Simon Turns 30

July 25th, 2008 by Benj Edwards

Milton Bradley SImon 30th Anniversary

Like an alien mothership come home, a small flying saucer surveyed the pulsing, Technicolor scenery of Manhattan’s trendy Studio 54 dance club. The saucer, a four-foot replica of a mysterious electronic toy, hung overhead in preparation for an unveiling later in the night. Yet the revelers below, entranced by thumping disco and free-flowing decadence, barely noticed the invasion in progress.

Further up, in the pitch black balcony, a 56 year-old engineer from New Hampshire fought off drowsiness and reminded himself why he had attended the deafening event: among the glamorous movie stars, the blasting music, and the swirling mirrored balls, it was his creation they were there to celebrate.

At approximately 3 AM on the morning of May 16th, 1978, the music stopped. The dazed crowd parted like the Red Sea, and a middle-aged man — the Vice President of Milton Bradley — took the stage to introduce the company’s latest toy, a curious wheel of blinking colored lights and musical tones called Simon that would soon become the must-buy gift of Christmas 1978.

In the balcony, the engineer smiled: he had reached the end of a story that had begun, surprisingly, six years earlier.

[ Read more about Simon’s creation at ]

7 Responses to “Simon Turns 30”

  1. XCALBR8 Says:

    I still have my super simon that I play every once in a while. I couldn’t put it down when I first got. I even utilized the 2 sides to play head to head with friends. I then got a PocketMa Simon that I loved to take with me on trips. It was a great way to pass time on trips to my grandparents. Before I got my original Gameboy The Pocket Simon and my ttel Football 2 were my favorite 2 games to grab for quick gaming on the go.

  2. Gentlegamer Says:

    My family had Simon when I was a kid. I can still remember the rapid pulse of Simon “laughing” at me when I failed.

  3. Geoff V. Says:

    This was the only “video game” my dad was competitive at. We used play on road trips until my mom threatened to throw it out the window. Good times.

    My folks, being the pack rats that they are, I am sure they still have our 1981 Simon in the basement somewhere.

  4. Adam Says:

    My big question I have always wondered:

    How long does those beep patterns go for, untill one actualy beats Simon??

    I have not played Simon in like months or years, so I realy don’t know if there is a way to beat it.

  5. Benj Edwards Says:


    Simon has four difficulty levels. Here’s what it takes to beat each:

    Level 1: Repeat 8 sounds
    Level 2: Repeat 14 sounds
    Level 3: Repeat 20 sounds
    Level 4: Repeat 31 sounds

    So there ya go. Last time I played, I could beat level 2, but not level 3.

  6. Rockin' Kat Says:

    I hated simon. I’d never get very far before I’d screw up. I’d spend hours punching it’s buttons, but I just recall being very bad at it.

  7. vivstock Says:

    Brought home my simon from my parents house for my kids. Unfortunately the instructions are not in the box. Does anyone know what games 1-3 are? Thank you Benj for explaining the levels.

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