Next Dimension: Speak & Spell

SaSSaM“SPELL [INDISTINCT].”

Inspired by Charlie, who sadly left these chaps out of his retro toy series – the Speak & Spell and Speak & Maths had to settle for this place instead, turned into 3D models. Building these in Cinema 4D was about as fun as you’d expect.

I grew up in the 90s, but being the youngest of five meant few of my toys were actually new; the majority were inherited from my siblings who grew up in the 70s and 80s. Two such wonders were these (it appears there was also a yellow Speak & Read available, but we didn’t have that, or perhaps it just didn’t survive to 1992). It was an impressive piece of kit for my infant self to play with then, never mind for the kids of the late 70s – it spoke and knew. I used to call it a computer (probably because I wasn’t allowed near our actual computer… and when I did go on it, the printer invariably started smoking. But I digress.) which might not have been so far out as I later thought: as is to be expected by now, YouTube has all the answers. This chap covers everything you could possibly wish to know about the Speak & Spell, so that’s my cue to zip it. Enjoy.

 

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13 comments
  1. Geke Hop-Wassink said:

    I don’t know these, I bought my kids a V-tech computer. Now I was born in 1963, these you show I never seen them before, but it was interesting!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks Geke! They are quite interesting, looking back. I had a V-Tech computer too. It was pretty similar to this actually, but like a laptop in its design and with a lot more games. I loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Geke Hop-Wassink said:

        Yes my boys loved the V-Tech also and it really looked and worked like a computer 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        With all this talk, I want mine back now. I hope my parents still have it! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay!!! Cool!! You got this one in! I was far too timid to try this one by hand, but it comes out rather beautifully in Cinema 4D!! Love it! And the one on the left is the one I chickened out on doodlewashing because it’s what was in the E.T. movie. Hehe… I actually don’t remember if I had one of these or just played with a friends. But I remember them well!! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      I’m glad you like it! I wish I could say it was entertaining, but honestly it wasn’t much – too many buttons, as you feared – a drawing would have been better I think, or maybe you just had a lucky escape. 😉 But indeed, the toys were fun to mess around with!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hehe…okay then I guessed correctly. That thing was crazy with buttons. I don’t think the drawing would have been fun either. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill Fufkin said:

    You…accident prone? Never! B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Ha ha ha! I don’t know why on earth this has made me laugh so much. (Well, I do!)

      Like

    • Jacob said:

      Haha! They were quite the nerdy toy I suppose, but I thought it so fun to have a muffled, robotic voice speak back to you (Especially when I’d learnt how to spell naughty words!)

      Like

    • Jacob said:

      Haha, they were certainly an impressive gadget at the time! Quite sweetly it appears it lives on as an app.

      Liked by 1 person

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