Sad news today, as Ken Forsse, creator of much-loved Teddy Ruxpin, has passed away at 77.
Teddy Ruxpin rode the wave of animatronics in the ’80s better than any other toy at the time – an adorable teddy bear that could tell dozens of stories while being soft enough for kids to cuddle. The stories came from a tape player on the back, but that extra circuitry didn’t stop Teddy Ruxpin from exuding more warmth and humanity than the average toy, especially for the time.
Ken Forsse helped lead the way with animatronics technology by founding Alchemyll, which also worked on animatronics for children’s shows at the time. They also produced Teddy Ruxpin, who would be produced by Worlds of Wonder and go on to be an award-winning and highly popular toy – he was the Tickle Me Elmo of his day.
For Forsse, animation and toys were lifelong pursuits – Disney was one of the many entertainment companies he worked for before moving on to found Alchemyll. He was a major contributor to animation and technology, and if nothing else, he gave the world one of its best toys ever. He’ll be missed.