Recall: Remember the Questron Books and Answer Wand?

You never really forget anything. It’s all still in your memory. Recall can be difficult as we age because we set aside things we deem irrelevant to survival, and those pathways to memories seem lost. But then we remember. Sometimes it’s unprompted, or perhaps we’ve been trying to remember for a very long time, but usually the information is still there whenever we want it.

Sometimes it happens to me, and this time, I remembered the name of something that I played with as a child long ago.

Do you remember the Questron books and answer wand?

How about now? No? Look closer this time…

I bet you remember now! Released by Child’s Play Ltd. in 1987, the Questron Answer Wand was an interactive learning aid which was accompanied by a series of books. It was voted “Toy of the Year, 1987” by What Toy Magazine. The wand had a microchip which sensed correct and incorrect answers when used with linked books. A green flashing light and cheerful beep confirmed a correct answer. Questron had a U.S. patent, though, and a description can be found at FreePatentsOnline.com.

These are impossible to find now, and I admit that my own has long been lost due to moving from Ohio to Tennessee when I was nine years old, but I don’t understand why there’s no market for such things today. Why is it that simple products available in my childhood are no longer available?

– Ditch X

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90 Responses to “Recall: Remember the Questron Books and Answer Wand?”


  1. 1 T Moe March 15, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I have heard of the Questron, and in my search for something similar, I came across the Hot Dots Power Pen at http://www.exceptionalteaching.net. This olittle pen has sounds and lights and is activated when it runs over hot spots, which are small stickers you can place on cue cards, games, or even on answer sheets. Not quite a game, more of a learning tool, still pretty cool. Check it out!
    Tine

    • 2 copywrong July 3, 2013 at 5:00 am

      Good to see that another company has parlayed the technology of the Questron into a similar, contemporary product, and thanks for bringing this to our attention! If you can’t find a Questron Answer Wand and the books, this alternative may be worth ordering.

  2. 3 Ging December 6, 2007 at 7:44 am

    I remember! I remember!

    Hi! ‘Came across your entry when searching for an image of the toy I used to love so much. Tho, after a while, I figured that it was probably dependent on how much light was picked up by the chip when placed on a color.

    Sadly, we threw ours already years ago because it was already defective.

    And yes, I also find it a sorry fact that there is no market for simple toys like it anymore.

  3. 4 Kristen January 7, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    I just got a good working one from my neighbor with 3 books, what a hoot!

    • 5 Lula June 25, 2009 at 7:15 pm

      if you are interested in selling your questron wand, please email me. i have a dozen books and no more wands. i used them for my children and now my grandchildren. can’t seem to find a wand anywhere.
      lulaann@hotmail.com

  4. 6 kaycee February 6, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    I still have the books and the wand. The books are great but after 2 kids and a number of years the pen has given out. I would love to get another wand.

  5. 7 snapz007 June 30, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I loved my Questron, but I (fortunately? unfortunately?) figured it out early on – spots of one certain color or a shade thereof (which will remain nameless – no reason to let out spoilers) were always the “wrong” answer; every other color was “safe.” Still, I played with the thing for hours on end.

    It also made a handy magic wand, phaser gun, or Ghostbuster photon cannon, depending on what the neighborhood gang was pretending to be on any particular day.

    I would definitely like to see one of these little gadgets again. Actually, I’d like to find a couple – the technician in me wants to take one of them apart and figure out what makes it tick. 🙂

    • 8 copywrong July 3, 2013 at 4:54 am

      THIS comment takes me back! We also used to pretend to be Ghostbusters or Ninja Turtles or whatever in the neighborhood and used clearly non-sanctioned objects/gadgets as weapons! Our imaginations were boundless in those carefree, halcyon days, and services like YouTube didn’t yet exist to show us the limits of what is and isn’t possible, all at once amazing and demystifying our sense of possibility. Thanks for your recollections!

  6. 9 michael gaddass August 13, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Remember it, hell i had one. It lasted about 5 years before breaking, which was a record at the time for toy life spans. lol. Yeah, i remember it, it made a beep for correct, and a buzz for wrong.

  7. 10 Emily August 19, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I still have my pen! I was nine when it came out, and recently my six year old son was going through some of my old things and found it. I can’t seem to find any of my books though. Wish I could.

    • 11 Rachelle November 17, 2009 at 11:16 pm

      Hello,

      do you still have your wand and if so what can I do to get it?

      Please call me I have an autistic son and would like to try to work with him with the books I do have. Thanks.

      Rachelle

      720-999-1383

    • 12 Carol June 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      I have 9 books to use for the questron pen if you are interested. They are in really good condition.

      • 13 Susan T March 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        Carol, which books do you have and are they simple or more complicated? My son has a brain iinjury ad profound aphasia. We are still working on simple concepts. Thanks!

    • 14 Susan T March 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I would love to purchase your working pen. I have several books and a son with profound aphasia due to brain injury. He is almost 10 and we are working on basic concepts still.Please contact me and put QUESTRON PEN in the subject line in case I find it in junkmail. Thanks!

  8. 15 VICKI ABUCEVICZ December 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    MY SON LOVED THIS AS A CHILD. I STILL HAVE THE BOOKS AND PEN. THE PEN WILL NOT WORK. IS THERE ANYWHERE I COULD SEND THE PEN AND HAVE IT FIXED. OR DO THEY STILL MAKE THE QUESTRON AND COULD I PURCHASE ONE. I HAVE A 3 YEAR OLD GRANDSON AND I THINK HE WOULD THROUGHLY ENJOY IT, SINCE IT WAS HIS FATHER’S FAVORITE TOY. ANY SUGGESTIONS OR HELP WOULD BE DEEPLY APPRECIATED. THANKS, VICKI
    SEND RESPONSES TO TAZ100@ATLANTICBB.NET

    • 16 copywrong July 3, 2013 at 4:43 am

      NO PROBLEM, VICKI! I THINK WE ALL LOVED THE QUESTRON WHEN WE WERE KIDS, WHICH IS WHY WE’RE ALL HERE INSTEAD OF LOLLYGAGGING AROUND ON FACEBOOK! GLAD TO HEAR YOU KEPT IT AND WOULD LIKE TO GET IT FIXED INSTEAD OF THROWING IT AWAY.

      MY FIRST SUGGESTION IS TO TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK!

      Now, my second suggestion is to take the wand apart by seperating the plastic housing. Carefully, and mind the stickers! Once inside, the FIRST thing to check are the metal contacts inside the battery compartment. If memory serves, the Questron runs on a single 9-volt battery? Well, check the metal battery contacts for corrosion or any kind of oxidation. If you encounter any, filing the battery contacts until they are no longer crusty with orange or green buildup will definitely help. This can happen if a battery is left in the compartment for too long, as all batteries eventually succumb to leakage. Even if I’m mistaken and yours runs on AA or AAA batteries, this first step still applies. If I actually owned a wand of my own at this point, I could write you a comprehensive article with pictures detailing how to refurbish a non-working unit, but I don’t, so we’ll just wing it for now.

      My third suggestion comes in the form of a Questron: how comfortable are you with electronics from the 1980s? A voltimeter and a soldering iron and rosin-core solder (all available at your local Radio Shack) might be necessary if dead capacitors are the cause of this. Capacitors are the brown ovals and round cylinders on a printed circuit board (PCB), and if you can remove any you encounter with a soldering iron and take them in to Radio Shack, you can surely be helped to find the replacement components you need to solder back to the board. This same logic applies to those of you who need to replace the green/red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) if they no longer light up when in operation. WARNING: If you have to “re-cap” the board, as it’s called, be careful! Capacitors can hold a charge and can also explode if exposed to extreme heat. This is unlikely here, as the components are so small and run on such a small charge or electricity, but something to remember if you’re working on electronics that plug into the outlet on the walls in your home.

      My fourth and final suggestion is to rule out that the little plastic nub at the tip of the wand which must be depressed against the book isn’t somehow damaged and is connecting with whatever tiny switch it connects to on the PCB. This is probably a more likely culprit than the capacitors being shot, even, because it’s partly a mechanical issue, so don’t give up and chuck it into the rubbish until you’ve ruled out that the switch works!

      I hope that helps? Please let us know if you ever figure it out!

  9. 17 Terry March 10, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I just found ours packed away. We have nine books and the questron wand (the same type as shown above). I am willing to sell them if anyone is interested. Just contact me and I can send a list of the books that we have. The questron is in good working order. Thanks!

    • 18 Susan Petschke August 12, 2010 at 8:53 pm

      Hi,
      Do you still have the Questron Wand? I have 12 of the books, but our wand doesn’t word any more. I would love to have a working wand for my grandson!
      Susan

    • 19 Susan T March 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      I would LOVE to purchase these for my son who has a brain injury and aphasia. We are stillworking on basic concepts nearing the age of 10.
      I would like to know what books you have, too.
      My e-mail: agirlnamedsuess (at) hotmail (dot) com
      Please place QUESTRON in the subject line; otherwise I won’t open it

    • 20 Susan T March 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Terry I am interested and have posted on everyone’s post to get the best price and the best diversity of books. Contact me at agirlnamedsuess (at) hotmail (dot) com
      I have a son with a brain injury and profound aphasia. We are still working on very basic concepts.
      Place QUESTRON in the subject field or the e-mail gets trashed.

  10. 21 laurie March 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Terry,
    I just got ahold of several biooks and would love to purchase it from you please let me know….
    laurie

  11. 22 Mary Bibik April 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I still have the answer wand and 3 books that my children played with in the 80’s.

    Does anyone know where I can get a new answer wand????
    My wand works at times and at other times not.

    Mary

  12. 23 Wonderlandtink April 25, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Hi there

    Hope this is ok to post but since so many are asking where to find these…. I just listed a wand and loads of books on ebay, check it out 🙂

    Wonderlandtink

  13. 24 kimbriel June 1, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I would love to buy a Questron wand and more Questron books for my son. Sellers please call:

    510-898-1493

  14. 25 Malia June 3, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Aww, there it is!
    This was one of my favorites when I was a kid!
    I want to get some for my daughter now!
    I wish I kept mine.
    I remember when you hit a wrong answer it would “fart” at you 😉
    And one of the little circles on the screen would crumble. 🙂
    I must have had both, the original and the super, where the wand is grey and red?
    And the original was black.
    I should try to find these on Ebay!
    Thanks for the nostalgia!! 🙂

    • 26 copywrong July 3, 2013 at 4:02 am

      You’re welcome. Nostalgia can be dangerous when looking back on important things with a distorted point of view, but I think in the case of children’s toys, it’s a good thing. In the case of the Questron, it had been simply forgotten, so I wrote this article to remember.

  15. 27 Chris Frazer August 24, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Hi there,

    I have a bunch of unopened Questron wands and books, and also Questron playsets (set of books and a pen), I don’t mind selling.

    Just email me on: csfrazer@googlemail.com

    Chris

  16. 29 chrisbyrnes October 25, 2009 at 7:41 am

    wish to purchase a questron wand in good working order

  17. 30 sierrakuo March 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I have a Questron pen from when I was a kid that I’d like to find a good home for. I don’t have any books, so I can’t tell if it is still working right, but it is in great shape, so I assume so. No charge – just cover shipping. If interested, email sierrakuo at hotmail dot com.

  18. 32 Brad August 20, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Woah! There it is! After finally tracking down one of my books I was able to see the name of the product, and I got lead here. My wand is long lost too, only 3 or 4 of my books remain. It always amazed me as a kid how that little thing worked… I never could figure it out.

  19. 33 cathy sether January 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I am looking for the wand

  20. 34 Marie February 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I have books in excellent condition but no wand

  21. 35 Sue Wierenga April 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I have two wands and 5 Early Childhood Books. My wands don’t work.
    Has anyone played around with their broken wands to see if they can be repaired? I would like to give these to my granddaughter who is working with an autistic boy and a girl with MS.

  22. 36 Mike September 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I used to have one of those!! awesome! I love finding old toys on the internet from childhood!

  23. 37 Sheri Lynn September 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I am looking for a “working” Questron Electronic Wand for my Questron books. I am also interested in purchasing books but only if the functioning wand is included and in good condition. Please contact me. Thanks so much. Sheri

  24. 40 Kelly November 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I have several Questron books and am looking for a good working Questron wand if anyone has one to sell email me and let me know. I have a 4 year old grandson who would love to use it. He just enjoys going through the books without the wand but it would make it more enjoyable with the wand.

  25. 41 Kelly November 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I posted above but my email address did not appear you can get a hold of me at kellymyers4@hotmail.com about the Questron wand.
    Thanks!

  26. 44 Dmitry May 9, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Hello everybody! Looking desperately for an operational wand – had one in my childhood and dream to give this fine experience to my own two kids. Would be happy to hear from you at: orthdx@mail.ru. Thanks!

  27. 46 Betsy Joan Enstrom December 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I would love to buy a wand. Please email me if you have one you would be willing to sell. My email is betsy1181 at yahoo dot com. Thank you!

  28. 47 Karen February 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Hi I too would like a working Questron wand if anyone has one for my niece please email at ratcliff01@aol.com, United Kingdom Shropshire

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  33. 56 Read This June 25, 2013 at 9:03 am

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  34. 57 copywrong July 3, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Hi everybody! Thanks for keeping this blog alive after all these years with your visits and comments! Since I wrote this article, a lot of things have changed! It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

    1.) There’s a sweet write-up on this article and the Questron courtesy of sweet lady and mega toy-enthusiast Jaime Hood at ShezCrafti.com:

    http://shezcrafti.com/questron-the-fun-way-to-bring-learning-to-life/

    2.) We now have Wikipedia, so here’s the Wikipedia entry for the Questron (toy), not to confused with the strategy computer game by Strategic Simulations, Inc. bearing the same name:

    http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Questron_(toy)

    3.) We now have YouTube, so here’s the link to the commercial which aired in the UK:

    Sad aside: Though you won’t see a credit on her Wikipedia or IMDb page, Judith Barsi was the little girl who starred in the Questron commercial. Unfortunately, her life ended at the age of 10 at the hands of her father, who murdered her. She voiced the characters Ducky in “The Land Before Time” and Anne-Marie in “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”

    http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Barsi

    Thank you all for visiting, and long live the Questron! R.I.P., Judy Barsi!

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