Yeah, before the development of inexpensive chips that could store and play back audio files, "miniature" record players were the medium for "talking" toys. The famous "laughing boxes" were probably the most widespread, but the same device was inserted into various toys. I have a Masudaya "Lost in Space" Robot that uses that technology. He "speaks" in English and Japanese. Obviously, a toy had to be a certain size for the playback box to fit, so things like a sonic screwdriver with the "authentic" sounds were just not possible.
Have you considered creating a video and uploading it to YouTube? It'd be really cool to watch and hear one of these collectibles in action.