Thanks to Wicked Cool Toys, the same folks who have recently brought high-end collectible Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, another staple of the '80s -- the Teddy Ruxpin brand -- is coming back.
In cooperation with Alchemy II, Wicked Cool Toys says they're bringing back "toys, content and a comprehensive merchandising program" for the storied children's brand.
As a child of the 1980s, I remember both having a younger brother who was age-appropriate to own a Teddy Ruxpin doll, and my glee at watching one brutally slain in Dolph Lundgren's The Punisher.
Teddy Ruxpin, which was a toy available between 1985 and 2010, was wildly popular when it was introduced, resulting in an animated series featuring the character and its world in 1987. The stuffed bear had a hidden tape deck, into which you could put audiocassettes (later digital cartridges) that would give Teddy stories and songs to recite for kids.
The way it worked was that while traditional cassettes had two audio tracks, Teddy Ruxpin used one for audio and a second track for a data stream which would basically "tell" the doll's mouth when to move, giving the impression that the bear was actually talking to children, and not just making vague mouth movements, or standing stock still, as previous talking toys had done.
The toy was named one of Time magazine's 100 greatest toys of all time.
"Teddy Ruxpin's play-pattern and infusion of technology was way ahead of his time back in the 80's, and with continued massive parental awareness it's the right time to bring back this coveted brand," said Michael Rinzler, Co-President & Founding Partner, Wicked Cool Toys.
Jeremy Padawer, Co-President & Partner, Wicked Cool Toys, added, "We are embracing the past and making Teddy Ruxpin as adorable and engaging as ever, while innovating Teddy with features that will amaze parents and their tech savvy children."
No word yet on whether the more than 30 previously-released cassettes and cartridges will be reintroduced in a format that will function with the new Teddy, or whether the animated Teddy Ruxpin and Friends content might find its way back into the consumer market. As Wicked Cool Toys and Alchemy II look for partners at Toy Fair, Kidscreen Summit and beyond, expect more in the way of specific details on the look price point and content for the reborn brand.0comments