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Teddy Ruxpin's speech came from a cassette tape allowing him to thrash with the best upon inserting a different tape

Teddy Ruxpin was an animatronic toy released in 1985, by Worlds of Wonder, and went on to achieve critical acclaim and even "Toy of the Year." The first version had a cassette player embedded in his back. Pre-recorded taped could be inserted and the stuffed bear would have conversations, complete with animatronic motions of his eyes and mouth.

Cassettes had two tracks for stereo (left & right) sound. The Teddy Ruxpin tapes used the right track for audio and the left track was a control track used as a data stream for the animatronic facial expressions. This allowed the toy to move it's mouth only when speaking. This was pretty clever for the average mid-eighties toy and made the experience more realistic than other toys.

You could easily put in a standard cassette with music, thus Teddy could rock out to your favorite metal band. The only drawback, despite listening through a cheap speaker in a stuffed animal was that the cassette player detected standard tapes and ignored the left track. Alas, Teddy Ruxpin would not lip-synch along with Rob Halford.

Teddy Ruxpin

Not long after, WOW overestimated his popularity and over extended themselves on parts and inventory. Teddy Ruxpin had a pretty long run as the product was bought by other companies, including Hasbro. But Worlds of Wonder did alright since they also became the exclusive distributor for the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

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