Toys for babies, toddlers, and small children are plentiful and cheap, which makes them good candidates for hacking projects. But their electronics — if they have electronics at all — tend to be very simple and don't offer much flexibility. That is the case with the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes toy, which plays a handful of classical music melodies and includes some bobbles for tactile interaction. The toy only costs about $10 and there isn't much you can do to improve it — unless you get one of Adafruit's "Toy Hacker" boards.
Adafruit just received the prototype "Toy Hacker" boards, so this isn't yet a product that you can purchase. But we're hoping that it will make it onto their store. The board in the video appears to have been made specifically for the Take Along Tunes toy. With it, the parent or cool aunt can gain complete control over the toy's functionality. That includes the LED lights and the music. Adafruit demonstrated that by making the toy play "You Need to Calm Down" by Taylor Swift, which was a very apt choice for a toy like this one. But it would be possible for it to play any music or audio recording.
The "Toy Hacker" board contains an Espressif ESP32-S2 microcontroller. The Adafruit team chose that because it has an onboard WiFi adapter, which is great for adding new songs or modifying the firmware of an enclosed toy like this one. It runs CircuitPython, which is Adafruit's own embedded Python implementation similar to MicroPython. The PCB appears to include a button pad and LEDs (likely Adafruit NeoPixels), making it a simple drop-in replacement for the toy's original board.
Additional details are not available at this time, but be sure to follow Adafruit to stay up to date on the project if you're interested in hacking your baby's toys.