2-XL Robot

2-XL Robot 1978The 2-XL Robot was a educational tape-playing toy robot that was first released in the 1978 and produced until 1981. The first version was produced by Mego Corporation used 8-track tapes but by the early 90’s these were out of fashion and a new upgraded model was released by Tiger Electronics in 1992 that ran on cassettes and looked far cooler and much more robot-like than the previous one.

Invented by Dr Michael Freeman, who also voiced the robot, 2-XL could tell jokes, sing, ask questions and play games, whenever you turned the robot on he would say “Thank you for turning me on, I am 2-XL”. Each of the 2-XL tapes or cartridges had a different educational theme and the robot challenged the listener to questions. To choose an answer you pressed one of the buttons on the front, A or Yes or True, B or More Info, C or No or False, if you got the answer correct he would praise you, maybe tell a joke, if you got the answer wrong then he would let you know it was an incorrect answer.

2-XL-Robot2-XL actually still exists today, under the name ‘Kasey the Kinderbot’ which is made by Tiger Electronics and also created by Dr Freeman, however, it is so far removed from its original form and style that you probably wouldn’t have known had you come across one.

There were several different version of the 2-XL, the original 1978 robot was quite bulky and made of a hard brown plastic with a face made from lighter plastic. In 1980 a redesign was released which gave 2-XL a more friendly shape which had arms and a rounded head. This version also had flashing eyes which would get brighter the higher you turned up the volume.

The 1992 version of 2-XL looked much more like the futuristic robot that you would expect. In addition to the light-up eyes, it also had a circle for a mouth that would light up as the robot spoke and a headphone jack. The second 2-XL run lasted for three years before finally being discontinued in 1995, never to be seen in the same form again.

Their was a fairly large variety of tapes for the 2-XL Robot, the 1978 version had subjects such as 50’s and 60’s Nostalgia, Bicycle Safety etc. The 1992 version seemed to have more fun subjects such as Trivia, Batman, Food Facts, Geography, Spider-Man, Superman, X-Men and many more.

Did You Know?
Scholastic Magazine (Toy Business Authority since 1903) had the 2-XL as its cover story in September 1978, they considered it one of the most important toys ever developed at its time and included it in its “toys with impact” alongside Mickey Mouse, Barbie Doll, Teddy Bear etc.

2-XL Robot

Below are both the 1978 and 1992 commercials, you can see the major differences simply by watch each video.

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