Little Professor calculator

Little Professor calculator

Synopsis of Toy

Between Pong in the arcades and the Atari VCS in the living room, electronic games began invading the consciousness of family life in the late 1970’s. Of course, the parents of the kids becoming addicted to these video marvels wished for electronic games that offered some educational value. They got their wish in 1976 with Little Professor. This electronic educator was the creation of Texas Instruments, a company best known at the time for their domination of the calculator market. Thus, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to discover that the Little Professor was a calculator-styled educational toy.

Little Professor was easy to transport, thanks to its convenient hand-held size. It was also easy on the eyes, thanks to its attractive design, which depicted a professor with a white mustache reading a book under its keypad. The top of the device (which formed the top of the Professor’s head) was appropriately shaped like a graduate’s mortarboard. It also housed the LED display, which was positioned right above his eyes. When you read the LED display, it was like reading what was going on in the Professor’s brain.

Unlike a calculator, though, the Little Professor did not do the math for its young users. Instead, it suggested math problems to the user that could be solved through addition, multiplication, division, or subtraction. The Professor came with four colorful game cards, one for each type of problem, to facilitate the mathematical fun. The user would then work out the problem on paper and enter the answer into the Little Professor’s keypad. If the answer was correct, the Little Professor would award that person points. Little Professor also offered five levels of difficulty to keep budding math geniuses on their toes.

Little Professor was quite successful in its time and it is still produced today by Texas Instruments in a sleek model that has replaced the old-school LED display with a digital readout. The success of Little Professor also led Texas Instruments to create other cool education-minded electronic toys like Speak & Spell and Speak & Math. This long-lived level of success and influence proves that Little Professor’s combination of mathematical challenges and electronic fun is still a winner.

Release History of Toy

1976 - Little Professor

Sub Categories of Toys

electronic games

Toy and Game Manufacturer

Texas Instruments

Other Toy Links