Which is fun and educational!
Previously, the kids were alright on Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday (related: #ThrowbackThursday Loves to See You Smile and #FlashbackFriday, Can We Go Shark Fishing?!), but this week, the kids are smart!
First up this week, we go back to 1986 and 1987 for a two-part harmony of commercials featuring smart kids and their very smart (for the mid-1980s) “computer learning system.”
That “computer learning system” was the Videosmarts toy, which connected to your home VCR. Videocassettes had data on them to work with the “computer,” a cute white box with four buttons.
Today’s commercial set promotes the system as a way of interacting with your television through fun games…
Rather than just…
Want to know more? Well, click play and see the magic of Videosmarts!
Videosmarts was manufactured by Connor Toys beginning in 1986, and continuing until 1990. It was the first video game system to utilize videocassettes for the video game “storage.” Connor Forest Industries had decided to branch out into the video game market, with an educational approach.
Eighteen videos were produced in all, teaching letters, numbers, nutrition, health, safety, basic math, phonics, and “just say no.” A sequel system, Computersmarts, was released around 1987, but sold poorly and lead to the collapse of Connor Electronics and Connor Toys. A VideoPhone system also existed as a sequel system, and was the Videosmarts concept, but with a corded phone, and worked with the Videosmarts videos.
The system sold for $40-$50, with additional cassettes selling for less than $20, and shows up on eBay for as low as $19.95, or as high as $75 with the console and several videocassettes. The videos are available on YouTube, and based on what I’ve been able to find, looks like a good means to expand upon in a future article…especially given that I found some more information about the sequel systems. 🙂
And there you have it, smart kids and their smart toys…before smart toys! Tomorrow, another smart kid and his smart toy!
Until then, have a great Throwback Thursday!