By Tech Powered Dad | August 8, 2011
Click here to buy the Texas Instruments Little Professor on Ebay.
Little Professor–LCD version
One of the earliest electronic toys I had (and certainly my first math toy) was the Texas Instruments Little Professor. While I’ve heard some people refer to it as a child’s calculator, that’s really not an accurate description. It was a handheld device that quizzed you on simple math problems. The problems were all simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You just punched in the answer and pressed answer. A correct answer gave you a reward of the “Professor” doing a sort of “dance” with his face. Basically his eyebrows and mustached wiggled up and down. Strange, but it was a pretty good incentive for me when I was 7 years old. If you got enough questions correct, he did a longer dance.
I only recently found out that there were several pretty distinct models of the Little Professor. I had an LCD display with flat buttons. Apparently, that was the later, less popular model. On Ebay, you’ll see that the far more common Little Professor model had raised buttons and used a red LED display. The Texas Instruments website even shows a Solar Little Professor model, something I’ve not seen “in the wild.” Regardless of the model, the game play was the same, and as far as 1980’s math toys went, it was a lot of fun. After a while, I outgrew the toy. It was too effective for me in teaching the problems, and it got boring when I got to the point where I stopped missing problems. Nonetheless, this was a classic Texas Instruments toy that was a precursor to many other great educational toys and games to come.
Check out the Texas Instruments Little Professor on Ebay.