Here’s some Information Age math for you:
The internet + the human mind’s amazing powers of recall = your childhood rediscovered.
For the longest time I’ve been searching for a lost relic from my own childhood, an educational toy I just recently learned was called Questron. (No, not the 1980s role-playing game of the same name.) Does anyone remember it? For some reason, I kept incorrectly remembering the name as “Quiztron” and thus my Google searches never turned up anything relevant and leading me to believe I had possibly dreamed the thing into existence. And then last week I stumbled upon this old blog post by Copywrong and my sanity was restored!
Questron was a battery-powered “answer wand” that worked with a series of specially-printed educational activity books. The books were full of questions that had multiple choice answers, which you’d use the wand to select. If you touched the wand to a correct answer, it lit up green and rewarded you with a happy-sounding alarm. If you touched a wrong answer, the wand lit up red and buzzed annoyingly.
It was all very high-tech for the mid-eighties, or at least it felt that way at the time; kind of like video games meets homework. I think my mom brought this home thinking it would deter me from playing so much Nintendo, the silly woman. I don’t remember if Questron actually taught me anything I didn’t already know, but it sure was fun to move that wand around on the colorful pages and pretend I was smart. Of course, once you knew which block to touch for the correct answer, it was easy impress mom and dad with your amazing knowledge.
Today I dug a little further and unearthed this old Questron commercial (in surprisingly great quality) that someone uploaded earlier this year. I don’t remember ever having seen this on TV, but the British accents probably have something to do with that. Now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t recall ever having seen any commercial for Questron.
I’ve seen a couple of wands and book sets going on Ebay for around $50. I don’t think I could bring myself to pay that much, but if I ever come across one of these things a yard sale or flea market, I’ll be all over it.
What about you? Do you remember this toy, and if so, what books did you have?