An Old Favorite Toy
About 7 or 8 years ago, some friends gave my family this thing.
I don't know where they bought it, or if it's still made, but it's amazing.
This little dome of blue plastic and its computer brain has provided my family and all of my closest friends with endless hours of hilarity and fun.
What does it do? Simple--it plays 20 questions with you. The machine claims to be able to guess whatever you're thinking of after asking up to 20 yes-or-no questions.
And it's good, it's really good.
Some of our friends have developed the theory that the machine can hear, so in deciding on a word, they make sure to put the machine in a different room so that it can't eavesdrop on the discussion.
My siblings and I usually choose the strategy of choosing things that to us appear to be really random, obscure, and unconnected. In the past week we've tried: doormat, platypus, and faucet--it guessed them all.
One particularly hilarious evening, we thought we had hit upon the perfect word: angel. Not the one I'm married to, but the generic angel. We giggled as we answered "Yes," "No," "Sometimes," or "Rarely." to questions like, "Can it be purchased?" "Does it bring joy?" and "Is it smaller than a microwave oven?"
(Does anyone have an estimate as to the size of an average angel?)
We were smugly convinced that the machine had no idea what we were thinking until after the 20th question, when the machine said, "You win! JUST KIDDING! Are you thinking of an angel?"
We are in awe of this machine.
Angel claims that he beat the machine with the word showerhead, but because he is Angel and because no one was with him when this supposed victory occurred, we suspect that he may have been a little purposefully vague in the way he answered the machine's questions, and in so doing, the results may not be reliable.
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure it's safe to have such an intelligent toy in your house--but our home wouldn't feel quite the same without it.
Besides the 20Q's machine, I also feel great affection for Bop-it Extreme. My affection for other toys--Barbie, Lego, Play-Doh--did not extend beyond childhood.
What were the best toys you had when you were growing up?