|SITEMAP: THE TOY * TELEVISION * INTERVIEWS * FAN FORUMS|
|WORLDS OF WONDER
In the late 1950's, Ken Forsse had an idea for a puppet show. The lead character was named Simian Greep, a bear-like creature who loved adventure. Also in the storyline were an inept bad guy named Tweeg and his red, bouncing, armless henchmen. Throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's as Forsse worked for various companies in the Entertainment industry (including Disney and Sid & Marty Krofft), he added depth to the stories and additioinal characters and Simian Greep evolved into what would eventually be The World of Teddy Ruxpin.
In the early 80's, Forsse formed his own company, Alchemy, using his decades of experience in the entertainment industry to lead his own staff of talented "Alchemists" designing technologies and performing other creative services for companies such as Disney, for which Alchemy designed the costumes used on the TV show "Welcome To Pooh Corner". Also around this time he brought in two other men to help him with the company, John Davies and Larry Larsen, and the trio invented the technology that would be the basis for what would become the most popular toy of the mid 1980's.
After the ground level work on the "Talking Toy" technology was developed, AlchemyII needed someone to produce their invention. Ken contacted a man named Don Kingsborough, who had been an executive at Atari. Kingsborough had enough money that he could live the remainder of his life without working again, and was sitting bored on a beach in Hawaii when he recieved Forsse's call. Immediately he became intrigued with the talking toy idea and flew back to California. Although he was burnt out on big business after having to lay off thousands of employees at the bankrupt Atari Corp, Kingsborough fell in love with Teddy Ruxpin and immediately began to secure funding to create a company to produce him. Kingsborough decided to call the company
"Worlds of Wonder" mainly because he thought everyone who saw the stock symbol "WOW" would want to own at least one share.
By Christmas of 1985 Teddy Ruxpin was on toy store shelves, although units quickly sold out and WoW had to go through competing companies to have additional units manufactured. Teddy became the best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986, and was among the best selling toys through the early 1990s.
Worlds of Wonder produced two slightly different versions of Teddy after the original, the second of which was roughly the same size but utilized a plastic tape player, and the third of which was smaller in stature and used cartridges instead of cassette tapes to make Teddy talk.
Despite instant success with Teddy Ruxpin and related products, Worlds of Wonder struggled and finally closed it's doors in 1991 after literally marketing itself out of business with an overgrown catalogue of talking toys including Teddy, Mickey Mouse, Mother Goose and others. Teddy's rapid success was really only matched by the sudden decline of the company that manufactured him.
WoW produced, to date, the only version of the Talking Grubby, which is not a stand alone unit but only animates when connected to the WoW Teddy via an animation cable. Worlds of Wonder also produced a line of accompanying "World of Teddy Ruxpin" toys which included miniature action figures, an Airship, and a line of hand puppets.
The Worlds of Wonder Teddy and it's accessories are not compatible with any other version of Teddy. Fortunately, a WoW Teddy is very easy to spot, as it's by far the largest version of the bear, and most widely available on sites such as Ebay. It is one of two versions that use cassette tapes to stimulate animation, the other being the late 1990's Yes! Entertainment edition, which is much smaller and is dressed in a red shirt and blue "jeans" instead of Teddy's regular tan tunic.
EBAY SELLER/BUYER GUIDE:
If you're looking for a place to get the Worlds of Wonder Teddy Ruxpin repaired, check out Dr. Eeyore's Hospital. Unfortunately, this website cannot handle any repair requests.
Having the original box in good or mint condition adds 10 to 15% in value to any particular unit regardless of condition. I advise selling storybooks & audiocasette sets separately rather than in a lot, although it may be beneficial to include one book & tape with the toy.
Mint Condition Confirmed to be working - $100 to $200, depending on the market at any given time frame.
Good Condition, Working, light wear - $50 to $100.
Unconfirmed to be working - but in good condition otherwise - $25 to $50.
Confirmed to be non-functional- in good or fair condition $10 to $25.
A "Parts" unit - physically broken, almost always unworking - $5 to $10.
There will be slight variations of condition not covered here, but you're most likely to run into one of the four variables covered.
Make sure you are purchasing the right version. If the seller hasn't confirmed what the version is in the listing, ask them before you bid/buy. Sellers should always list the manufacturer, as Teddy was produced by four different companies and software is not compatible between versions.
When buying/sellling Grubby (below) remember that unless he's being sold with Teddy or if the seller has a working Teddy to test him, he's more than likely not been tested and should be treated as a non-working unit that will need to be repaired. A confirmed to be working Grubby in good or mint condition can fetch anywhere from $100 to $200. If Grubby's working condition is unsubstantiated, the toy is worth $30 to $50.
Animation cords are worth $15 to $20.
Teddy's pal Grubby. Connects to Teddy via an animation cable and is does not work as a stand-alone. The only version of Grubby (thus far) ever produced.
Only compatible with this version of Teddy - will not work with any subsequent version.