Major Morgan was a toy that my sister received for Christmas one year, but which both she, myself and my Mum and Dad all really enjoyed playing with.
Major Morgan was a musical instrument, of sorts. Made of plastic and shaped like a friendly looking soldier in blue and red uniform, his stomach area comprised a keypad of 16 buttons marked with letters corresponding to the musical note that played when you pressed them. Above the keypad was another little area which had “MAJOR MORGAN” written on in big friendly letters.
Pressing the buttons made the Major produce a weird warbly kind of sound, not that different to the tones produced by the old Rolf Harris Stylophone (which predates the eighties by a little bit too much to be featured here). Great fun could be had by trying to work out which buttons to press to play different tunes, or simply just wiggling your finger over the entire pad to make a warbly din.
The clever bit about Major Morgan was that instead of having to read sheet music, little cards could be inserted over the keypad telling you how to play a tune by pressing different coloured squares. The top section where the name of the toy had been displayed became a sequence of coloured blocks that you just had to follow in order to produce a tune.
The toy came with a set of cards which were mostly nursery rhymes, but extra sets of cards could be purchased separately. I remember my sister bought a set which must have been TV theme tunes, but funnily enough the only tune I remember from those was the theme tune to M*A*S*H! Not exactly the sort of tune you’d expect for a kiddies toy, though I have to say the tones produced by the Major Morgan did render this particular tune very well, making it sound particularly sad and doleful.