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Teddy Ruxpin goes digital
The toy bear now tells stories from digital cartridges rather than using the '80s cassette tapes.
June 16, 2005: 10:12 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN) - Teddy Ruxpin, the animated stuffed animal popular in the 1980s, is returning to stores in September after being updated with digital technology.

The new version of the toy, which moves its eyes and mouth while singing and telling children's stories, contains audio and animation data on digital cartridges. When launched 20 years ago, the bear operated on analog cassette tapes.

Teddy Ruxpin dolls will retail for $69.99 each, the same price original bears sold for in 1985, according to Tracy Rosen, senior vice president at public relations firm Productivity Inc. Each bear will come with a set of three story cartridges with corresponding picture books and read-along songbooks. Additional sets of two stories will be sold for $19.99, Rosen said.

Marketing for Teddy Ruxpin's reintroduction will be handled by The Ad Store. That firm was behind's controversial Super Bowl campaign from earlier this year, which played off Janet Jackson's wardrobe mishap at the 2004 NFL title game. Ad Store Managing Partner Tim Arnold said advertising for Teddy Ruxpin is in the development stage but is expected to play heavily on the nostalgia of parents who may remember the toy from its earlier incarnation. Brand recall for the product among adults is near 85 percent, Arnold said.

Target stores will be the main retailer for the toys, but the dolls will also be sold at specialty outlets and online, Rosen said. Preorders can be made on the Teddy Ruxpin Web site beginning July 1, and the bears will be shipped in September from the Hong Kong-based manufacturer, BackPack Toys International.

Original Teddy Ruxpin dolls became collectors' items when production by World of Wonders ended after three years in 1987. A short-lived version of the bear was also produced by Playskool in 1993.

From CNN Business News Assignment Editor Alona Rivord

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