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Alphie The "Educational" Robot

On Christmas Day in 1978, kids across the U.S. unwrapped Alphie and gloated, "Wow! Cool! A robot of my very own!" Unfortunately, however, Alphie wasn't equipped with lasers, missiles, or nuclear death rays. In fact, he couldn't even move. He only had a few blinking red lights and a blatty musical tone that farted out "London Bridge Is Falling Down." But Playskool suckered parents into getting this for their kids by calling it "educational."

In a day and age when Sesame Street ruled the airwaves and toys were marketed as "enriching and learning," Alphie was educational in the way white bread was "filled with vitamins." Armed with plastic game cards, Alphie allegedly could teach you math, memory skills, and some language basics. But all he was really good for was playing "Claire De Lune" over and over so you could drive your parents crazy.

Illustration for article titled Alphie The Educational Robot

He was sadly retired when Alphie II came out in the 1980s, but the new model sucked harder than the old one, and he was banished to the deep recesses of attics and basements across America. Alphie, I know you're somewhere in my parent's house in Texas. When I find you we'll see who gets schooled then, bitch.


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I have very fond memories of the alphie in the video. Made me smile to see it.