2-XL is Mego's 1970's entry into the educational toy category, invented by Dr. Michael J. Freeman - an honest to goodness educator. Pop in one of several special robo-cartridges, and the voice of 2-XL will ask you questions on the cart's topic. Each question has three choices, and you select your answer using one of the three buttons on the robot's front. 2-XL's voice will either sing your priases, or gently razz your defeat. Neat little bit of interactive media, eh?
The original 2-XL was made of hard brown plastic, with white plastic on the front.
The toy had two yellow light bulbs for eyes that flashed at various moments while the 8-track program tapes played, and he had four red push buttons on his stomach:
"A or Yes Or True"
"B or More Info"
"C or No or False"
There was also a volume and power on knob found on the lower right portion of the unit. At the bottom was a large slot where an 8-Track tape would be inserted.
The toy was essentially a regular 8-Track player, with each button operating a different track.
Michael J. Freeman had a hard time convincing companies of the benefits that his toy would provide. Many companies turned down the idea, saying it was just too expensive and not practical to invest so much into an educational toy when kids are typically reluctant to buy educational items.
Finally, Mego Corporation decided that it fit in well with their company. They were makers of action figures based on popular TV shows, many of which were sci-fi related.
Freeman was involved with all phases of the toy's development, including how the internal mechanism worked.
The Mego version of 2-XL was produced for four years, 1978–1981.
The 8-Track tapes focused around a robot with a New York accent, (voiced by creator Dr. Michael J. Freeman Ph.D. himself) who would speak as if the listener was right there with him wherever he happened to be in the storyline. He would ask multiple-choice questions based on the subject of the tape, and the user would answer the question he asked by pushing the corresponding button. A right answer resulted in 2-XL congratulating the user on his knowledge, while a wrong answer would result in a razzing as 2-XL explained what the proper answer was. In between questions, there would sometimes be a story going on that the user was involved with, with the answers to the questions corresponding to the storyline. Other times 2-XL would crack a bad joke and laugh at his own humor with a crazy-sounding laugh that was one of the many running gags that would be found on almost every tape in the series.
Eagle-eyed Retrothingers may notice that the cartridges are in the much beleaguered 8 track tape format. It's actually a clever use of 8 track - the questions are on one track, and your keypresses change tracks on the tape. You get different responses based on your selection. 2-XL was a rather clever interactive toy - it was even reintroduced using audio cassettes in the 90's.
Anyone else remember 2-XL? We sure do!
Originally developed by Dr. Michael J. Freeman, Ph.D, the robot was intended to teach, even to the point that even it's unique name was a play on words - "To Excel."
Way ahead of it's time, the robot told jokes, played games, and posed questions intended to intrique and inspire children to enjoy learning interactively.
He, if we can take the liberty of referring to the robot as 'he', came equipped with an entertaining game called "Tri-Lex," a mash-up between checkers and tic-tac-toe.
Unfortunately, 2-XL passed from the scene and has become a collectors item.
Condition: Tested Working. This item is fully functional. It is missing the original ac adapter. It uses a 9-volt AC adapter with a 3.5 mm mini-plug tip. A universal AC adapter worked perfectly for testing (not included).
General Information Game Cartridge Is Included.
This item stands approximately 1 foot tall by 6 inches wide and weighs several pounds.