Tag Archives: toy

Introduction to my MERLIN handheld electronic game from 1978

I created this short teaser video to introduce you to my MERLIN handheld electronic game that I played with when I was 8 years old. It still works!

And if that short 1.5 minute teaser left you wanting more, then you’re in luck! You can also watch a 23 minute detailed walk-through version where I spend time explaining and playing each of the 6 games!

Here’s the classic Merlin commercial from 1978! If you were alive then, you will surely remember it! Good luck getting this ear-worm of a jingle out of your head!

“Merlin is a computer with personality! Plays 6 different games! Talks with 20 sounds!” I love the marketing creativity!

And here is commercial number 2 from 1980! They used the same ear-worm of a jingle with different lyrics.

Merlin was invented by former NASA employee Bob Doyle. I think he may have created this website called TheElectronicWizard.com which has an awesome interactive Merlin app which actually lets you play with Merlin right in your web browser! Incredible!

Thanks for your interest!


Introduction to my 2-XL toy robot from 1978

I created this 20 minute video to introduce you to my 2-XL toy robot that I played with when I was 8 years old.  It still works!

Apparently the manufacturer is pronounced “meego”. Oops!

Here’s the website that I got the image of the internals of an 8-track tape from that I used in the video.

And here is a full resolution map of the 2-XL General Information user experience (click thumbnail):


I love this 2-XL commercial!  “Can be used to play any 8-track cartridges!  Teenagers love it!”

Thanks for your interest!



Photo of box

“Construct-Bots are a brand-new way to play with Transformers. Your kids can construct and customize their favorite Transformers characters, mix and match across sets to create their own new Transformers and convert their creations easily between robot and vehicle modes without taking anything apart.”


I’m a member of a social marketing community called BzzAgent where they send product samples and coupons to members and let them try out products and then the members review those products to create a buzz.

Last week I received a product sample for the Transformers Construct-Bots toy.  It’s two toys in one box.  Both toys are in pieces and include instructions for snapping them together and for transforming them from robot to vehicle and back.

I gave this toy to my 11 year old, who is a master of construction toys and he pretty much loved it.  His first comment was that his friend was talking about the toy at school recently and his friend liked that you didn’t have to take it apart to transform it.


When my boy opened it up and started snapping it together, he made the comment that the instructions ought to be a little more accurate on the colors.  I noticed that some of the pieces were multi-colored, but the instructions only showed the main color.  That’s sort of a nit, but my boy knew we would be reviewing the toy online, so he made sure I knew about every single little thing that he found wrong with it.  🙂


Another thing he pointed out was that the ball joint inside the head was really tight and made it difficult to snap the head into place.  One other problem he had was that there was one transform instruction where the legs get turned around backwards and he did not understand that one instruction so he ignored it and then later had trouble with another instruction that didn’t work with the legs not turned around.  I thought the instructions were pretty clear, but I suppose if there was a way to show flipping around 180 degrees rather than just putting a small arrow in the instructions, that would have been more clear.

When the toys were completely put together and transformed from robot to vehicle and back, both my boys had fun playing with them.  The next day when grandparents came over to visit, my 11 year old immediately ran to get his new Transformer Construct-Bots toys to show them off.  He’s pretty happy with this toy.  And I’m happy with it too.  It appears to be a well designed and well made toy for ages 7 and up.


If you are planning to purchase the double set (also called the Ultimate set), let me know because I have significant coupons for that set.  Contact me via phone or use the email me link on my website.