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Tag Archives: Animatronic

Mr. Smarty Bear Interactive talking animatronic plush toy by Galoob 1985

22 Sep

video courtesy of Jeremiah Johnson

Smarty Bear! The most loveable, smartest bear in the world!

Mr. Smarty Bear by Galoob 1985

Mr. Smarty Bear was released by Galoob toys in 1985. This was the same year that the more popular and well known Teddy Ruxpin bear was released by Worlds of Wonder. It is believed that Mr. Smarty was meant to compete with Teddy Ruxpin for the childrens’ affection and their parents dollars!

Mr. Smarty is 20″ in height. He has his little topknot, red plaid vest, bow tie and eyeglasses. The inside of his mouth is red felt. He has darling faux fur eyebrows that raise and lower when he talks. His big blue eyes open and close and his mouth moves.

Invented by Ralph Baer, this bear was designed to interact and talk to his friends on the screen of a TV set, while playing a VHS cassette (not included) containing interactive data. The 1986 Galoob Smarty Bear Interactive Video System  came with all of the components you would need to connect Smarty Bear to your VCR for interaction with TV.

At least four different VHS tapes were available for use with this system:

  1. Smarty and Argyle See the USA
  2. Argyle goes to Hollywood
  3. Who’s at the zoo?
  4. Argyle and Smarty’s First Case

Without the interactive video system, Mr. Smarty would only talk, he would not be animated.

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He talks, his eyes, his eye brows, nose and mouth moves when he talks.  Talk to him and he will talk to you!

Mr. Smarty will say the following phrases:

  • Positively!
  • Hey! I like to be picked up!
  • Ha Ha Ha!!
  • Hey turn me over!
  • For Sure!

Video courtesy of Elizabeth Lewis

video courtesy of the Strong Museum

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Teddy Ruxpin-the talking bear!!

15 Nov

Teddy Ruxpin is an animatronic talking plush bear. He was first produced in 1985 by toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder.Teddy would move his mouth and eyes as he read stories via a standard cassette tape deck built into his back.

These Cassette tapes were not the typical cassette music tapes that you remember; they were square measuring approx. 2″x2″. A normal (non-Teddy) cassette tape is designed for stereo playback with two distinct tracks on each side for the left and right speakers. In contrast, a Teddy Ruxpin cassette uses the two tracks differently: the left track contains the audio, while the right track encodes the toy’s movements. A special hole in the top of the cassette tells the teddy bear that the right track contains movement data. This hole is similar to a standard cassette’s write protection notch, but closer to the center.

Vintage Teddy Ruxpin Figurine and 4 cassette tapes

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