Teddy Ruxpin – Official Return of the Storytime and Magical Bear
Editor's rating:
9.7
Reviewed by Brankica Ivanova
User's rating:
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We like

Excellent for cuddling and hugging

Soft, light and entertaining

Displays more than 40 colorful expressions on his LSD eyes

It can talk, sing and tell stories

We don’t like

The interactive features are set to minimum

Only 3 pre-installed stories

How it works

Do you remember that cute and super fun Teddy Ruxpin from 1985 that almost everyone had and the entertainment it brought home through the stories he used to tell and the songs he used to sing? Some of you might still even keep it at home or introduced it as a keepsake to your children or grandchildren. Well, now there’s another, improved and modern version of Teddy Ruxpin manufactured by Wicked Cool Toys with additional features that offer ultimate pleasure for everyone’s home. The Teddy is fluffy, cuddly and incredibly livable which makes a great companion for your kids and makes the story time a real adventure, especially when stories are told by a teddy that changes the expressions on its LCD eyes in more than 40  colorful expressions while telling stories. Teddy Ruxpin comes with three pre-installed stories and seven songs which can be later upgraded to additional seven more stories through the free app that allows you to download them for a purchase fee and connect them to your Teddy through a Bluetooth connection. Its mechanical mouth moves while he talks or sings in synchronization with the words he says and it looks as if a real teddy is talking to you. For the good old times and new beginnings, we decided to take a look and review Teddy Ruxpin.

Design

Design

This modern Teddy is a bit smaller compared to the original version, i.e. it is about 15 inches tall and weighs 2 pounds. This time,the bear is animatronic, soft, cuddly and extremely cute. The extra tuft of hair is great for tossing, playing with it and tousling. It is dressed in an orange top, short denim jeans and a brown vest. On the back of the vest there is a pocket in which you can find the sleeping mask to protect his eyes while sleeping. On his back, under the vest, you can find a panel for four AA batteries which are not included when you buy the Teddy, the power switch is there, a reset button, micro USB, the power and the Bluetooth lights, and the Bluetooth connect button. Its hard drive can contain stories in amount of 4 GB downloaded or synchronized content from the app. It has big, LCD eyes which become bright when turned on. His glowing eyes represent a brand new feature and they express more than 40 different colorful animations and expressions.
Sensory stimulation

Sensory stimulation

He can display hearts to express love, flowers when joyful, snowflakes when cold, laughs, many smiles, boredom and many, many more. These expressions give the Teddy personality and thus he could create deeper and more involving relationship with children. TalkSync technology enables its mouth to move in synchronization with the words he says and it looks very realistic, as if the teddy is real and sitting next to you and talking to you. There are touch sensory control buttons on both of his paws and one on the vest on his chest. They are thus placed so that the child can have the full control of the Teddy and the story it tells, the choice of the songs and the choice of the stories. The sensory control on its left paw controls the stories; it plays and it pauses them. The one on the right paw controls the choice of the stories from the built-in library. The sensory control on the logo on the chest controls the choice of the songs.
What Teddy Ruxpin does

What Teddy Ruxpin does

Teddy Ruxpin seems to be an excellent companion and even better storyteller for young kids. It can talk and sing too. When you buy Teddy Ruxpin, you get three pre-installed original stories and seven songs which he can tell or sing, correspondingly. If you wish to read the stories while you are listening to them, you can download the free app on your internet device (laptop, smartphone, and tablet/iPad) and simultaneously do both activities. The stories on the device display illustrations like in a book, and in fact that’s the replacement with the original book. In case you wish additional stories, you can purchase them through the application onto the device. Bear in mind that the app is free, however the stories are not and you are given the possibility to buy a single unit or bundle of units.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the app doesn’t work with Kindle. Buying bundle of units is cheaper and more advisable since in that way you get more for lower price. Contrary to the original or the first version of Teddy Ruxpin, this one does not come with a book, so everything you have to do is to download the app. The connection between the app and Teddy is through a Bluetooth connection or through the micro USB port. It has 4 GB capacity for storing and synchronizing the stories. While Teddy Ruxpin tells the stories his eyes glow and express various emotions and expressions making the stories more realistic and personalized. When he talks about love for example, his eyes display red hearts thus creating a warm and lovable atmosphere, or if he talks about being cold then there are snowflakes displayed on his eyes. During the story time he frequently changes the appearances on his LED eyes and that makes children focused on the story. Both children and parents love the high and low volume option since it can be taken to bed during night time without making too much noise. If your child goes in bed with him make sure Teddy has his sleeping mask on his eyes since some parents claim that their children got scared when his eyes are not closed.
Educational role

Educational role

Even though there are bunch of other teddies on the market, this one stands out due to the fact that it brings the past back, as a revival from the old days and it still keeps the educational function to teach children to tell stories and memorize songs. In addition to this function it helps preschool and school kids learn reading better if they download the app and connect the Teddy to any enabled device. This option is intended for children who would like to practice reading and follow the illustrations, i.e. it is like reading a real or Kindle book. The expressions it uses while talking seem to be educational too in a way that he implicitly conveys a message to children of their meaning and that emotions are important part of everyone’s life. In that way children can easily play with him games such as role-play or pretend play games and thus develop their imagination, creativity and active play. Social skills start to develop at the age of three and up, so children can learn and express these skills while playing and being friends with Teddy Ruxpin.
Who is it for

Who is it for

The manufacturer recommends the product for children older than 2. However, it seems to be favorite teddy for many younger children too. It has two modes of using Teddy Ruxpin. The first mode is intended for early readers who can develop their reading skills while listening i.e. they read the stories on any enabled device. The device displays illustrations of the story, and it resembles a real book or an e-book. Connecting the app with the Teddy seems to be fairly easy. What you need to do first is to download and launch the app and after that you need to press the Bluetooth button placed on the back of the Teddy. You will get a message on your screen to press Teddy’s right sensor and once you do that you will launch the story called All About Bears. In case you want to go through stories, you need to press the sensor that is inserted in Teddy’s right hand. If there is no device enabled, then children can listen to the stories which are already provided in the software on the Teddy. That is total of 45 minutes story time and sing along songs. You don’t need any kind of connection to listen to them. Teddy Ruxpin can be a great buddy for children to hang out with and it is great for hugging and cuddling and so many children take it to bed with them. However, many parents feel displeased that this modern Teddy hasn’t been equipped with interactive features, such as reacting to children’s commands or responding to their requests, but probably the manufacturer wanted to keep the original vibes without imposing too much modern features.
Technical information and Customer service

Technical information and Customer service

Teddy Ruxpin is packed in an easy-to-open box which on its cover contains Teddy’s features and instructions on how to use it and there’s an instruction manual inside. The box is transparent from the front which means you can see Teddy from the outside. In order to be able to start Teddy you will need four AA batteries which are not included in the box. You can ask for manufacturer’s warranty by contacting customer service or contacting the manufacturer directly. The warranty can come handy in case there is a technical malfunction of the product. There have been some problems reported, however most of the customers who reported a problem had their Teddy replaced with another one and the Customer Service staff seem to be very friendly and helpful.
Keeping it clean

Keeping it clean

Never put your Teddy in the washing machine because there is a risk that the batteries won’t work afterwards. The best way to keep it clean is to use white and clean washcloth and gently remove the dirt. The cloth should be wet but not soaking and avoid colored cloth because there is a risk of color running onto the Teddy.
Price

Price

When it comes to price it seems that it keeps the same value as it was sold in the past, i.e. it meets the value with the quality it offers. What many parents complain about is the fact that the additional stories must be bought in order to further enjoy the experience of more stories and it is a rather frustrating fact, bearing in mind the price of Teddy. However, it is nice quality product with very entertaining features, so the price mainly reflects what Teddy has to offer. Those who have bought Teddy claim that it is worth the money and that they are happy to have it at home since the happiness of their children is incomparable to the price they had to pay for it.

Bottom line

Teddy Ruxpin is back from the past in a modern and updated version, even though the content of the stories is the same as the ones that the original Teddy told. For many parents it’s something that reminds them of their childhood years and it is the nostalgia that made them buy it first place. However, Teddy Ruxpin returned refreshed and equipped with the latest technological features such as his LCD eyes that show more than forty various animations and expressions, a Bluetooth connection and a micro USB. Children love to listen to Teddy Ruxpin and see those expressions in his eyes which personalize the entire atmosphere and create deeper connection between the child and Teddy. In case you want to see the illustrations from the stories, you can connect any smart device with Teddy through Bluetooth connection and enjoy the experience. Teddy comes with three pre-installed stories and seven songs which total to 45 minutes of story and sing along time. If your child gets bored with these stories, you can purchase more stories through the app and expand the pleasure of story time. The bear is equipped with 4 GB software, enough for download of all the stories and songs. Teddy Ruxpin is great companion and children love spending time with him. It can also be a sleeping buddy since it is soft and very cuddly; it’s light and not very big, so it makes him perfect for hugging. When set to sleeping mode it has a sleeping mask to cover his eyes and protect them from any damage. All in all, this blast from the past makes children happy and entertained, helps them learn songs and stories and is very helpful for early pre-readers and readers.
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