Tutor Play Computer from TOMY (1984)
Release date: 1984
Where to purchase: eBay
In 1984, TOMY released the Tutor Play Computer, an educational toy for preschool-age children to learn their ABCs, discover, and play grown-up.
The blue and white plastic toy computer measured approximately 5″ x 6″ x 7″ and included two rows of six orange keys, a yellow space bar, red reset key, yellow rewind dial, and a series of graphics printed on a scroll housed inside. Starting on the home screen, children pressed the orange keys for a line-by-line reveal of the images as the scroll progressed and one-inch black tabs located at the bottom of the screen dropped out of view.
The scroll featured images of a train, plane, juggling clown, track race, an underwater scene, and space invaders. These discovery illustrations were interspersed with learning-based images that encouraged children to identify colours, numbers, letters, and more. Pressing the red return key reset the tabs and advanced the scroll. When pressed, the yellow space bar created an animated effect using the graphics. At the end of the scroll, an image of a robot appeared, prompting children to use the yellow dial to rewind back to the beginning. No batteries or electricity were needed to operate the toy.
The Tutor Play Computer was part of a series of educational toys from TOMY that included the Tutor Typer, Tic-Tock Answer Clock, Play Video cassette player, and Tick Tock Teacher.
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