Sportstalk Talking Baseball Cards

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.

Brian Boone

From the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Northwest, I contribute to the Retroist, write for trivia publications, and blog about music in a humorous fashion. I feel about "Back to the Future" the way you feel about "Star Wars." Also, I'm married and have a child (sorry ladies, orphans).

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