The Spelling Bee has always been a test of wits for youngsters. Whether in Elementary or Middle School, they can be exciting and frustrating all at the same time. From my own experience, I came in second and failed out on the word “twice.” What a doofus I was!….I’m still getting over it as you can see. Well anyway Franklin Electronic Publishers released at CES the Speaking Spelling Bee Handheld. Which is the epitome of the Spelling Bee experience. This innovative toy is a handheld device that can be hooked up to your television so that you can participate in a spelling bee with your friends and family in the comfort of your home. As a standalone handheld, the Speaking Spelling Bee has a high contrast 2 inch color LCD on which you can play Spelling Bee, Hangman, and Word Train.
However if you plug it in to your LCD or standard tv set, you unlock the real fun. You can pick your own avatar and there are Competition, Game Show, and Practice modes. The environment is set as a typical school auditorium. Just like any spelling bee, you are given a brief description of what needs to be spelled and you have to spell it. Do it correctly you win, do it wrong and your avatar will pout. We saw it in action at CES and I have to say myself, I got quite addicted. It’s a lot of fun, and for those of you who are leapfrog enthusiasts, you will certainly get a kick out it. The game is also great practice for those who are going to be competing in a spelling bee themselves. The graphics are not high end like that of an Xbox 360, but it gets the job done well enough. The Speaking Spelling Bee will retail for $99.95 and be available in the first quarter of 2008.