Speak & Spell
Speak & Spell, which debuted in the late 70s but hit its heyday in the 80s was one of those learning toys which we really didn’t mind getting for Christmas. Of course, come to think of it, a lot of our toys were ‘learning toys’ back then… Rubik’s Cube (which we love!), Simon (yes, that, too!…)
The genius of Speak & Spell was that it could speak… and spell! Turn it on, and it gives you a word. If you could understand the garbled techno-speak and spell it, well… our little plastic buddy would give you a big fat, “That is correct!” And, really, what’s more affirming for an eight-year-old child than having a computer talk to you?
Plus, Speak & Spell also came complete with a Hangman-like game, a Secret Code generator, and the ability to ‘verbalize’ letters you typed in.
The one downside? As we all know, the ol’ Speak & Spell just didn’t have the ability to speak words that we would type in. (Gotta tell ya, Texas Instruments, you really missed the boat on that one. Can you imagine how many more kids would have been begging for one of these things if it only had the ability to say ‘shit’?)
The mind shudders to think.
No matter… it’s not like Speak & Spell was hurting for business. After playing a prominent role in the mega-smash E.T. (yes, of course we love it!), sales skyrocketed. And thanks to Dane Cook and the Toy Story series, it doesn’t look like Speak & Spell will be forgotten anytime soon.
Wanna relive the old days? Check out this Speak & Spell emulator, courtesy of Kevin St. Onge.
We ♥ Speak & Spell.