Teddy Ruxpin TV and Film Deal Announced

Teddy Ruxpin, the iconic '80s toy that used audiocassettes to simulate an interactive storytelling experience, is set to appear in new film and TV projects following a new deal reached between the property's owners and DJ2 Entertainment, the company behind Paramount's 2020 hit Sonic the Hedgehog. DJ2 is reportedly looking for writers who can turn Teddy Ruxpin's adventures into a live-action/CG hybrid film a la Sonic, with an eye toward following it up as an animated series. Created in 1985, Teddy Ruxpin had syndicated animated series that ran for 65 episodes in 1986 and 1987.

The toy was a stuffed bear with a hidden audiocassette player in its torso, which would play tapes while the bear's mouth and eyes moved in concert with the story. It was created by Ken Forsse, a former Disney employee who had helped create the Haunted Mansion attraction. While Forsse passed away in 2014, his wife Jan remains president of Alchemy, the company that owns the Teddy Ruxpin rights.

"I'm no hunter, but I've been tracking this bear for at least seven years," DJ2 founder and CEO Dmitri M. Johnson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's no exaggeration to say that the time I spent enraptured by the stories Teddy Rux told me is a large part of why I chose a career in entertainment. So, thanks Teddy - and, of course, thanks, mom."

"Teddy encourages two things the world always needs: connection and imagination," said Jan Forsse, president of Alchemy. "We're very pleased to be working with DJ2, and so gratified that people like Dmitri and his team retain their passion for, and connection to, our Teddy. Like us, they want to continue sharing him with the children of the world."

The toy has gone through a number of licensing and distribution deals, but has stuck around for years. In 2017, Wicked Cool Toys acquired the license and started making new Teddy Ruxpin toys. In 2018, the Jim Henson Company explored the possibility of making a new Teddy Ruxpin TV show using live-action actors and puppetry, but the project eventually fell apart.

It has also had some more coarse impersonators. In the 1989 movie The Punisher, Teddy Ruxpin was parodied by Peter Bear, a talking, educational plush which was repeatedly shot by Yakuza during a raid on a private school. A pair of feature films about a foul-mouthed talking bear, Ted, is set for a prequel series at Peacock from creator Seth MacFarlane.