Being a kid in the 1980s was awesome. We had Transformers, Garbage Pail Kids and Simon, among a plethora of other not very educational toys. (Well, I suppose you could argue that Simon was educational…to some degree.) If our toys were educational, there was usually some type of electronic gimmickry involved, I guess because we Nintendo-playing, cartoon-obsessed spawn of the MTV Generation had short attention spans.
But one of my favorite low-tech toys of the 80s was Read-Along audio books. I used to spend hours laying on the floor on my stomach with my Fisher Price tape recorder, open book sprawled in front of me as I took an audible journey into my favorite stories. I must have read/listened to Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree at least fifty times.
Who didn’t love turning pages to this sound?
Some of the coolest Read-Along books were the ones based on movies like Star Wars, Gremlins, and The Goonies. I found this great site that archives these forgotten treasures of the past. You can download MP3s of the books’ audio, or an .exe file that presents the original book pages with read-along audio. They even have Read-Along versions Willow and The Dark Crystal! Head on over to Read-Along Adventures for a trip down memory lane.