Powder Monki ~ Retro Badges & Magnets

Author Topic: Unusual 1985-model Teddy Ruxpin - need ID help, please!  (Read 4906 times)

Offline Lemmings

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Unusual 1985-model Teddy Ruxpin - need ID help, please!
« on: Sunday 18 December 2011, 05:42 am »
Hello there everyone.

I recently acquired an unusual Teddy Ruxpin as part of a lot, and was hoping to find some more information on him. I'm in the UK, and thus this would appear to be this particular bear's origin, as well.

He is an early, three-servo, metal tape-player Teddy (so, he's from the first production run, not the later ones where they dropped one of the servos and moved to plastic tape-players), and, well...

The first thing I noticed was that he has no volume/power wheel. It's not that it's been ripped out, as you sometimes see with Teddy Ruxpins that haven't been treated with care - it was obviously never there to begin with!



My apologies for the blurry photograph - my camera didn't want to focus on it very well.

The next thing I noticed is that he has this on the back of his battery compartment;



I later found out that this is a jack for a 3.5mm plug.

Inside his battery compartment was a bigger surprise;




A quite good-looking wiring job!

As I'm sure anyone who's encountered Teddy Ruxpin knows, these toys were battery-operated only.

I did eventually get him working by using a universal power adapter with a 3.5mm plug, set to 6V, though I also found that he was happy with 5V. It was difficult to make the contact at first because the part that the plug goes into had lost a bit of its spring, presumably from having had a plug in it for a long time at some point.

When I got him working, I found that the volume was set at maximum (meaning that he was permanently powered on and talking at his loudest, whenever power was applied).

I also found, once working, that the potentiometer in his eye servo was shot. I could tell this because he blinks continuously rather than only when he's supposed to, which I understand is a sign of extreme usage in these toys (and which I know requires a servo rebuild that I don't have the ability to do :P).

His sound-quality was terrible until I used a tape-head cleaner on his tape deck. Metal tape-player Teddy Ruxpins are supposed to have very clear-sounding audio, but before cleaning, this guy sounded anything but crystal clear.

One other very weird point about him is that his nose is plastic. They didn't start using plastic noses for Teddy Ruxpin until a while after they moved to using plastic tape-players in the bears during the second production run - early Teddys are supposed to have rubber noses, but this one does not.

I was unable to obtain more information from the seller I bought him from, as they became incredibly evasive when I asked how to make this bear work since it's impossible to put batteries in him (this was before I tried him with the universal power adapter), and they not only gave a completely irrelevant answer to what I'd asked, but then became even more evasive when I asked for clarification again, and simply asked for me to mark the item as received so that they could get their money from PayPal!

I was wondering if anyone knows if this Teddy Ruxpin could have come from a UK store display unit? Given the evidence I have so far, this is the only conclusion I've been able to draw.

I know that over in the US, retail Teddys were hacked in various ways to make the store displays, and that when the manufacturer, Worlds of Wonder, went out of business, the displays were ordered from on high to be junked, but some Toys 'R' Us employees rescued them. I'm wondering if anyone has any idea if that's what might have happened with this fellow? Toys 'R' Us was the only chain that had the Teddy Ruxpin displays in the UK, if I'm remembering right, so perhaps someone who worked there in the mid to late 1980s might know something?
« Last Edit: Sunday 18 December 2011, 05:46 am by Lemmings »

Offline invaderhorizongreen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 587
Re: Unusual 1985-model Teddy Ruxpin - need ID help, please!
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 21 December 2011, 03:21 am »
I want to say what you have is possibly a display piece or one that has been tinkered with. I am leaning towards tinkering with given that your seller would not tell you how to work it.

Offline zuse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2073
    • Zuse's Vintage Littlest Pet Shop Guide
Re: Unusual 1985-model Teddy Ruxpin - need ID help, please!
« Reply #2 on: Friday 23 December 2011, 12:17 am »
Definitely make sure you have the alerts for when your thread is updated. It make take awhile, but eventually someone who knows something may bring this up on Google and have an answer. For stuff like this, patience is key!
Check out my Vintage Littlest Pet Shop Guide!

Hey, check out Bing Rewards. I've earned several $5 Amazon gift cards using it. :)

Offline Audrey

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Unusual 1985-model Teddy Ruxpin - need ID help, please!
« Reply #3 on: Friday 06 January 2012, 01:02 pm »

Offline Lemmings

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Unusual 1985-model Teddy Ruxpin - need ID help, please!
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 07 January 2012, 06:23 am »
I want to say what you have is possibly a display piece or one that has been tinkered with. I am leaning towards tinkering with given that your seller would not tell you how to work it.
I must admit, the seller's evasiveness made me lean towards display piece instead, because it seemed to give off the vibe that they felt they weren't supposed to say why/how they had it or something like that.

Definitely make sure you have the alerts for when your thread is updated. It make take awhile, but eventually someone who knows something may bring this up on Google and have an answer. For stuff like this, patience is key!
Thanks for the tip! I'm keeping my eyes on it. :)

Here's a display model with very interesting photos: http://www.ebay.com/itm/teddy-ruxpin-grubby-store-display-model-demo-tape-rare-/150645704853
Thanks for this! Funnily enough, I also saw this display recently. I've seen a few now, and they're all made a bit differently - which I suppose makes sense, since it appears that what they did was hack retail bears to suit the displays, rather than specifically make separate ones.

Thanks for the replies so far, everyone - it's much-appreciated!

 

anything