Hot Item to Sell on eBay – Old Electronic Toys for Circuit Bending

You may have heard of a toy made by Texas Instruments from the late 1970s early 1980s called Speak and Spell. (My little sister had one. If learning to read had only been so fun for me! )  The toy is a red and yellow keyboard with a carrying handle that speaks to the user as she practices spelling. The voice component is what made this learning toy so fun as it was one of the first of its kind.

This toy has been a hot seller on eBay for years, not so much because it is a vintage toy, but because electronics wizards rewire devices like this to achieve something called “circuit bending.” This occurs when the circuits are rewired to create weird and funky sounds, like in this video. Electronics wizards introduce variable resistors, change feedback loops, and otherwise alter the circuit. Basically, the item is dismantled and rewired to create a completely new synthesized sound. Circuit bending presents a risk of fire or electrocution, so it isn’t for a novice! These folks know what they are doing.

Other items such as electronic keyboards, electronic guitars, some children’s musical toy phones, the TI Speak and Read, and the TI Speak and Math can be used for circuit bending. Click here to see completed eBay listings for items with the keywords “circuit bending” in the title. The Speak and Spell is the most common. If you find one to sell, be sure to put “circuit bending” in the title. Expect a selling price of $50 or more for a unit in good condition that still works. Having the original box and instructions will bring a higher price, as with any vintage item. Be prepared to ship internationally.




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