Kids' computers through the ages

The evolution of toy computers for children mirrors that of real-world systems for adults. We look at some of the changes the play-along versions have undergone in the past 70 years.

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Sears Talking Computron (1986) 

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The first half of the 1980s produced a number of simple toy computers, including the VTL Computron and the Sears Talkatron Learning Computer, both of which were marketed prominently through the annual Sears Wish Book catalog.

Sears followed up on those units with the Sears Talking Computron, shown here, which expanded on its predecessors' capabilities with additional built-in activities and better voice synthesis. The Talking Computron also ran software off of cartridge-based expansion modules--each sold separately.

Photo: Sears

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