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.
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.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
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 code.org, 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.