Talk ‘N Play is a registered trademark for an interactive toy that was sold from 1983 to 1992. The entertainment and educational toy was manufactured by CBS Toys, Hasbro, and Kiddesigns.
Among other things, it provided a built-in microphone that provided recording capabilities so that children could add their own voice to interact with the characters. This provided more interactivity from the child but the main voices were created and produced by Sesame Street and Disney characters under License.
It also included songs that the child could add or remove instruments. This toy was considered to be ahead of its time since it was the only toy that allowed children to actively interact with famous characters.
It was an audio cassette player with four color-coded extra “answer buttons”. The toy was prompted verbally and pressing one of the “answer buttons” allowed the listener to hear one of the four responses. Each one of the audio cassettes was paired with its book with color coding for each of the Answer Button prompts.
The Talk ‘N Play was invented and patented by Michael J. Freeman, Ph.D. and licensed for use by the Children’s Television Workshop, owners of Sesame Street, and by the Walt Disney Company. The toy won five excellence awards during its 9-year life.
Today, Hasbro markets other products under the brand name Talk ‘N Play, which refer to interactive programs that respond to one’s voice. There are not many of such toys sold, at least not on Amazon. A quick search on the merchandise giant prompts to several interactive toys designed for pets.
This is understandable given that the entire interactive aspect patented when the technology first was created has been replaced by more advanced interactive technology as in Artificial Intelligence gadgets.