Opening the reissued Speak & Spell, what’s inside #SpeaknSpell #VintageComputing #Toys #Teardown

The Speak & Spell toy from the 1980’s was a popular classic. With its distinctive voice, children learned how to spell common words. The device was also a fixture in the Steven Spielberg classic movie “E.T. the Extraterrestrial”.

Over the years, people have hacked with the devices including circuit bending for pitch blending and downloading the voices.

Found this weekend at Target

The classic has been reissued in 2019, spotted in Target by Dan for US $24.99 this weekend along with some other classic toys. The box has logos for “Basic Fun” and “Kahootz” brands.

Looking Inside

Working at Adafruit, Dan couldn’t help but looking inside to see what makes the new Speak & Spell work – does it have the same classic circuit board? Here is the first look:

and that circuit board? Here it is close up:

There are only 4 wires, 2 for the speaker, and two for power. The brains are on an integrated circuit (IC) under the squarish black blob of epoxy. So the prior “classic” circuit bending instructions will not work. The display is on the other side of the circuit board and is keyboard is connected by a ribbon cable (pictured at bottom). The chip in the upper-left might be a flash chip with the voices – that may be easy to read.

There is plenty of space in that case (best if some case screw standoffs are cut out). A Raspberry Pi Zero W may fit, maybe more.

Amazon lists the measurements as 1.5 x 7 x 10 inches and weight at 1.34 pounds. It takes 3xAA batteries (included). with availability August 12th.

We’ll see if we can get additional details. If you have details on this device, please post them in the comments below.

More Adafruit coverage of Speak & Spell:



Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 35,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — Challenges in trade between China and U.S. highlighted by forced labor bill

Wearables — There are some limits to conductive thread

Electronics — = != ==.

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Retrofitting old computers, Pinguin and much more! #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — BBQ Smoker, Emoji Telegraph, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit PCF8575 I2C 16 GPIO Expander Breakout – STEMMA QT / Qwiic

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.