Friday, June 8, 2012

Simon, Einstein, Merlin and other electronic memory toys

The folks over at plastic fetish give us the inspiration for today's toy posting.  Einstein was Simon for the pic n' save set by way of castle electronics.  It was pretty fun and was a solid enough alternative to Simon that no one would make fun of it.  Simon seemed a little more portable but this wasn't a piece of crap that you felt a waste of money.

This toy, just like Simon is an electronic memory game.  The object is to push button in the same pattern that Simon spits out.  It comes faster and faster and continues to create increasingly longer patterns for you to match.  The Simon toy is still available today in a backpack clip form.

At the time there were a variety of Simon Clones like the Einstein.   Atari had the touch me, Parker brothers had the cooler looking Merlin and there was something called Milton from another toy company.

The Simon line continued to spawn no versions as well.  We had the Super Simon with eight buttons, A Star Wars Simon with an xwing, Simon2 (read that as squared).  There was something called Simon Sticks that I have no idea what they are and the Simon trickster and flash.

The original Simon was invented by Ralph Baer, who you will know as one of the fathers of video gaming.  He was the inventor of the Odyssey one.

As you can see the Merlin looked like some sort of cool submarine control, like you were going to dial in a torpedo attack on a German U-boat.  They changed the buttons to have numbers later on in the toys lifeline.  I think its cooler without them though.  Thanks to tawnya marie at blogspot for the picture.

The Star wars version looks like another abomination from the phantom menace era of marketation.  Exploitation and Marketing all rolled into a fan boy cash grab of epic levels.

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