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Children's Discovery System facts for kids

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Children's Discovery System
Childrens Discovery System - Image - 1981.jpg
Manufacturer Mattel
Generation Second generation
Release date September 1981 (1981-09)
Discontinued 1984
Media Learning Module ROM cartridges
Memory 2k RAM
Display LCD 16x48
Input Membrane keyboard

The Mattel Children's Discovery System is an early electronic educational toy product released by Mattel in 1981. The Children's Discovery System was targeted toward children aged 6 to 11 and mimicked the look of a contemporary consumer-grade computer.


The Children's Discovery System used a 16-by-48 matrix LCD screen and was powered by six size AA alkaline batteries. The screen was much wider than it was tall, therefore only a grid of 8-by-2 text was possible, allowing for a maximum of 16 characters on-screen at any given moment.

The unit came preprogrammed with three modes: Art mode, Music mode and Type mode. The Discovery System came with a specially laid-out membrane keyboard to better accommodate the built-in modes and also made use of keyboard overlays for use with expansion modules. Also included with the unit was a large activity book with over 100 suggested learning activities specially-tailored for the Discovery System.

Expansion module cartridges

Besides the 3 included modes on the console, one could buy other game cartridges with different games. Each cartridge is numbered from 1 to 21, and all have the Discoveries in ---- Learning Fun Module name, where the ---- is the name of the actual game, and what is written on the cartridge. Each Module has several different modes for different games, and an age range depending on the content.

Although the system was advertised alongside 21 different modules singe the beginning, all 21 weren't ready at launch, most being developed and released at latter dates. Some of the Modules are unknown if they were ever developed/released at all.

Each box is a different color, and collecting them together creates a color gradient with the spines. Photos of different children are used in the front of each box.

     Background shading indicates the color of the box and number on the spine of each game.
# Code Age Range Fun Module Game Modes Listed in the Box
1 1606 6-11 Math I
  • Calculator
  • Flash Cards
  • Math Quiz
  • Metric/U.S. Conversions
2 3349 6-11 Arcade Action I
  • Racers
  • Golf
  • Push Off
3 1607 6-8 Words I
  • Computerized word games with 4 fun ways to play!
4 1609 6-11 Art
  • Pixturir
  • Quik Pix
  • Copy That
  • Art Alive
  • Lock-N-Key
5 1608 6-11 Music
  • Create, play and learn music with a fun, computerized sound!
6 3346 9-11 Words II
  • Word games for the older child with 4 fun ways to play!
7 3731 6-11 Arcade Action II
  • Target action exitement in 4 computer arcade games.
8 3733 6-11 Memory And Logic
  • Secret Code
  • Memory Match
  • Patterns
9 3732 6-11 Geography I
  • Mystery Nation
  • Geo-Facts
  • Odd Nation Out
  • Info-Nations
10 3734 6-11 Foods
  • Pick A Food
  • Four Of A Kind
  • Peanut Butter Poker
  • Calories Count
11 5165 6-8 Fractions I
  • Fraction Counting
  • Name That Fraction
  • Action Fractions
  • Pinpoint The Fraction
12 3347 9-11 Fractions II
13 3350 9-11 Science I
  • Planets
  • Space Weights
  • Rocket Lander
14 3835 6-11 Presidents
  • Presidential Facts
  • Mystery President
  • Presidential Order
  • Pick A President
16 5329 Computer Programming
18 5328 9-13 Spelling Fun
  • Word Gin
  • 2-Player Word Gin
  • Secret Word
  • 2-Player Secret Word

Other games/ unknown number;

  • Math Quiz/Calculator
  • Nutrition
  • (4456) US Cities
  • (3347) History
  • (3348) Sports
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