The Toniebox is a popular audio player for children over the age of three, with easy-to-understand touch controls and small figurines (Tonies) with integrated NFC that work sort of like cassettes or CDs (remember those?). Why stop at an unboxing when we've got a perfectly good teardown table?

Toniebox, prepare to meet your unmaker.

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Toniebox, use our service manual.

The Toniebox is designed as an audiobook player for kids (age three and up), and packs the following features:
  • The Toniebox is designed as an audiobook player for kids (age three and up), and packs the following features:

    • Motion control, via slapping the side or tilting the box

    • Small figurines (Tonies) with built in NFC chip

    • Soft shockproof shell

    • Internal storage for up to 400 hours of audio data

    • 7 hours battery capacity

    • Magnets in the top of the Toniebox, and in the sockets of the Tonies, to keep them stuck together while you tilt and turn the box

  • There was no NFC chip in our Kinder-Egg today—so sad.

Small figurines (Tonies) with built in NFC chips as storage medium

Not really. The storage is the Micro SD. The NFC is only giving some kind of authorization I guess to download the file.

StuFF mc - Reply

You’re right. We have corrected it. Thanks for the input :)

Tobias Isakeit -

Because we're doing this teardown in Germany, we'll forgo the usual metric and imperial measuring shenanigans and simply give you a banana for scale.
  • Because we're doing this teardown in Germany, we'll forgo the usual metric and imperial measuring shenanigans and simply give you a banana for scale.

  • Each side of this cube measures 3/4 of a banana. (4.7 inches or 12 cm according to the manufacturer, who evidently did not have a banana handy.)

  • Placing the banana onto the NFC sensor also doesn't play anything.

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  • The cover on the bottom is as stubborn as a pickle jar. But hey, we have seen far worse opening procedures! Besides, the rest looks pretty easy.

  • A single Phillips screw holds the innards in the foam housing. Just the way we like it.

How on earth do you open the bottom?! Tried turning, nothing.

StuFF mc - Reply

It is a snapfit connection. Try pushing against the bottom with your palm while turning counterclockwise.

Tobias Isakeit -

  • Now for the "unboxing".

  • The main components lift right out the top of the box. Easy peasy.

  • Surrounding it is this black cage, which is also easy to take out and seems to serve mainly for crush protection.

  • The squeezable foam bumper comes out last. According to the manufacturer, it's made from sustainable fabrics.

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  • The battery pack and motherboard are secured with just two standard Phillips screws.

  • As printed on the back, the battery pack consists of three AA batteries with a charge capacity of 2,000 mAh.

  • The manufacturer states this is a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack—chosen because it's a safer technology than lithium-ion, and has almost no memory effect.

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  • And now for the Toniebox's vocal chords cords!

  • Speaker specs: 4 Ω and 3 W. 'Nuff said. We weren't exactly expecting high fidelity audiophile hardware, after all.

    • The manufacturer's homepage gives a bit more info, including the nominal load- and music-carrying capacities (3 W / 5 W) and that the speaker spans the audio spectrum from 20 Hz to 10 kHz.

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  • Just four more Phillips screws, and we can remove the cap.

  • Inside the cap we find a second PCB, this one responsible for the NFC connection.

  • Except for another socket to connect with the motherboard and another crossed out trashcan (WEEE-Symbol), there's nothing to see here.

  • No microphone found on the top PCB nor the motherboard. This means the Toniebox is acoustically unaware of its surroundings.

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  • Next we inspect the volume control buttons, located (rather appropriately) in the ears of the Toniebox.

  • Removing the outer layer of the ears, we find two small buttons.

  • Because the buttons connect to the motherboard via a JST plug, we don't need to cut a wire. Lucky us.

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  • Bonus teardown: We perform minor surgery on the lion figurine and find, as expected, an NFC chip in his stomach.

Um welchen Chip handelt es sich genau?

Peter Huber-Saffer - Reply

Auf dem Chip war leider keine Bezeichung zu sehen, die beim Identifizieren helfen könnte.

Tobias Isakeit -

  • That's all, folks! We completely tore down our Toniebox, cut open the lion, and spread everything over the table. Here is our result:

    • All the screws are standard Phillips screws and no adhesive was used.

    • The box is easy to disassemble and reassemble, without damaging it or leaving any marks.

    • Battery pack and flash memory are also pretty common and easy to change.

    • The cap on the bottom is held in place by plastic clips, which could break if you open the box repeatedly.

    • Some of the plugs sit in their sockets pretty tight and might be hard to unplug without damaging the sockets.

    • The headphone jack is soldered to the motherboard.

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Das finde ich mal Klasse.

Da muss ich unseren gar nicht mehr aufschrauben!

Und das ganze so detailiert.


Alfred Gmeiner - Reply

Großartig! Was verbirgt sich in der Ladestation? Ist da nur ein Halter für den Stecker oder auch eine Lade Elektronik?

Manuel Eisel - Reply

In der Ladestation befindet sich lediglich der Stecker vom Netzteil – keine weitere Elektronik.

Tobias Isakeit -

Vielen Dank für die sehr schöne und ausführliche Anleitung. Mir ist aufgefallen, dass ich die NFC-Chips der Tonies nicht mit meinem Handy (Samsung S6) auslesen kann. Weiß da jemand was genaueres drüber? Auch mit einem RFID Reader konnte ich den Chips keine Informationen entlocken.

Bastian Reul - Reply

Finden wir ebenfalls interessant und haben aber auch noch keine Möglichkeit gefunden, die NFCs auszulesen. Möchtest du hierzu vielleicht eine Frage im Forum stellen, da finden sich eventuell weitere Reaktionen und Beiträge. Danke

Tobias Isakeit -

Vielen Dank für das Teardown. Meint ihr ich kann die Speicherkarte durch eine größere ersetzen? Sinn wäre ja lediglich mehr „Tonies abzuspeichern“ oder?


Paku83 - Reply

Freut uns, dass dir der Teardown gefallen hat. Das mit der größeren Speicherkarte wäre ein interessanter Ansatz. Könnte möglich sein. Schau dir auf jeden Fall die Formatierung der Karte genau an und was für Dateien darauf sind. Eventuell eine 1:1 Kopie auf die größere ziehen und dann versuchen. Würde mich sehr freuen, wenn du damit dann einen Guide (als Technique) erstellst. Viel Erfolg

Tobias Isakeit -


gibt es da noch einen weiteren Trick, wie die Box unten zu öffnen geht? Ich drücke und drehe (gegen den Uhrzeigersinn), hab schon die Befürchtung die Box bald zu zermalmen.

Caella Sanguise - Reply

Problem gelöst. Es geht wirklich nur um Kraft. Ich hab meinen Mann um Hilfe gebeten :D

Caella Sanguise -

Genau, einfach mal herzhaft zupacken ;) Die Box ist sehr robust. Und nach dem ersten Öffnen geht es auch ein wenig einfacher.

Tobias Isakeit -

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