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A jack-in-the-box is a children's toy that outwardly consists of a box with a crank. When the crank is turned, it plays a melody, often "Pop Goes the Weasel". At the end of the tune there is a "surprise", the lid pops open and a figure, usually a clown or jester, pops out of the box.

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How do I open it to fix the mechanism?

My little girl's toy jack in the box (exactly the same as pictured above) has stopped playing music and popping up. You can hear something rattling inside so I guess a part of the mechanism has broken, is there a way to get inside to take look and then fix it again?

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This video might give you some idea of the inner workings, at least in principle. They get into it using a Dremel, which I assume is not how you plan to get into your Jack-In-The-Box.

This old video shows how they used to be put together, which might still be relevant and provide a clue as to how to open it.

However you do end up getting inside, might I suggest documenting it and posting it as a guide on the device page?

Good luck!

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The dremel video was very helpful to see the innards, but they were just showing off the insides, with no intention of putting the toy back together. I opened mine from the bottom instead.


how did you open it


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my jack in box will not pop up any longer, how do I fix it?

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My granddaughter's toy is identical, and had the same rattling sound and the same free-turning crank that didn't do anything.

I watched the old Mattel youtube that showed the top being sealed the way the rim on a can is sealed. The innards are different now - they match the "what's inside" youtube rather than the Mattel one.

I cut open the bottom on 3 sides. The metal is thin so I used a box knife. As I was cutting it reminded me of opening a can of beans by the campfire, so I thought a can opener would also work but I was already done.

The loose piece inside was a metal pin about 1 centimeter long. It goes in the end of the music-box drum. Without the pin the gears on the end of the drum don't engage the worm on the crankshaft.

The jack is a sock mounted over a cardboard cone with a spring inside. This assembly comes out with a simple pull. When it goes back it fits over a circular rim under the lid. Line jack up with the lid so he's facing the way you want.

With needle-nose pliers and lots of patience I got the pin back into the drum. At first it went partway and the crank didn't work very well. I pushed it in further and the toy started working normally.

I used Gorilla tape to hold the bottom back in place. It's crude but effective, and it is the bottom.

Our granddaughter is all smiles now, and I only lost a little blood to the sharp edges, a pretty good trade. That wayward pin is only held in by pressure and good intentions, so it may work its way out again after some more drops on the floor.

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