by: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
An iconic ’80s talking toy bear will be back in stores for another generation to enjoy.
CNN Money reported that Teddy Ruxpin, the animatronic toy created by Ken Forsse that told stories and talked via a cassette player in his back, is being made again for the 21st century.
“Kids adored Teddy Ruxpin so much that he became a multi-billion dollar product in five years,” said Jeremy Padawer, co-president of Wicked Cool Toys, the company making the new Teddy Ruxpin toy.
Padawer’s Wicked Cool Toys is working with Alchemy II, the maker of the original Teddy, to make the modern version.
Although some may consider Teddy Ruxpin to be creepy, he was one of the most popular toys of the 1980s. Nerditst reported it was the top-selling toy in 1985, when it was first released, and 1986.
The reason for his return, Padawer said, is the timing. Those who got Teddy as children now have children of their own.
“The kids who embraced him back then are 28 to 40 years old now. They have young kids who they’d want to introduce Teddy Ruxpin to,” Padawer said. “We felt the time was right to bring back this nostalgic toy but with the right technology to fit the time.”
There are a few differences between the original Teddy of 1985 and the 2016 version.
Rather than having motorized eyes, the new Ruxpin has LCD eyes with irises that can turn into snowflakes, hearts and other shapes, and an internal 4GB hard drive that has over 40 stories, according to Engadget. There’s also an accompanying app and compatibility with mobile devices.
CNN Money reported that he’s 14 inches tall and has touch sensors in his hands and feet for users to pause, play or switch stories “to allow an easy interface for young kids,” Padawer said.
Parents looking to gift their children a piece of their childhood for Christmas are out of luck, though. Teddy won’t be in stores until August 2017.
© 2016 Cox Media Group.