Melody Madness

Do you remember Melody Madness?

A few years ago I met a guy who enjoyed making music with old electronic toys. He would go goodwill and haul away just about anything that beeped or blooped and would take it home and try to make it do even more unusual things. His collection, which he kept in boxes and shelves was like some weird Frankenstein version of my childhood. Speak & Spells and Merlins everywhere in various states of seeming disrepair with wires hanging out of them. Turns out, that was just for appearances. Each one of these electronic toys had been modified to make a sound that this wizard thought was appropriate and useful. On his shelf was a toy that I really wished had worked, because I always wanted to play it as a kid, Melody Madness.

It had not even been modified. The poor thing just didn’t work anymore and according to its owner it was too far gone. He said it had rotted, but liked the way it looked and kept it even after cannibalizing much of what was salvageable. While it was just the mere husk of a Melody Madness, I still wanted it. I even made him an offer on it, but he refused.

Part of me hopes that he was able to use that case for something else. Maybe that Melody Madness was hooked up to some small computer and its buttons are again making sweet melodies. In my dreams, that is exactly what it is doing.

The original Melody Madness was a song-based matching game. You push a button and the unit played a sound. Then you would hit a button to to match it to another song. The music is only in snippets and I believe all the songs were in the public domain. Here is a video of the Melody Madness in action.

Melody Madness Demonstration video

Did anyone out there get to play with Melody Madness? Was it everything I hoped it would be?

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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