Tuesday, February 02 2016 13:14

Toy Fair: TEDDY RUXPIN is Ready for a Comeback!

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One of my favorite toys of the 1980s was TEDDY RUXPIN - a toy I've often cited as a benchmark example of what a truly timeless tech toy could be. Now comes news that Wicked Cool Toys as teamed up with Alchemy II, Inc. to relaunch the Teddy Ruxpin brand and franchise globally "with toys, content and comprehensive licensed merchandising program." Set for release in 2017, this will be the fifth iteration of Teddy Ruxpin, and I personally hope that it recaptures the magic of the original Worlds of Wonder release back in 1985. While other companies have held the license and have tried their hands at bringing Ruxpin back, any push has been short-lived. Now, a decade since the last version, I have a feeling that Wicked Cool (who currently has Cabbage Patch Kids as well) could do good things with it.

“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.

The Original Teddy Ruxpin Commercial:

ruxpinlogoJeremy Padawer, Co-President & Partner, Wicked Cool Toys, adds, “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.”

Created in 1985 by Ken Forsse, former Disney Imagineer, Teddy Ruxpin was the very first of his kind, creating a new industry category in talking toys. Teddy Ruxpin became an overnight sensation as parents and children embraced the lovable, gentle storytelling bear and the 65-episode television series. Teddy Ruxpin sold more than 8 million units in a few short years.

My hope is that Wicked Cool Toys and Alchemy II don't go overboard with the App stuff, and keep the technology that runs the bear inside of it. What made the original Teddy Ruxpin timeless is that he's not dependent on someone else's tech - it's all built-in. The problem with the modern interactive toys is that they're too reliant on smartphones that will end-up outdated, or buggy bluetooth gimmicks.

Stay tuned for more as news rolls in during the months ahead...


James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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