Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Retro Texas Instruments Speak & Spell


Remember Speak & Spell?





Texas Instruments first introduced Speak & Spell in 1976. The educational toy sold well throughout the 1980s and may be best known as helping E.T. phone home. 

I find it very odd that my folks never bought me one of these nifty hand held educational toys considering they were teachers. Sure we lived at the library, played lots of fun flashcards and memory games, but damn Ma, where the hell was the Speak & Spell?

I located this awesome website that actually allows you to play Speak & Spell online to test out your spelling, which I won't lie, which continues to be somewhat of a weakness for me. Spelling Bees made me extremely nervous. Ironically I'm a writer by trade, but growing up I had to work very hard to pass spelling quizzes. Maybe if I had a Speak & Spell to practice with ... just kidding, Mom!

If you too didn't get to own this popular toy, hurry over to http://www.speaknspell.co.uk/speaknspell.html and put your grammar school spelling to the test!


Bill Cosby Speak & Spell Commercial From The Late 1970s


38 comments:

baygirl32 said...

I wanted the speak & spell, but parents bought me the 'talking teaacher' which boasted spelling and math. I think its still in my old room. Multiplication, still not my stong suit.

BigSis said...

YES! I totally remember this. I also had it's cousin the Little Professor for math. Do you remember that?

Andrea said...

I SWEAR people are reading my mind lately! I was JUST thinking about how I would LOVE to find one of these at a yard sale, like I did my GeoSafari (see my most recent post for more details)!! An online version=WONDERFUL! But I would still like to find the retro version!

Melissa said...

You better believe I went straight over to that website and spelled the hell out of "above" and "already"! Thanks for sharing that link!

Aaaalso, there is an award waiting for you on my latest post: http://tastingtouchinghearingseeing.blogspot.com/2010/05/look-more-flowers.html

I don't know if you are into getting/giving awards but I hope you enjoy!

Copyboy said...

I love how the virtual S&S is a UK site. Don't they spell color with a u? I'd lose every freakin' time!

Evonne said...

I loved my Speak and Spell!!! I had one for math too that I loved!

sara said...

I LOVED the Speak and Spell! I am sadly still scarred from losing the school's 4th grade (hey 4th grade!) spelling bee by one word. Bastard vinegar...so is not spelled like it sounds!

Maggi said...

I had one of these!!! :D

Joe Cap said...

Never had one, but I know what they are! I was more into its little cousin, the one where the animals talk...

Marlene said...

I'll admit I am a spelling geek. I've always been a decent speller. (Don't ask me about my math skills, however.) Never had one of these cool toys, but I do remember it well.

Caution Flag said...

I was similarly deprived. It's amazing that we've turned out okay :)

liz said...

I had one of those, and in that exact color!

Babes Mami said...

We had one of these at Grandmas! And the talking calculator guy, he was older, scientisty looking. They were my favorite things to play with!

Ashley King said...

oh holy heck!!! i loved my speak and spell. maybe that's why i can do an E.T. impersonation. ;) takin' it baaaack. loved this!!!!!

Salt said...

This was one of my favorites!! I had that exact red one. There was a game on there that I loved to play where you had to fill in the blanks with letters to make a word! That creepy disembodied robot voice still haunts me to this day.

MiMi said...

My cousin had a speak and spell! LOVED it. I'm sure she thought that I was gonna break it cuz I ran for it everytime I went to her house.

Alison said...

I know I played with a Speak & Spell but I have no idea where. I think it might have been a relic from my older cousins' childhoods. I hold the S&S for my kick ass spelling skills today.

TS Hendrik said...

One thing I've noted from these retro toy posts of yours is just how little of the popular toys I had. I've played with so many because of friends, but actually owning them myself... nep.

I did abuse my nephew's speak and spell. Though I think that might have been an off brand one. Speek 'N Spel, may have been cheaper, but it sure didn't help me with my spelling.

Ms. Anthropy said...

Got it!

LaraAnn said...

My friend Jenny had one and I was pretty jealous of her.

Sadako said...

Oh this takes me back. I think I wanted this but not as much as I wanted Teddy Ruxpin.

Crazy Brunette said...

I HAD ONE OF THESE!!!!!

Awwww, I miss it! I want another one damnit!!!!

I fucking love you damn blog... takes me way back bitch. Makes me feel old too. (So thanks a bunch for that_

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I didn't need one, 'cuz I was a nerdy smarty pants (or, more likely, because I was already in high school when they came out. Ok, not quite).
Thanks for dropping by.
Love back to you, Ally!
Robyn
PS I suck at my own choco-quizzes too. :)

RainyDaySaver said...

I LOVED my Speak & Spell! Except it was too easy for me. ;)

Mad Woman said...

I always wanted a Speak & Spell but was never allowed one. I never got my Lite Brite or Easy Bake Oven either. *sigh*

labbott said...

They had Discovery Channel show toys & fads in diff decades and they ran a huge segment on this toy! They were going on about how technologically advanced it actually was for the price. I mean, I guess if it helped an extraterrestrial learn to speak it was pretty hot!

labbott said...

WOW after reading all those typos I wish my parents had gotten me a speak & type toy. yikes!

Ian said...

Dude I have a speak and spell - Colin plays with it and loves it. Also have the ET expansion shit for it

Megan said...

Oh my word, did I love my speak & spell. I used to make it fake talk - "R U O K?" The things that impressed me before the dawn of computers.

pika23 said...

I had a speak n math...I wanted the spelling one, but my parents realized it would serve no purpose since I was spelling at a high school level at age 7...but stunk up the joint when it came to math

Sara Louise said...

I wanted one of those sad badly! Never did get one though :-(

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I had one and kept trying to spell swear words!!!

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

From Speak and Spell to the best calculators ever!!!! Seriously, my math teachers didn't teach math, they taught us how to use graphing calculators....

On a side note, Dane Cook does a bit on how the Speak and Spell was evil.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NQiVR0C9Co

I understand that a lot of people hate him, but he's funny sometimes, and my wife says that Dane Cook looks just like me....

Hagler Happenings said...

We used ours so much ours broke, and we got a 2nd one! I love, "You are incorrect! The correct spelling of ___ is ..."

Melanie's Randomness said...

OMG!! I totally had one!! I think I still have it!!

~ Noelle said...

lol, my mouth just dropped to the floor when i saw this.
i remember having one..
and my cousin did too.

b-chica said...

Still have my sister's Speak & Spell and my Speak & Math. I loved playing with them even though I was pretty terrible at both spelling and math. Still can't spell well and I have forgotten all but the most basic math.

Nina said...

My sister and I played this until it eroded into a gobbledygook speaking thing... Still remember @&&&'hhbjjhb that is incorrect... The correct spelling of 8))$)hu(,) is...

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