The Evolution of Teddy Ruxpin

In 1985 a toy like no other hit the mainstream, legand ever since.
January 08, 2007
In 1985 a toy like no other hit the mainstream; in 1987 he was animated and turned into a classic 80's cartoon, all who have watched have come to love. He is…


In this three part article I will be diving into the finer details of a doll and television show I grew fond to as a young boy.

PART 1 – Teddy Teddy Teddy!!

The doll its self, was first released in December of 1985 and World of Wonder continued to produce them up until 1988. Teddy came equipped with a cassette deck built into his back, and though animatronics would move his mouth and eyes in sync with his read along stories. The doll took off soon after its release and was named the “1985 Toy of the Year.” The dolls success was bitter sweet however, while Teddy was a gigantic success World of Wonder however was not and filed for bankruptcy in 1988.

In 1989 Playskool picked up the Teddy Ruxpin license and produced a smaller version of the doll up until 1996. this version of the doll had many improved features on his processor the positive improvements where that doll its self was lighter by dropping his size down from 20”–21” to 16”-17,” and lowered its battery usage from 4x (C) batteries to 4x (AA) batteries. But not everything was good about the new Teddy, different mechanical choices used for the animatronic opening and closing of Teddy’s Mouth and Eyes had a tendency to stop working over time as well the new and “improved” cartridges had no volume control.

In 1998 Yes! Entertainment bought the licensing to Teddy and started distribution of their version of the Teddy Ruxpin doll. What has changed in over 10 years you ask? Well for starters Yes! gave Teddy a whole new look with a red shirt with a yellow stripe and blue pants. Yes! also changed the cartridges back to cassettes. Sales were not as impressive as the original World of Wonder version of Teddy and production came to a halt when Yes! Entertainment ran into Financial Troubles that same year.

A comparison photo to show the difference in look and size of the three bears

PART 2 – Look Grubby we are on the picture tube!

September 14th 1987 was the first air date for the Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin Produced by DiC Entertainment the series ran until December 13th 1987 with 65 episodes produced in total. DiC and WoW kept all of the same voice actors that read in the books on staff to voice the characters in the animated series. The story line followed much the same as the read along books and cassettes, though with 65 episodes there where many new adventures. The series was designed to run Monday though Friday and contain one story per week with each episode containing mini stories and adventures within.

The basis of Teddy’s adventures is that Teddy and his best friend Grubby leave their home on the island of Rillonia to travel to the mainland of Grundo where they use an ancient map to search for a collection of crystals. When they arrive they find crystals have special powers, as well as an evil monster organization set on using the crystals powers for evil. Through the series we meet the main characters, they are:

Teddy Ruxpin, He is an illiop, who lives on an Island called Rillonia, which is just off the coast of Grundo. It was Teddy that found the Treasure Map of Grundo in an old trunk in his house, and decided that they were going to try to find it. Teddy is an extremely nice bear, who never seems to raise his voice to anyone and has a knack of making friends.

Grubby, He is a nervous caterpillar (Octopede). He says that he hates adventure, but Teddy Ruxpin is his friend and he will follow him anywhere.

He likes cooking and one of his specialities is Root Stew, he wants everyone to taste it as he thinks it is lovely. But don't tell him, as the others think it tastes terrible. Teddy even worked out that it was so sticky and horrible, that it could even be used as a weapon when it was fired from a slingshot (it clogs up propellers).

Newton Gimmick, He is an inventor who lives in 'Gimmicks Valley' and is under constant attack from Tweeg, but he doesn't let that bother him. He invented an airship, which consisted of a small galleon (wooden ship), with a large balloon over it. He burns fuel in its furnace to supply the hot air for the balloon.

Jack W. Tweeg, He lives in a very thin castle, which is also very tall. This overlooks 'Gimmicks Valley' and he loves nothing more than using his telescope to spy on Gimmick. He is always scared that people will steal his secret formula, which makes gold from buttermilk. Tweeg is so paranoid that he thinks Gimmick is forming an army against him. So he keeps firing cannon balls at Gimmick's house to make him leave, but he is the worlds worst shot and he never hits the target. He tries to be evil, but never carries it off

L.B. , He is a bounder and a little bit thick. He was the one that alerted Tweeg to the presence of the Grundo. He is always upsetting Tweeg, by calling him Twink, Twaz and any other word beginning with 'T'..

Quellor, He is the leader of M.A.V.O. (the Monsters and Villains Organization) and is also known as the Supreme Oppressor. He is on a quest to get all 6 of the Crystals, as it has been foretold that obtaining all 6 and placing them into the 6 gaps on the M.A.V.O. wall will stop any threat of goodness to them.

Part 3 – Where is teddy now?

So what has happened after all these years to our lost friend Teddy Ruxpin? Well there is good news folks in 2006 BackPack Toys announced that they would be bringing Teddy back to stores! Over 20 years have passed since we first laid eyes on Teddy lets see what he looks like today in comparison to the original

Original 1985 World of Wonder Teddy Ruxpin

2006 BackPack Toys version of Teddy Ruxpin

Doesn’t look like much has changed in 20 years then has it? Well you would be closer to right then you might think. For starters this version of Teddy is back to its original size, and original clothing, BackPack Toys gave teddy back his old look orange shirt and peach vest. The new Teddy uses 4 (AA) batteries like the 1989 and 1998 versions of the doll. Then what has changed?! The audio cartridges are now digital as apposed to cassettes; they don’t require any rewinding or flipping, and are teeny tiny.

The rear side of the 2006 Teddy Ruxpin doll.

In conclusion I found in my research a lot of interesting information and history on Teddy that I had not known prior. I also found out there is a buyer and seller price guide for your old dolls, along with repair guides! But what I found the most remarkable is that in over 2 decades and four different companies with licensing rights that Teddy has stayed relatively the same in mechanics and appearance. I spent many afternoons watching The Adventures Teddy Ruxpin on television as a child and my Teddy Doll was and still is a valued part of my toy collection.

-M Larivee
Teddy Ruxpin Episode Guides

Interview with Teddy Ruxpin creator Ken Forsse
The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin for sale on DvD
The Teddy Ruxpin Webpage for the new 2006 bear

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload Dismiss