Happy Birthday to me…and to today’s Flashback Friday subject!
So yes, today is my birthday. I could be content to hide my face and scream “don’t look at me, I’m OLD!” but in reality, I never mind the birthday love and greetings.
Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with Cabbage Patch Kids that blew kazoos and party blowers. Today, I’m celebrating with my first best friend…and his best friend!
I still have my original Teddy Ruxpin – we got him in 1986 (I was three), and he was the most amazing toy in the world. He couldn’t interact with us, but he could tell us stories. And once we could read the books, it added a whole other layer to playing with him. Today, he still works (sounds a bit weird, like he’s going through puberty), but he sits on my shelf and reminds me of my childhood everyday. I incorporate nostalgia heavily into my life, so having him with me is a nice little piece of personal nostalgia.
My fiancee, on the other hand, screams “Kill it with fire!” everytime he sees anything Teddy Ruxpin – he is terrified of him!
He said it while I was getting this article ready.
Anyway, it is my birthday today, and it is Teddy Ruxpin’s “Birthday” in this commercial, which is presumably from 1986.
So what do you get for the bear who can’t exactly interact with you?
Why, Teddy’s anthropomorphic caterpillar/centipede best friend, Grubby!
This kid, he’s a fun one. All the other kids oooh and ahhh, but he is like “GRUBBY!” out of nowhere. I laughed way harder during this commercial about this very reaction than I had any right to laugh.
But enough about my reaction to overly-excited Grubby Kid, why not let the magic unfold in this truly magical (for little kids) commercial? Click play!
Teddy Ruxpin was introduced to the world in September 1985, and his friend Grubby was introduced shortly thereafter. Grubby could only interact with Teddy Ruxpin via connector cable. All tapes had Grubby featured, but having a Grubby connected to Teddy added a whole layer of storytelling magic.
I did not have Grubby, nor ever saw him in person. I did date a guy years ago who said he did have him. I can imagine how exciting having these two connected was for a small child. Worlds of Wonder had this magic about their tape-based talking dolls. Their other creations – Mickey Mouse, Mother Goose, and Snoopy (yes, Snoopy!) had their own connectable counterparts – Goofy, Hector (The Ugly Duckling), and Charlie Brown, respectively.
Sad shame is that The World of Teddy Ruxpin came to a screeching halt in 1987 (ironically, on October 19, 1987), when Black Tuesday reversed the fortunes of its creator, Worlds of Wonder, forcing them into bankruptcy. No future version of Teddy Ruxpin (there have been several over the years), featured a connectable Grubby until the newest Teddy Ruxpin was introduced last year. Which makes him a treat for the amount of time he was on the market.
These days, a Grubby goes for $30-$60 on the online marketplace. Provided you have the connector cable (or he comes with it), and you have a Teddy Ruxpin that works, he is a nice piece of nostalgia to have. And the new one what we call Nightmare Fuel.
Thanks Pixel Dan!
Grubby 2018 lacks the interactivity of Grubby 1985-1986, and sings clips from “It’s Your Birthday” from Teddy Ruxpin’s Birthday (which I have the original book and tape of!). He does this when you hug him.
Those eyes give me the creeps!
This, however, did not.
Ah, simple times.
And there you have it. A best friend for your first best friend, dolls that play birthday musical instruments, and childhood birthdays of the past.
It’s always nice to look back and be reminded of the good times, when you were counting your age on one hand.
As for me…yeah, I’m only going to admit my age for a bit longer.
Here I come, 36.
Anyway, have a great day, and if it is your birthday when you read this, then Happy Birthday to you!
Have a fantastic Flashback Friday, and a great weekend! 🙂