What Iconic 1980s Toy Was Introduced At None Other Than The Iconic Studio 54 Nightclub?
When you think about Studio 54, the iconic late 1970s New York City nightclub, you probably think of all the crazy stories about cocaine binges, the world’s biggest stars dancing the night away, and a night spot so popular it might as well have printed money by the pallet. What you most likely don’t think of is the infuriatingly difficult but enduring popular 1980s-era toy Simon.
Yet that’s exactly where the world first saw Simon when Milton Bradley unveiled the disc-shaped toy in 1978 at a posh midnight release party hosted at Studio 54. The toy was an instant hit both with the crowd at the release party and with thousands of children at the holidays that year. Simon went on to become one of the most enduringly popular games of the 1980s and an immediately recognizable icon of the era.
Bonus Trivia: Simon is based on an earlier Atari arcade game called Touch Me. Simon inventor Ralph Baer saw the Atari version at a trade show in 1976 and found the concept intriguing but the execution to be simultaneously boring and irritating (on account of the raspy bugle-like audio). In light of how successful Simon was, Atari released a handheld version of Touch Me shortly after, but they failed to catch even a fraction of the incredible popularity enjoyed by Simon.