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Speak & Spell

Speak & Spell

Speak & Spell looked like a giant calculator with a handle, and not many kids I know were lucky enough to have one bought for them. My parents obviously though it could help me and I was fooled into believing that education could be made fun. I was gutted when a friend dropped mine!

Speak & Spell was another electronic toy made by Texas Instruments and was a more refined version of Mattel's See & Say toy. Speak & Spell was the first in a series of toys like this, followed by Speak & Read and Speak & Math. I believe Texas also released a compact version of the Speak & Spell in the early-80s.

What I find bizarre is that the opening noise the Speak & Spell made when you turned it on has been picked up by a number of musicians and samples in their songs, such as Pet shop Boys. Depeche Mode even named their debut album Speak & Spell in honour of the toy! Speak & Spell also featured in the film ET as a communicator.


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Do You Remember Speak & Spell?

Do You Remember Speak & Spell?

  • shikiraclare
    on
    What has happened to my spelling and grammar here - cannot edit and SS bot not around to help me.
  • shikiraclare
    on
    I yearned for one of these speak and spell hand-bot language bobbies yet not yet launched in the nationwide Avon or what-eva new gimmick prime domestic catalogues were around back then that my mum had an odd casual allegiance. I still wish for one now even though I am well versed in obtrusive modern Middle English. How odd can this be?.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    It was first launched in '78, and was originally about the size of a portable typewriter, although as compact technology improved it became reduced to hand-held size. I remember controversy arising when it arrived in the UK because of it's use of American English (i.e. spelling 'color' without the 'u', etc.) so a new lot of ROM cartridges had to be made specially for the British market. Speak & Spell was made famous in the film 'E.T.', when the little alien uses one to teach himself to speak English. I think they were finally discontinued in '92.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    It was speak and spell that started me Cryptography! I can't tell you what I am doing now :P
  • Anonymous user
    on
    my mum said i wouldnt go anywhere without it!! steevie
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Oh the hilarity at asking my brother to come over and pressing the following buttons: 'U' 'R' 'A' 'P' 'P'. Never failed to make us laugh. I remember accusing my friend at school of being a liar when she said she had one that was for Maths... Sorry, Leanne!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Oh, the very deep and real love I have for my speak and spell! I found it again recently and God bless him, he still works. Total and utter joy. I also still have my less loved Speak and Math which I hated, but stll cannot bear to get rid of!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Oh you were well lucky if you had one of these in those days! I was real envious of my mate who had one.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I loved my speak and spell. I played with it everyday. I am so thankful to the makers of this product and to my mom for buying it for it. I think it was a tremendous help with my spelling. Math on the other hand is a different situation. Sure wish mom had got the speak and math too.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I played on my brother's one which he never used (turned out later he was dyslexic) and i loved it :) I loved the way it got angry with you if you consistently spelt something wrong :D I noticed they had one on E.T. and it had round buttons instead of a flat keypad.