The 80s was the best decade for electronic toys, we loved them! Did any of you have any of these educational toys? Was there any you really want but never got?
1. Little Professor
The Little Professor was first released by Texas Instruments on June 13, 1976. As the first electronic educational toy, the Little Professor is a common item on calculator collectors’ lists. In 1976, the Little Professor cost less than $20. More than 1 million units sold in 1977. The second generation Little Professor was designed by Mark Bailey whilst working for Raffo and Pape. In a brief interview in 2013 Bailey stated ‘I’ve designed everything from private jets to pregnancy tests but Little Professor remains the highlight of my career.’
A solar version of Little Professor was introduced during the 2000s and an emulator of the Little Professor for Android was published in 2012.
Questron was an electronic pen that was designed to promote learning for children. The pen was battery operated and had a red and green LED. Red for a wrong answer and green for a correct one. The pen was used with a book that contained pages of puzzles, & questions
3. Speak & Spell
The Speak & Spell line is a series of electronic hand-held child computers by Texas Instruments that consisted of a TMC0280 linear predictive coding speech synthesizer, a keyboard, and a receptor slot to receive one of a collection of ROM game library modules (collectively covered under patent US 3934233). The first Speak & Spell was introduced at the summer Consumer Electronics Show in June 1978, making it one of the earliest handheld electronic devices with a visual display to use interchangeable game cartridges.
The original Speak & Spell was the first of a three-part talking educational toy series that also included Speak & Read and Speak & Math. This series was a subset of TI’s Learning Center product group and the Speak & Spell was released simultaneously with the Spelling B (a non-speech product designed to help children learn to spell), and the First Watch (designed to teach children to read digital and analog timepieces). The Speak & Spell was sold, with regional variations, in the United States, Canada, Australia, in Europe, and Japan.