Tutor Typer from TOMY (1977)

Company: TOMY | Release date: 1977 | Where to purchase: eBay

In 1977, TOMY released the Tutor Typer, an educational toy designed to help children ages 3 to 8 learn to spell, count, and use a keyboard.

Measuring roughly 8.5 in x 8.5 in x 4 in, the all-plastic Typer functioned similarly to a manual typewriter. Initially pressing the keys brought the toy to life. The keys clattered, one of three arms raised, and the carriage on top moved to the left. As a child continued to press keys, a letter or number would appear, followed by a simple illustration, and then the word matching the picture would be “typed out”.

At the end of each line, a bell rang. Returning the carriage to the start and continuing to type caused a new letter or number to appear automatically. The Tutor Typer’s carriage contained a total of 36 lines – one for each letter of the alphabet plus 10 numbers.

The Tutor Typer was part of a much larger line of learning products by TOMY, including the Tick Tock Teacher, Tutor Play Computer, and Play Video cassette player.