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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Pocket Simon from Milton Bradley (1980)

Company: Milton Bradley
Release date: 1980
Where to purchase: eBay

After its splashy debut at Studio 54 in 1978, the computer-controlled action game Simon quickly became an instant hit. Buoyed by the success of the saucer-shaped toy, Milton Bradley released several other variants, including the eight-button Super Simon and the portable Pocket Simon.

Like its full-sized counterpart, Pocket Simon challenged players to repeat an increasingly complex sequence of flashing lights and sounds. The travel-sized version packed a lot into a form-factor that fit into the palm of a hand. The base unit included a miniature version of its predecessor’s four colour lenses, a control panel, and a built-in speaker that provided audio cues, including the dreaded “Razz” sound indicating that a game was lost.

The game offered three different memory challenges: Pocket Simon Says, Player Says, and Choose Your Color. Each game could be played at four different skill levels determined by the degree of difficulty of repeating an increasing number of lights and sound combinations. Pocket Simon was powered by two “AA” batteries and a single 9-volt battery.

Over forty years later, a version of the game is still offered today by Hasbro.

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