Mind Boggler from Mattel Electronics (1978)

Company: Mattel Electronics | Release date: 1978 | # of players: 1 or 2 | Where to purchase: eBay

“Test your powers of logic.”

In 1978, Mattel Electronics released Mind Boggler, an electronic handheld game inspired by the classic code-breaking game Mastermind. Running on two AA batteries, Mind Boggler challenged players to crack the computer’s secret code — a 3, 4, or 5-digit number.


After the secret number was generated by pressing the “?” key, players entered their guess via the keypad and checked the result using the “=” key. A digital readout displayed the number of Hits (the correct number in the wrong sequence) and Sinks (the correct number in the correct sequence.)

A scorepad was provided to track each turn’s guess and result. The object was to use the fewest number of guesses to generate Sinks across the board, an indication that the last guess was correct.

Mind Boggler also offered a two-player mode. Pressing the “PE” key, short for Personal Entry, allowed one player to enter a secret number while the other tried to guess it in the fewest number of turns. And if all hope of guessing the number was lost, pressing the “CD” button, short for Code, revealed the hidden sequence.


Mind Boogler’s brown calculator-shaped case featured an interesting anomaly. The front of the handheld looked like it contained a small speaker, but the game did not emit any sounds, a confusing fact that forced Mattel to add a sticker to the packaging stating as much.


In addition to being battery powered, Mind Boggler could also be operated via a connected AC adapter. If rechargeable AA batteries were placed in the battery box, the AC adapter could also charge them by switching the on-off switch to “CH”, short for Charge Position.

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