If you took the comedic bumblings of The Pink Panther‘s Inspector Clouseau and the goofy gadgets of TV’s Get Smart and threw them in a blender, you’d get Inspector Gadget. Debuting in 1983 and running for 86 episodes, Inspector Gadget is one of the defining cartoons of the mid-80s.
Gadget was produced by the French animation company, DIC, the same studio that brought us The Littles, Kidd Video, Rainbow Brite, Heathcliff, The Real Ghostbusters, and plenty more cartoons from the 1980s. Although the original show was cancelled after two seasons, Gadget has lived on with numerous spin-off shows, direct-to-video animated films, live-action films, a bunch of videos games, and most recently a CG reboot in 2015.
While there was Gadget merchandise for kids to buy in the 80s, there wasn’t as much as you might think. There were the usual lunchboxes, a board game, some t-shirts, and a limited toyline by Galoob, but Gadget wasn’t as ubiquitous as properties like He-Man, GI Joe, and Star Wars. Which is why this read-along record book is kind of special.
Released in 1983 by Peter Pan Records, Inspector Gadget: Curse of the Pharaoh, is based on the cartoon episode of the same name that aired on October 5, 1983. The record is fairly simple, as the audio was lifted directly from the original television episode, and it feels less polished than most other Peter Pan records. But if you liked Inspector Gadget, it’s still a fun listen.
And listen you can!
I made a podcast episode out of this record book for When You Hear This Sound, complete with a PDF of the book so you can follow along.