Here’s a little thing that debuted in 1985 and became the hottest selling toy for two years in a row, Teddy Ruxpin, an animatronic talking bear. The bear’s mouth and eyes moved while “reading” stories that were played on an audio tape cassette deck built into its back. He also had a friend named Grubby, which was a strange looking alien worm creature. Together they could sing songs and interact.

I never had one of these, but remember the commercial where a sad little boy brings him to class as his show and tell. Everyone in class is fidgety, bored and yawning until the bear magically comes to life saying, “My name is Teddy Ruxpin! Can you and I be friends?” Everyone in class begins to creepily and slowly nod and murmur “yes” in unison as though they had all taken the same hallucinogenic drug. It was creepy as hell, but that didn’t stop the bear from selling out everywhere.

My mother was an avid doll collector, but she felt this bear was too creepy, so she never purchased one. I was too old when it came out, but I loved the idea of a talking bear and wished I could have had one. Though I had to admit that it wasn’t the cutest quadriplegic teddy bear I’d seen and the slowly blinking eyes that return to a catatonic stare were a bit unsettling. But the fact that he could speak and tell stories still made him a pretty amazing little invention back in the day.

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, Ultramarine Blue, Pyrrol Red, Azo Orange, Cobalt Blue and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

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28 thoughts on “Teddy Ruxpin

  1. How cute! We had something similar for my kids. One, you plug in a cartridge and it would read you a story. The other one, you plug in your iPod to play music or audio story and the facial expression would change.. Both were fun!

    Love the texture you created for Teddy!!

  2. This is the first one I am not familiar with, but he is so adorable! The more I rack my brain, it seems vaguely familiar. I guess this one was in between that period of something I would remember as a child and before I had children. 🙂 Nevertheless, an adorable painting and post! Rock on with the toys for another week, Charlie O. February will be here before we know it. What is next month’s theme?? 🙂

    1. Thanks Jodi! Yeah…this one had a very brief and specific moment in the spotlight. Hehe… And when I chose little things as a theme I didn’t even realize I’d end up doing this many toys. As for next month…as always…I haven’t a clue! Lol I usually pick the moment I wake up that morning. 😊 I’m sure these things would benefit from a little planning, but that’s never been my style. Lol

  3. My first impression, having no knowledge of this character prior to this post, is that he’s pretty darn cute! And your painting says that too – what a lovely, soft doodlewash! Nice colours, almost like a sepia photograph… it works wonders for presenting such an ancient artifact! 😉

    My intrigue is such that I’ve now googled him to learn more – there was a cartoon series and some live action shows on video – I’m not sure which to YouTube first. Will they be as good as Benji, do you think…? 😉

    1. Hehe…thanks Jacob!! And I have no idea what his shoes were like! I can’t be held responsible if you actually watch one. Lol I honestly found him to creepy to ever look. But he was so damn popular in the 80s here I had to include him. I’d say Benji is far superior and a safer bet! 😉👍🏻

  4. He does look demented. The idea seems good though.
    My daughter had a talking Barbie but she only had a few stock phrases like “I can’t wait to go dancing with Ken tonight!” (K)

    1. Haha…I probably made him look a bit more demented than even the real thing since that what I remembered most about him! 😊 Oh wow… I didn’t know they had a talking Barbie. Those two have always had such an up and down relationship. Not surprised Ken loves to go out to clubs though.

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