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Speak & Spell

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10 replies to this topic

#1 Justin


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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:06 AM

Did anybody else have a Speak & Spell growing up? Texas Instruments found a tremendously clever use of their speech synthesis chip. The Speak & Spell was introduced in June, 1978 at the Summer CES, making it one of the very first handheld electronic devices with a visual display. Speak & Spell enjoyed a very similar lifespan to that of the Atari 2600, retailing from 1978-1992.

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#2 DeLorean



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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:12 AM

Wasn't that E.T.'s Phone? 

#3 DeLorean



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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:13 AM

And, if yes, wouldn't that mean assembling the Speak & Spell is the entire objective of the E.T. game on 2600?

#4 DeLorean



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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:18 AM


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#5 RetroVideoGameNerd


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Posted 27 November 2014 - 04:06 AM

Yeah, I had one, and it scarred me. IT sounded really demonic.

#6 RickR


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Posted 27 November 2014 - 12:12 PM

I didn't have one, but wanted one.  I remember it wouldn't say "bad" words, but if you spelled them more cleverly, you could get close.  Now THAT'S learning, folks. 

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#7 RickR


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Posted 29 November 2014 - 02:37 PM

I just learned that Commodore made a speech module for the VIC-20 and C64 called "Magic Voice" that used the same chip/design as the Speak and Spell.  I guess the Scott Adams adventure games used it, as well as others like Gorf. 

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#8 Yo-Yo


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Posted 01 December 2014 - 06:05 AM

Speak and Spell was so cool! It was kinda a big deal for a baby's toy to have speech synth in 1980. I'd love to see more on this.
Welcome to the short bus.

#9 Arenafoot


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Posted 11 December 2014 - 01:01 AM

I have that same phonograph!!!!!!!

consoles I own: Atari 2600 Vader & Jr. (short rainbow) w/box, GCE Vectrex, Radio Shack CoCo2 (64k) w/box, Intellivision, NES, SNES, N64 (x3), Xbox (Halo Ed.), PS1 (x3), PS2 slim, Wii, Mattel HyperScan (x2) handhelds I own: Microvision w/box, Electronic Football (by Sears) w/box, Tomytronic Pac-Man w/ box, Entex PacMan2, Coleco Donkey Kong tabletop w/box (w/ Coleco "Perma-Power" Adapter), & all MGA Classic Arcade's and Jakk's Pacific/TV Games Plug-n-Play.

#10 StormSurge


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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:28 PM

I loved my Speak & Spell. Great toy.

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#11 Mcorleonep


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Posted 19 October 2017 - 10:42 AM

I remember that well.  The must fun part about it was pressing the # button, then it would malfunction and the speech synthesis would produce some very interesting and hilarious garbled speech sound effects...

Edited by Mcorleonep, 19 October 2017 - 10:42 AM.

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