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Author Topic: Strange 'Consoles' like the LeapPad  (Read 1627 times)
Dojidave
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« on: November 26, 2022 @654.57 »

I wanted to share the existence of the Leapfrog LeapPad!
The LeapPad was pretty cool to my 8 year old self, as far as I knew I was the only one who owned it or was even really aware of its existence. It worked by having a book and a cartage, the book was placed into the center of the thing while the cartage was put into the side. In the machine there where sensors that could detect the location of the pen attached to it. This would activate voice lines that would read text out loud or play simple games. You would tell the thing to go to the next page by pressing the the on the designated area. Overall I have found memories of this thing, other than thinking its was lame compared to the consoles my friends had.

What odd gaming consoles did you have as a kid if any? :smile:

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Frost Sheridan
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2022 @686.23 »

yo, i had a leap pad as a kid too! i had a book for it that featured a playable piano keyboard, which was my favorite thing to do on it. young frost spent a ton of time making his own terrible ‘music’ with it.

i didn’t have any other odd game consoles as a kid, just standard ones like a nintendo 64 and GBA, but i’ve always been fascinated with other weird and creative tech toys. someday when i feel like wasting money, i’d love to build up a collection of all those IM/chat toys that were everywhere in the 2000s.
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Dojidave
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2022 @769.20 »

yo, i had a leap pad as a kid too! i had a book for it that featured a playable piano keyboard, which was my favorite thing to do on it. young frost spent a ton of time making his own terrible ‘music’ with it.

Oh nice! I had that keyboard too and remember making similar terrible ‘music’. :ozwomp:
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2022 @828.10 »

I'm not sure if this is the same idea but old plug and play consoles were everything to young me, I still go back and watch the jontron video on them. Also I think whoever made the leappad made a metric ton of other "consoles" for kids too because I remember a totally different one that my friend cody had
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2022 @306.25 »

I predate the LeapPad by quite a bit (though my younger brothers had them, and later the Leapster handheld video game systems--and honestly the Batman game was pretty fun?).

But a weird interactive toy I did have was the voice-activated Voyager by Texas Instruments. It was a goofy headset with cartridges that asked you trivia questions about various topics. As I recall it only really responded to like, "yes" or "no"? I remember getting frustrated with it sometimes because it didn't understand me. But it was a magical freaking toy at the time.


(that's not me in the last photo, just the only pic I could find of a kid wearing the thing other than the one on the box!)


And then there's my first "computer": the VTech PreComputer 1000.



This badboy (lol) gave primarily trivia questions as well, as I recall, though I believe there might have been math problems as well? And you could play Hangman!


So there ya go, technology from the stone age.
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TheFrugalGamer
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2022 @723.39 »

Welp, this went an unlocked some memories for me. I'm not sure if this counts as a console? It's more of a handheld game, but I used to have this thing called the "Quiz Whiz," made by Tiger Electronics:



It came with a little quiz booklet, and in order to play, you would first type in the number of the question you wanted to answer using the number buttons, and then you would chose your answer using the letter buttons on the right. Then you'd press "Enter" and a nice little game-show voice would shout "Right!," "Correct!" or "Wrong!" I remember having a lot of fun using it for its intended purpose. My brother, however, had a ton of fun using it for the wrong purposes. He would grab the Quiz Whiz, type in a random number, then ask loudly, "IS FRUGAL GAMER STUPID:dunno:" and hit a random letter. When the announcer would answer in the affirmative he'd double over with laughter, otherwise he'd just spam it until he got the answer he wanted. Repeat ad nauseum with similar questions: ":grin:OES SHE SMELL BAD?? IS SHE UGLY:dunno: ARE YOU SURE....?"

I also had a handheld game called Lights Out that I LOVED and still remember fondly:



You've probably played a version of this in videogames, because it's often used as a minigame puzzle. It's actually an old math game called Sigma+ and it's based on pattern recognition. I loved it so much that I got the deluxe version when it came out too:



This one was way better than the first in just about every way. It had a larger playing board, included multiplayer, and had other modes that would let you play with an inverted board and also change the pattern it used for turning the lights out.

Nowadays this sort of thing would just be an app on your phone, but those just don't have the same charm.
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Dojidave
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2022 @728.62 »

But a weird interactive toy I did have was the voice-activated Voyager by Texas Instruments.

WOW! That thing looks really cool and out of this world :]

I was not aware that so many early game stuff where focused around trivia. Maybe its my perception or just my experience but I don't feel like there is much interest in trivia these days.

Leapster handheld video game systems

How could I forget about that gem!



Much fun was had on this thing. :smile:
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2022 @746.44 »

Hey, I had a LeapPad! I loved that when I was really young :omg:k:

Hmm... The only other similar thing that I can kinda remember that I owned was a little VTech computer! It had math minigames, I think? I can't remember which model it was (or if it was even VTech, but it seems like the most likely answer?) for the life of me, but I do remember the math minigames, at least...

I have such a strange fondness for this type of stuff!!! Touchscreens just don't hit the same way. :omg:k: Physical buttons on technology is such a great thing, and I'm kinda sad that weird tech like that is dead in favor of phones lol.
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2022 @107.40 »

WOW! That thing looks really cool and out of this world :]

I was not aware that so many early game stuff where focused around trivia. Maybe its my perception or just my experience but I don't feel like there is much interest in trivia these days.

Might have been because trivia involved very simple input for responses, which worked well in the relatively simple systems of the time.
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Wobblegong
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2022 @898.91 »

I had a Leappad too, the only one I remember was about classical music? I think there was also one with geography games

also had a bunch of those things that only played one specific game (like Hangman or 20 Questions)
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2022 @736.05 »

I used to have a leappad, well still do. It is pink and I used to play my paw patrol rescue game on it as well as look after my pet. I also have one of the watches, with the little pets and minigames.
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worldwidewar
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2022 @911.99 »

I didn't have any LeapFrog stuff, but I had the VTech V.Smile Pocket at some point pre-K5. I swear I found a video on YouTube a while ago of a demoscene project that someone started for it, but I can't find it anymore. It wasn't Doom or anything, but it's still funny to know that there's homebrew for edutainment systems.
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2023 @207.56 »

Anybody remember this bad boy? Supposedly this was my first console (according to mom) but I coulda sworn that the PS1 was my first. Either way, I remember I would swap between both of 'em. Sorry Playstation, but how are you gonna beat a controller that looks like this?



Also seeing the Leapster is bringing back some fond memories of playing games at church events. Those buttons on the right sure are weird!
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2023 @939.98 »

Anybody remember this bad boy? Supposedly this was my first console (according to mom) but I coulda sworn that the PS1 was my first. Either way, I remember I would swap between both of 'em. Sorry Playstation, but how are you gonna beat a controller that looks like this?



Omg, I almost completely forgot about this console! I don't remember exactly how much I played it (I was usually outside) but I do remember I owned the dora the explorer game for this, and it was pretty fun at the time. I think my grandma still has it somewhere, though I'm not sure if it would even work now. I also swapped between those, though I'm pretty sure I played slightly more of the PS1 because I really liked playing Spyro lol
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SilkSkull
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2023 @773.34 »

Something interesting I found about them recently!
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