When this electronic ET toy came in, its owner, a middle-aged professional, had just helped his parents empty their home. He could have kept many things, but this one was particularly significant. He knew that restoring it to working condition would keep his childhood and his parents close to him forever.  Childhood items hold precious memories for many people - more than you would probably guess.


  • LED lights
  • Resistors
  • Coloured lights
  • Switch
  • Heat-shrink tubing
  • Glue


  • Removal of battery corrosion
  • Soldering
  • Gluing
The damage

When my client first got ET, that famous finger and its two eyes lit up from a switch at the back of the toy. My goal was to get it to light up again.

Technology had changed, and the long incandescent lamps ET once had were no longer made. However, LED lights were the perfect option. Together with a mess of resistors, coloured lights, wires, and a switch, I knew that I could restore it to its former glory.

ELectronic challenges

I removed battery corrosion and sheathed the many long wires with heat-shrink tubing. The lamp circuit was a parallel circuit with the switch in series to turn the lights on or off. 

I mounted the tiny switch within the old switch casing to look like its original switch.


Within a few days, I was able to restore his childhood treasure and ET toy could phone home again.

a big shout out

A big thank you to Magic Box Hobbies @hobbiesmagicbox for your ongoing referrals and support.

And to Lee's Electronic Components @lees_electronic for expert assistance finding the best match for the old incandescent lights. I can always count on them to supply electronic parts.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}