Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Casio Loopy - Game Console For Girls


Nintendo's Wii is getting a lot of credit for bringing video games back to the whole family.  Game consoles have often had a couple titles aimed at girls, but they were often cloying and not nearly as good as what you could call the more male-oriented games.  In the mid 90's, Casio tried to re-enter the console market (they made a disastrous bid in the early 80's) with a console aimed and 100% expressly marketed to girls.

Casio_loopy_3_2 Only 11 games were ever released for the Loopy, and there's only one controller port - so sisters are doin' it for themselves.  Most titles were "Otome" games - dating simulators - gameplay  leads the characters through in-game romances.  The most distinctive feature of this console is the built-in sticker printer that lets the player generate screenshot labels with text.  There was also a capture accessory that could grab a picture from VHS or DVD and output that as a sticker as well.

It's an interesting concept for a console, but I've always been uncomfortable making such firm distinctions in games and toys that supposedly interest boys versus girls.  Even though video games are seldom marketed toward girls, aren't they just as adept at button mashing as the guys?  Does it make me less manly to say that I think that I would have really enjoyed the sticker printing aspect of the Loopy?  Wait, don't answer that...

Loopy_04I dislike marketing that sets up gender barriers so early in children's lives.  Maybe that's why I still like classic & cartoony video games so much.  There's nothing inherently male or female about Donkey Kong, Rally-X, Dig Dug & classics like those.  Girls and women have always been able to bring it as far as gaming... and let's not forget what an awesome sequel we have in Pac-Man's better half.


Casio sampling keyboard - in pink!

Casio VL-tone early synthesizer

Casio robot alarm clock

Casio biorhythm calculator

Kermit the Frog sampling keyboard


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