Throwback Thursday: Tamagotchis

January 13th at 5:43 PM

Throwback Thursday: Tamagotchis

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re rewinding time just fifteen short years back to 1996. A time when the Macarena was on top of the charts, the Olympics were in Atlanta, and fanny-packs were still moderately socially acceptable. We’re talking toys, and today we’re talking about Tamagotchis.

First sold in 1996, Tamagotchis were portable, digital pets often seen dangling from keychains and backpacks. Before you could care for Sims on your PC, you could purchase a Tamagotchi from your local toy store, activate it, name it, and care for it from its infancy all the way through its twilight years. The more love and affection you doted upon your digital pet — by feeding it, playing with it, and picking up after it — the better behaved it was (meaning: the less time you had to spend with it; ironic we know). Neglect your little, digital friend and it would die. The Tamagotchi came in a host of different forms: dogs, cats, zoo animals, humans — you name it and you could virtually care for it. Parents and parent groups were enamored with the toys; thinking they were an excellent way to teach children responsibility and hard work… or something like that.

How about it? What was the name of your Tamagotchi? More →


Throwback Thursday: Teddy Ruxpin

November 18th at 4:30 PM

Throwback Thursday: Teddy Ruxpin

As we slowly march towards the holidays, we thought it would be appropriate to add some popular, battery-powered toys to our Throwback Thursday routine. Several weeks ago, we reminded you about the existence of the stage-prop turned must-have toy, the Tiger Talkboy. This week, we’re going all the way back to the mid-eighties to talk about Mr. Teddy Ruxpin.

Teddy Ruxpin was a plush, stuffed teddybear released in 1985 by toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder. Teddy used a standard cassette tape deck hidden behind his tan vest to “tell stories” and “talk” with synchronized mouth and eye movements. Although the bear could play any standard cassette tape, special, Ruxpin-specific tapes could actually coordinate the bear’s movements with the audio. The special cassettes used the tape’s left audio channel for the bear’s vocals and movement instructions were found on the tape’s right audio channel. The toy also contained an input port to hookup its companion toy, Grubby. When Grubby was attached with the included cable, and a Ruxpin-specific tape was inserted in Teddy, the two could interact by jointly telling stories — alternating lines back and forth. In 1985, it seemed like science fiction.

The toy was so popular it eventually got its own TV series dubbed: The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin. Although no longer owned by Worlds of Wonder, Teddy is still available today — sans cassette deck.

Hit the jump to see Teddy’s awesomely bad 80’s commercial spot and to let us know if you have any TR memories. More →