You know, because Friday and all.
So we made it to Friday. And since it is the first week of school and all, congratulations to the students – you made it! Week one is over! Take the weekend and relax, because next week is your first full week of school.
Sorry to break that one to you.
So, as you can already tell, we’re talking Back to School time. Yesterday, kids were victorious in watching their newly-purchased school supplies fly off the back of the family station wagon. Today, we’re tackling an aspect of school life – at least, one that was a big deal when I was in elementary school, I’m not sure if it is something school do these days.
We’re talking Show and Tell, and also about a pretty famous talking anthropomorphic bear. This classic commercial comes to us from 1985, but saw a slightly modified version of the commercial used as far into the future as 1990.
Allow me to explain.
Worlds of Wonder, maker of the flagship talking tape doll Teddy Ruxpin, saw its fortunes go bust in October 1987. Bad investments and Black Tuesday sealed their fate less than ten years after their launch. When they went out of business, their toys either stopped being manufactured/sold (their other talking doll properties, and the infamous Action Max VCR gaming system), or were acquired by other companies (Lazer Tag, and their most famous talking doll of all).
By 1990, Worlds of Wonder had been long gone, and their company dissolved as of 1988. However, warehouses full of surplus Teddy Ruxpin dolls still existed, so apparently, they had to be sold. Eventually, Playskool (a division of Hasbro) took on the talking bear, but in 1990, that hadn’t been done yet.
The commercials for Teddy Ruxpin were long gone from television, but somehow, the original one found its way into the Children’s Palace/Child World 1990 marketing campaign video (the awesomely early 90s Video Toy Chest: A Toy Catalog on Videotape) posing as a 40-minute commercial. Their own fate was pretty much at hand by 1990, so I guess they figured they had nothing to lose but to advertise EVERYTHING they sold. And if that meant pushing a few Teddy Ruxpins in their overstock three years after their manufacturer ceased to exist, then, well, so be it.
Child World/Children’s Palace went out of business in 1992. I’m pretty sure they still had those Teddy Ruxpin dolls on their shelves.
The commercial they showed, however, was a shortened version of the original. The child in the commercial narrates it instead of that wholesome grandpa-type voice featured in all the other Teddy Ruxpin (and other Worlds of Wonder talking doll) commercials from 1985 and 1986.
There’s about 15 seconds cut just to avoid any of the wholesome grandpa narrator, or any mention of Worlds of Wonder.
Still featured? This girl…
…and these newly-converted Teddy Ruxpin fans.
Remember these kids were all “he brought a Teddy Bear to Show and Tell?!”
Witness, if you will, the glory of winning over your peers through Teddy Ruxpin persuading you to hear his story. Click play NOW!
Of course, I would have brought my own Teddy Ruxpin (or even my Cricket doll) for Show and Tell, given the opportunity. But Teddy was pretty much forbidden to leave the house. It’s why he is in such great condition now. I kept him preserved because I knew I’d meet, date, and eventually marry someone that is terrified of Teddy Ruxpin.
My prediction worked out nicely.
As I said, there was an original 30-second commercial featuring the Greatest Show and Tell Ever.
And apparently, this wasn’t the only time Teddy Ruxpin went to school. There was this commercial I apparently never knew about!
Well, there you have it. The first week of school is over, we survived, and a talking bear stood in as a best friend.
And no school supplies were harmed in the making of this week’s articles…except for the ones that flew off the back of that station wagon.
If you spot them, be a doll and clean up. No one likes a litter bug!
Have a fantastic Flashback Friday, and an equally fantastic weekend!
I mentioned Child World/Children’s Palace in the course of this article. It isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned them – I have a commercial in my archives from 1988 and a New York-area Child World commercial!