In 1989, LJN Toys tried to cash in the baseball card collecting fad – and also trying to make it more of a fun pastime for kids than the ultra-serious, plastic-encased “investment opportunity” that it had unfortunately become – with the Sportstalk, a handheld device about the size of a tape recorder that played its proprietary, oversized baseball cards, each of which had a tiny vinyl record on the back which featured statistics and current and past players chewing the fat about their finest on-field moments. Toys “R” Us ordered a million Sportstalks and only sold about 10 percent about them – the $30 for the device and $2 per card was probably too steep for most kids. In a short-lived sports phase, I saved up my money and bought one; at best it was totally boring, at worst it didn’t work right; I got my money back inside of two weeks. Twenty years later, there’s very little Internet evidence that this obscure little toy that was supposed to be huge ever really existed.
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