"Behind the seams of Teddy Ruxpin's return"
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Behind the seams of Teddy Ruxpin's return
We are running into the street, look out
The iconic Teddy storytelling bear of my childhood has come crashing back into my life.
But this is not the same Teddy Ruxpin I fell in love with 30 years ago.
His mouth still moves but his brown plastic eyes are now blue and animated on LCD screens.
Gone are the cassette tapes, now his stories are downloadable on an app for $5 a piece.
There are no more printed picture books, kids now read along with every word synced to an app.
But parents will need to fiddle a bit with the Bluetooth pairing.
His push-button paws cycle through stories, a button on his vest skips ahead sections.
And about that vest, he looks hipper now, and he's more squishy, but he still sounds the same.
Come dream with me tonight.
He has the original voice recordings, just slightly tweaked from the 1985 version and hearing his songs after all these years brought back so many memories rushing back into my brain, the tug of nostalgia is strong.
If they want to win over today's young parents with nostalgia why did they change so much about him?>> My name is Teddy Ruxpin.
Can you and I be friends?
To get some answers, I visited Carrie Volponi, the designer of the new Teddy for Wicked Cool Toys, which bought the rights to bring back the bear.
It took a littler over a year to make.
Make Teddy 2.0 and in that time, designers cycled through a number of outfits, snouts, and fur.
We looked at, you know, possibly having him wear glasses.
He could've been a hipster Teddy?
He could've been a hipster Teddy.
We didn't go that way in the end.
You could have been sort of a suffer Teddy in a T-shirt as well.
The company mission was to make the old bear trendy for today's iPad todding toddlers.
His new price tag, $100.
All the old book art is used for the app.
Which of course does not match with Teddy's new threads We've had a lot of fans ask us why we've changed Teddy at all.
Why didn't we go back to the original design of Teddy Ruxpin.
And it was sort of tried in 1994, didn't really work at the time.
We think that we needed to.
Update the technology and make him speak to a modern kid who didn't have the experience in 1985.
There are more than 40 i animations that pair with what he says in the books.
Giving him a cartoonish personality.
It's not the first time the company has tinkered with screen eyes, as revealed in this prototype for last years Cabbage Patch Kids Baby So Real doll.
The Cabbage Patch doll's eyes were pretty far back, protected by moving eyelids when turned off.
The teddy has no eyelids.
When he's inactive and turns off, his eyes becomes empty nothings.
Parents may find it a bit creepy but she says kids don't see it that way.
I think kids are so open to things like that.
Does your TV creep you out when it's turned off?
Does your iPad creep you out when it's turned off?
The more I played with him, the more the eyes grew on me, but this isn't really about me or my memories of his clothes not looking the same, or his books not being real books.
In the end, the whole reason to get to him is to pass down Teddy's adventures to your child and relive that joy you had through their eyes.
For CNET, I'm Bridget Carey.
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