What was your favorite tech gadget as a kid?

By Jos
Feb 12, 2016
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  1. Today’s kids live in a hyper-connected world, spoilt for choice when it comes to high tech gadgets and on-demand entertainment. But while we tend to look back with a bit of nostalgia at the simpler, less connected times, past generations have had their fair share of “high-tech” gadgets as well grabbing our attention for hours at a time -- and in some ways these are the things that helped shape our love for technology.

    In this week’s open forum we what to know: What was your favorite ‘tech’ gadget as a kid? Think 70s - 90s gadgets and toys, from the beloved Atari 2600, to Tiger Handheld games, perhaps your first “portable” camcorder or the trusty Casio calculator watch.

    Header image credit: Pinot Dita / Flickr

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  2. Spudnation

    Spudnation TS Rookie

    Nintendo Entertainment System.... later on with the game genie too of course.!
  3. CrisisDog

    CrisisDog TS Booster Posts: 119   +17

    One of the original handheld gaming systems: Mattel Electronics Basketball.

    And a surprise hit one Christmas: Invader from Space by Epoch. I wanted the official "Space Invaders" handheld from Entex, but this one ended up being so much better.
  4. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 619   +145

    Short wave in the kitchen. A lot of time spent tuning and listening to static and beeps.....and occasionally some Brungarian :)
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,295   +663

    I'd probably have to go with my various Atari computers. They weren't really "gadgets" since they weren't really portable (aside from stuffing them into a gym bag with controllers, disk drives and carts). So much fun. Also got a lot of joy from my dual deck boom boxes, aka "dubbing" boxes. My friends had mobile Tomy sports games and the like but I wasn't really into the LED scene, heh heh.
    mrtraver likes this.
  6. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +30

    The earliest one I can remember having was a Master Merlin, which I still have. I also had a Speak and Math, and a Frogger tabletop game. My first console was a Colecovision followed a few years later by an NES. I'm not sure which I would call my favorite though; they were all really awesome.
  7. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 83   +63

    I would also say the NES would be mine. I can still recall the commercial for Nintendo cereal.
  8. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Posts: 337   +43

    I probably spent the most hours and money on the Atari 2600 and Atari 800 computer. Entex Super Cobra was my favorite handheld gadget, and I played a lot of Mattel's Electronic Baseball.
  9. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 699   +164

    Must have been my Game Boy.
  10. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 251   +86

    I remember with special love a NES and a Walkman by Sony.
  11. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,550   +594

    The original Pong that plugged into the back of our black and white TV. Got the gaming bug forever after that. Yeah...I'm that old. ;)
    trgz and BabyFaceLee like this.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    Does a Canon film SLR camera from the 70's count as a "tech gadget"? If so, that would be it. And yeah, you can also count me as another vote for the Atari 2600.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    OortCloud likes this.
  14. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,028   +613

    The walkman did it for me.
    darkzelda likes this.
  15. BabyFaceLee

    BabyFaceLee TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +21

    Same as TomSea with Pong plugged into our old TV set - I think it was from Binatone.

    Also I remember my dad bringing home a calculator from work once (he was a boffin) and it was about 3ft wide and 2ft deep and we were mesmerized by it. :)
    trgz likes this.
  16. andrewyoung

    andrewyoung TS Enthusiast Posts: 41   +9

    Atari 2600....ahhh Missile Command.....good times.
  17. trgz

    trgz TS Booster Posts: 148   +22

    I think we had the same one - I had a calcalator that had a square root function too!.
  18. OortCloud

    OortCloud TS Booster Posts: 113   +27

    My "Woody" Atari - I can still hear the Pole Position start beeps and see Pitfall Alligators when I close my eyes! Later my BBC Micro for Elite, Revs, floppy disks and learning assembler.
  19. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +35

    My Dad's HP-35 calculator courtesy NASA QA Division. Hours & hours of fun. "If 142 Israelis and 154 Arabs are fighting over 69 acres of land for 5 days, who won?" (14215469 x 5) = 71077345. Simply awesome.
  20. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    I had a blowtorch that could cook a hot dog in about 10 seconds and marshmallows in 4-5 seconds.
  21. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,292   +55

    I liked the gyroscope I had. It would stand on its end. I think best, tho, was the phone and hacking att. Grandfather and mother worked for att western electric and egged me on. The kids of darien and I won many call in prizes. Concert tickets, a tv, 89 single records at one time, money, a stereo, and a boat. Someone in darien I didn't know won a new car. Hacking wasn't illegal then. Sort of like steve wozniak of apple.
  22. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,535   +288

  23. TreyDio

    TreyDio TS Rookie

    Etch a Sketch. It's been awhile.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  24. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,828   +881

    I found all these vibrating submarines in my parents closet as a kid, man were those a blast to play with
  25. GaminGuys

    GaminGuys TS Rookie

    There are so many. Anyone remember the Philips C13 phone where the phone handled the credit and you could hack the credit by turning it off and on again? The PS1 chip to play copied games? The Jtag hack on Xbox 360, jesus I used to have 6 guys selling KV's for me and a guy in Iran taking them from offline consoles. All good fun times, especially the online lobbies.

    My prized possessions these days and no1 on my hit-list of buys are the Nintendo Game & Watch. They have to be boxed and in very good condition but it doesn't get much more nostalgic than that. I feel naughty just opening the box as I'm adding wear and tear to it. Let's be honest, we would have split that box just to get in the darn thing back in the 80's so it offers some sense of pride to have collected some that a really nerdy kid took minutes to open just so it was preserved.

    That's gaming right there and that was tech back in the day.

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