, ABS plastic building blocks, then check out the following dealers’ auctions: sparkingcats japan, Building Toys_Japan, and Tokyo-Hobby.

I noticed that shipping charges varied quite a bit, so do shop around. Also, since this product is new, it’s possible other dealers will be selling the Nanoblock saxophone in the near future too.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!