Teddy Ruxpin, the storytelling bear!
Was there ever a more coveted toy when you were a little one? A talking, storytelling bear! He speaks in a clear well-modulated speaking voice, like an adult, safe and comforting. But also a real ALIVE bear!
“Hello, I hope we can be friends” he says. And as a child I thought we could. If only I could afford to buy him. For Teddy Ruxpin was the rolls Royce of Children’s toys. Not just the bear itself, but it ran though 4 batteries a day! There was no way in the world we could afford Teddy Ruxpin, me and my brother could only watch the commercials in wonder!
It was a real source of wonder though, and how I wish I could have had one. I mean I never really liked dolls or bears. I was never into Care Bears, or Cabbage Patch Dolls, but Teddy Ruxpin actually TALKED! Not like Sooty, he wasn’t a puppet like Orvile the Duck. He had a real voice and everything!
The bear would move his mouth and eyes while reading stories which were played on an audio tape cassette deck built into his back. He was a veritable Jackanory It was invented by a man called Ken Forsse and was the best-selling toy of 1985.
Teddy Ruxpin was first unleashed onto the unsuspecting children of the 80’s in September, 1985. Interestingly, quite a few toy manufacturers have made Ruxpin over the years. The one I remember – from the commercials - was “Worlds Of Wonder” but it went bankrupt in 1990. After that Teddy Ruxpin did continue – under the Hasbro umbrella
Shortly after his debut, Teddy Ruxpin had become the "Official Spokesbear for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children" in 1985. Interesting fact no?
I must admit though, looking at Teddy Ruxpin now, he does seem a little bit scary. It’s the dead eyes and animatronics, and the level speaking voice. There’s quite a few of the original commercials on youtube and they do seem very dated. One commercial even has Dr Frankenstein “creating” Teddy Ruxpin as if he were some kind of monster. I don’t know what the ad company were thinking there! Not very positive associations at all...!