Hit Clips were digital music players released by Tiger Electronics in 1999. They were first distributed by Radio Disney, Lunchables and McDonald’s and they were promoted by popular artists like *NYSNC and Britney Spears.
The toy was aimed at kids and teens, it resembled either a MP3 Player or a Boombox. They also had small micro chips that had a song preloaded on it and it played for 1 minute. The micro chips sometimes came with the music players, while others were sold separately. The music players also came in different colors.
In it’s first year of release. Hit Clips earned Tiger Electronics approximately $80 million. Since Tiger Electronics had licensing agreements for Hit Clips with popular major record labels. Despite it’s popularity, Reactions to Hit Clips were mixed from the public. On Parents Talk: Through Children Eyes subsection, the product approved by 69% of readers and disapproved by 30% of readers. However, the product was panned by many of the readers in written reviews. Although the authenticity or the periodicity of this source was not confirmed many commentators stated that they would rather spend their money on an MP3 player or they already owned a boombox or a CD player.
The popularity of Hit Clips continued, Artists like Madonna, Backstreet Boys, Smash Mouth, Aaron Carter and several others had licensing deals with Tiger Electronics and new music players with new designs and new colors were released that fall. A spin off called Kid Clips were also released.
More licensing deals with record labels meant more song cartridges and accessories were released. Tiger Electronics even released music chips based on the popular cartoon ”The Simpsons”.
However, the toy’s popularity started to decrease when Apple released their iPod in October of 2001, Since Hit Clips were made to be an alternative to Digital MP3 Players since they lacked portability and had a bulky design. The iPod had a 45.7 mm (1.8 in) hard drive and had a silk design. The iPod became extremely popular when they first launched. Hit Clips struggled to compete with the iPod. Tiger Electronics released new micro chips and different music players. but sales were nothing compared to the iPod’s sales.
Tiger Electronics introduced Hit Clips Discs and Disc Players in 2003. However it didn’t become as popular as the micro chips and music players. Due to the iPod’s gain of popularity at this point. Hit Clips were finally losing popularity. This suggests that the rise of MP3 tech along with other factors compounded to lead to Hit Clips demise.
Hit Clips are now very easy to find on Ebay and Amazon, however the music players and micro discs are pretty expensive, ranging from $4 to $250. Hit Clips became very iconic after they were discontinued.