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When I heard the familiar tune from the bright-eyed fuzzy bear, I immediately settled right into a cocoon of ’80s-inspired nostalgia. Teddy Ruxpin, among the best childhood toys, is defined to generate a comeback starting Sept. 1. The purchase price will be $99.
But Teddy’s gotten a significant makeover because the last time I saw him in 1986. Now, the favorite toy sports LCD eyes, several smart sensors, Bluetooth and an integral hard disk drive. Heck, Teddy even has its app. It is the perfect mixture of modern and retro which will make both parents and children smile.
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Design: Cuter and cuddlier
Teddy’s changed because the last time I cuddled with the toy in 1986. To begin with, Teddy’s far more snuggly. Technology’s progressed far enough that there isn’t any hard, unforgiving mechanism occupying almost all of the toy’s chest. Granted, the brand new Ruxpin does have a reasonably large hard plastic panel in his back again to accommodate its four AA batteries. However, he has enough stuffing in leading and bottom to create hugging a fairly comfortable experience.
The beige back panel also offers a switch to carefully turn the toy on / off and modify its volume, a Bluetooth pairing button and a micro USB port for data transfers. In the event Teddy freezes in the center of telling a tale, there’s a tiny reset divot. My one pet peeve is that the panel housing the batteries could be accessed only with a Phillips screwdriver, so you will have to have one readily available before your child can begin playing.
Ruxpin’s soft light-brown fur is clothed within an orange top, blue denim shorts and a brown button-down vest. A tuft of hair at the very top is merely long enough to provide Teddy mean group of bangs or even to gently tousle. The toy’s face is dominated by a set of bright-blue LCD eyes and a tiny white mouth, accented by the shiny black nose. It’s enough to create even the most jaded adult go awww.
At 14 inches tall and 1.5 pounds, he’s an ideal size for toddlers and teenagers.
Windows to the Soul
The largest change to Teddy Ruxpin’s design is in the eyes. Rather than the mechanized peepers of the ‘80s, Wicked Cool Toys has updated the look to include some bright LCD eyes. A few of my colleagues are somewhat weirded out by the brand new eyes, because they felt these were a touch too sunken in his face.
Placement aside, Teddy’s new eyes are a lot more expressive than anything I had when I was a youngster. Although it was cool that Teddy’s eyes would open and close as his mouth moved to tell me a tale, Ruxpin had the same blank expression through the entire tale.
The updated version of the toy’s LCD eyes includes over 40 expressions, the cutest which is Teddy’s eyes turning out to be half-circles to signify a smile. But, I’ve also seen Teddy wink at me and get little hearts in his eyes when reading stories.
Tell Me a tale
Out the box, Ruxpin comes pre-loaded with three stories and seven songs. To listen to a song, you just give Teddy’s left-hand sensor a gentle squeeze for some seconds. For a tale, press down on Teddy’s picture on the proper side of his vest. From there, the animatronic bear’s eyes and mouth move around in sync with the media, exactly like it did when the toy relied on a cassette player. If you wish to pause a tale or a song, squeeze the proper hand.
Unlike the toy I was raised with, enabling you to hear the tiny motors making the eyes and mouth move, this updated version is nearly silent. The quieter mechanics ensures that your child will get more immersed in Teddy’s songs and tales. Whenever your child gets uninterested in the preinstalled content, parents can download more via the corresponding iphone app onto Ruxpin’s integrated 4GB hard disk drive, which can hold several stories and songs according to length. Your final price has yet to be determined, but stories will run you about $4.99 a bit, or $24.99 for a seven-story bundle.
Hearing pre-loaded stories, I was very happy to discover Wicked Cool Toys kept the initial characters from the books to flesh out Teddy’s adventures. One name and voice I heard often was Grubby, Teddy’s caterpillar sidekick. There are a great number of parts where Ruxpin and Grubby speak to one another, so I’m hoping that Wicked Cool Toys can make a Grubby doll down the road to keep Teddy company.
It just wouldn’t be considered a modern toy without some kind of application support. Designed for Android and iOS, the free software will allow kids to see illustrations and text while Teddy tells a tale. It’s basically an electronic version of grabbing a book and reading it to your kid. But let’s face it, you’re never likely to be as cute as Teddy.
Connecting to the iphone app is straightforward enough. After downloading and launching the app, press the Bluetooth button on Teddy’s back again to connect. From there, I saw a syncing message on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ and a prompt to press Teddy’s right sensor, which launched in to the story “ABOUT Bears.” I was very happy to learn that the iphone app retains the artwork from the initial book series together with the songs. To change between stories, you just press on the sensor in the toy’s right hand.
The iphone app supports the iPhone 4S, the iPad mini and the iPad 3 with IOS 8 or above. The iphone app is also appropriate for Android devices running the 4.3 (KitKat) operating-system or more, and at least Bluetooth 4.0. Although Teddy uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the toy isn’t reliant on it, which means that your child can still play, pay attention to a tale or sing along.
Powered by four AA batteries, Wicked Cool Toys claims that Teddy should get years of battery life with the correct care. In enough time I used Teddy with my nephew, we paid attention to all of the songs and stories, and after 2 hours, the toy was still talking and emoting around.
Teddy Ruxpin is a blast from days gone by that I didn’t know I needed or needed. Wicked Cool Toys has successfully brought the storytime bear in to the present. The toy is outfitted with enough tech to meet the savvy kids of the era, while retaining the intrinsic cute relatability that made Teddy such popular when the toy first debut