Texas Instruments MAGIC WAND  Speak & Learn

Date of introduction:  1983 Display technology:  n.a.
New price:  $120.00
 Books: $12.00
Display size:  
Size:  11.0" x 11-0" x 2.3"    
Weight:  26 ounces Serial No:  
Batteries:  4*D cells Date of manufacture:  wk 46 year 1983
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  C14007, TMS5220, CD2228
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

The MAGIC WAND "SPEAK & LEARN" followed the original "SPEAKING READER" within a few months from its introduction. The only change we discovered so far is the label on the housing of the product.

Both MAGIC WARD and SPEAKING READER together give you an imagination of the technology behind this rare educational toy:

A small barcode reader catches words and sounds from a text book and the
synthesizer technology borrowed from the earlier Speak & Spell, Speak & Math or the Speak & Read reproduces it. The barcodes are entered from the left to the right.

The barcode reader (wand) is attached to a long cable to reach the every corner of the rather large books. The side view of the barcode reader shows a black tip on the right made from infrared transmissive plastic. Inside of the housing neatly formed for small hands you will find a Infrared LED as transmitter and a transistor as receiver to sample the barcodes printed in the books.

The story books end with a little reading comprehension test asking some questions and demonstrates the capabilities of the innovative concept of the MAGIC WAND.

Dismantling this MAGIC WAND Speak & Learn manufactured in November 1983 by Texas Instruments in the United States reveals a design centered around just three main Integrated Circuits:

C14007: Most likely a TMS1000 based 4-bit microcontroller
TMS5220: TMS5200 VSP (Voice Synthesis Processor) with updated LPC-10 table
TMC0355/CD2228: VSM (Voice Synthesis Memory) with 32k Bits

Unfortunately released Texas Instruments never a list of the available barcode-books of the MAGIC WAND Speak & Learn but fellow collector James Townsend compiles it for us. 

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.