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TEDDY RUXPIN FUN FACTS & TRIVIA
Ruxpin has been part of the pop culture universe for 24
wonderful years now, (In fact yours truly outdates Teddy by only 15
months!) I have compiled a list of little known facts and trivia
relating to Teddy & co and those involved with his production.
In most cases, this is knowledge I came apon in research or from
first-person contact with someone, so a courtesy email if you decide to
use any of these facts elsewhere would be appreciated, as would a link.
* Before Teddy
Ruxpin became a reality, creator Ken Forsse worked for Walt Disney,
including creating parts of many classic Disneyland Rides such as
Pirates of the Carribbean. He also worked for Sid & Marty
Krofft, who produced many classic shows in the 1970's including but not
limited to "Land of the Lost", "The Brady Bunch Variety
Hour", "The Donnie & Marie Show", and "HR Pufnstuff".
In the early 1980's, shortly before Teddy hit toy shelves, Ken and his
AlchemyII group created the animatronic costumes used in the popular
Disney children's television show Welcome To Pooh Corner
in which Phil Baron (Teddy's Voice) and Will Ryan (Grubby's Voice)
voiced Piglet (Baron) and Tigger (Ryan) respectivly.
* Phil Baron
& Will Ryan had an extensive working relationship together (and
presumably a friendship) before they became Teddy & Grubby.
They both hail from Ohio, and began their careers together there as
Willio & Phillio, ding radio spots. They also performed and
wrote songs for Disney under the same title of Willio &
Phillio. I talked with a person who knew them in their Ohio radio days
and said both were very down to earth, fun to be around, and that Phil
Baron had one of the biggest "afro" hairdos he had ever seen! They also
reunited in Ohio in 2004 to do a radio show again as Willio &
Phillio. I have always thought, even before I knew this piece of
trivia, that Teddy and Grubby had a very strong chemistry, even from
just hearing their voices together. (Thanks to Ken
Forsse, Andrue of the Teddy Ruxpin In-Fur-Mation site, the IMDB, and my
source from Ohio for this one)
* Phil Baron,
following the heyday of his career as Teddy, became an executive with
Rhino Records and later left showbusiness to follow his passion of
music as a Cantor. He attends Valley Beth Shalom in the Los Angeles
* Phil Baron
& Will Ryan (as Teddy and Grubby) are the only two voice actors
who reprised their roles from the Teddy Ruxpin talking toy book
& tape series in The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin
Mostly Canadian voice actors assumed the roles during the TV series, as
it was produced in Ottawa, Canada, and the previous voice actors were
Los Angeles based. Most notably missing was Tony Pope, who voiced
Gimmick and L.B. in the audio tape series. He was replaced by two men,
John Stocker as Gimmick and Robert Bockstael as L.B. The change in
Gimmick's voice is less noticable than the change to L.B's.
* John Stocker,
who became Gimmick and also voiced numerous other minor characters in
the television series, was a close personal friend of the late
legendary comic John Candy. They had
worked together on the canadian TV series "Coming Up Rosie"
* Les Lye, who
voiced Quellor in the series, is a former co-star and close friend of
singer Alanis Morisette
* In an episode
of the television series The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin
(Episode Unknown) artists were at a standstill do to production being
halted in another department, and to pass the time penciled in many
"graphic" titles to books in King Nogburt's library. When the other
department picked up the pace, the scenes had to be quickly finished,
and the titles were never erased. The production was finished
(coloring, etc.) in a Asian country which probably thought the titles
were there for a reason and could not understand them anyhow. According
to the source, they can still be seen in the episode, although
according to my source they were on only a few frames of animation,
meaning you would probably need to pause your video/dvd or take a
screen-capture to see them. UPDATE: Supposedly DiC had
been notified of this in the early 90's and edited out the titles for
any future releases of the series)
* (I recently
discovered this watching old tapes of the series) In a later episode of
the series, during the credits, Teddy can be heard in voiceover
promising a "Brand new Teddy Ruxpin series next year!" and telling
viewers thanks for watching and stay tuned to further episodes for more
information. This pretty much confirms speculation that there was an
additional series or season planned. The episodes I have on tape are
from first run syndication, so I imagine the voice has been edited out
of future airings of the series. This is also the only episode I heard
any information regarding new series plans.
Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin was last seen in United States
Market in re-runs,(at least one that reports these things anyway) in
what would have been the 1991-92 television season, although TAOTR
continues to air in other countries even in current day 2006.
*Teddy Ruxpin the
toy made several appearances and was referenced several times in
popular culture, movies, television series, etc. Including making an
appearance at a daycare in "Home Improvement" in 1993 (Tim Allen even
holds Teddy for a moment) A refrence came in a 1987 episode of "Mama's
Family" in which Mama, played by Vicki Lawrence, is horrified as her
neighbor Iola Boilen has her dead cat stuffed and programmed to meow.
Mama refers to the cat as "Kitty Ruxpin". Apparently, Worlds of Wonder
employed a PR service to get Teddy and references to him into movies
and television series. Worlds of Wonder itself is mentioned briefly in
the movie "Big" starring Tom Hanks. Teddy also appeared many times in
television programs when he was first released, including an in depth
exclusive on Teddy on "20/20" hosted by Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters.
Hugh Downs, who in my opinion seemed absolutely captivated by Teddy in
the segment, even brought Teddy into a schoolroom full of children and
talked with them about the illiop.
H.W. Bush and wife Barbara were photographed in an issue of Time
Magazine playing with Teddy and their grandchildren at the White House.
If you have any trivia to add, it would certainly be welcomed.