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December 29th, 2002


I remember being fascinated as a kid by the 2XL, a little robot-looking device that acted as your own quiz show host. Interestingly, the original 2XL ran on 8-track tapes, fast-forwarding and rewinding depending on the answers that you gave. The smart-alec voice was actually pretty cool because it didn’t sound like a synthesized robotic voice, but more like a guy selling pizzas in Brooklyn.

I had a 2XL for a short time, but it broke pretty quickly, probably due to its reliance on the notoriously short life of 8-track tapes. Later on, a cassette version of the 2XL was released and presumably had a longer shelf-life.

Anyone else have memories of this cool, but generally forgotten, piece of eduatainment history?

Posted in Childhood Memories

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday December 29, 2002 -- 12:13:32 pm
That thing looks like an R2D2 reject done up in doo-doo brown.

FROM: qwik
DATE: Monday December 30, 2002 -- 12:28:34 pm
I still have my 2XL.. Someday I'll have to dig it out and see if it still works.. I even have some of the 2xl games that smapped onto the unit and you played a board type game..

FROM: Jeff
DATE: Thursday February 13, 2003 -- 5:44:33 pm
I loved 2XL. I'm the current high bidder of one on e-bay (the one I had when I was 8 broke), and hope I can locate some of the tapes. Easily my favorite toy. I loved deliberately answering some questions wrong just to hear its reaction.

FROM: Nick G
DATE: Tuesday March 4, 2003 -- 4:01:31 pm
I think that 2xl should be re-incarnated. If enough of us contact fisher price, the maker of casy the kinderbot, and ask them to contact Freeman to see if he can make an actual re-incarnation of 2xl.

FROM: Melissa
DATE: Wednesday June 18, 2003 -- 11:50:50 am
I just bid on a 2-XL in ebay. My mom still has our original 2-XL, but it has so much dust inside that all we get is static if we plug it in. Unfortunately, we lost almost all the 8-track tapes for it.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday June 18, 2003 -- 12:59:50 pm
Cleaning tape decks is pretty easy, using cotton swabs and tape head cleaner..5 bucks at a Radio Shack can get you fixed up there.

FROM: Anthony
DATE: Thursday April 1, 2004 -- 7:50:41 pm
I was surfing today and came across this page. I had a 2xl (the 8 track version) when I was a kid. I loved it. Does anyone remember who the maker was?

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 1, 2004 -- 9:48:59 pm
Anthony --

The Mego Corporation of New York imported the originals from China..

Check the faq for more info...

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday April 28, 2005 -- 7:19:54 pm
I always wanted a 2XL. No matter how much I asked for one, my parents had the same reply: "You don't need that!" Hey, no kidding, but that was their answer for everything, including shoes--but I digress. The point is that I really really really really really really wanted one and knew I'd never get one--my folks were strapped for anything but working class "basics."

I finally got a 2XL about five years ago or so as a gift, as age 30 or so, by my significant other. She had one as a kid and just went on and on about how great it was. She could tell that I still wanted one.

She gave it to me to cheer me up while I had a killer flu. It came with about fifty tapes.

I love it! When she gave it to me, it was a Hallmark Moment (R).

By the way 2XL means "to excel."

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