Robot toys have always been popular, but the market in the 80s and early 90s was rather saturated. What robot should I choose to be my friend? Here are seven classic robot toys from the 80s and 90s.
7 – Alphie II
Playskool really brought their A-game when they released Alphie II. In fact, I still have mine, and I credit him to being the reason I know my colors. Similar to an Intellivision controller, Alphie II came with overlays that served as educational games. Kids could insert a card about the alphabet and learn that up. He played music, his face lit up, he was my only friend. Alphie is still available from Playskool, but he looks like an astronaut on speed now. Stalk the thrift stores and get yourself an original.
6 – Soundwave from Transformers
Soundwave was pretty awesome in his day, but almost 30 years later, does the idea of a cassette-based robot really hold up? With a voice like a Speak & Spell and primitive hacker abilities, yeah, he’s still great. He can jam transmissions, has a photographic memory, and can bust out sonic waves. Imagine what kind of robot ass he could kick if he made the jump to digital storage media.
5 – Robotman from Robotman & Friends (1985)
Chances are you or someone you grew up with had this doll. And there’s even better chances that you have no idea where that doll is from. You just had it or you just gave it the side-eye at the neighbor’s place. It’s actually from a 1985 cartoon series from DIC called Robotman & Friends. Dolls were produced by Kenner. These brightly colored dolls had hearts on their stomachs and would light up and play music when pressed.
4 – Casey
Man that robot can sing!
Casey was the poor man’s Teddy Ruxpin—a stripped down robot that played tapes and had a digital display for his face instead of any actual moving parts. The neat part about this robot from Playskool was that his mouth onscreen would move along to the words on the cassette.
3 – My Pal 2
Haunting your dreams since 1991.
The early 90s were also a hotbed for bizarre robot toys. In 1991, My PAL 2 was introduced as a game-playing, creepy-faced robot friend. He talks, he barks like a dog to keep your mullet friends out of your room, and he’ll keep you enthralled with edge of your seat “Simon Says” action.
2 – PetSter
From Axlon comes PetSter, an electronic cat that looks more like a hamster slipper. PetSter scoots around, responds to your commands, plays games, and purrs. PetSter’s sensor allowed the robotic creature to roam around and avoid walls or other crap on the floor. PetSter would even perform tricks when you clapped at it. Good luck getting your real cats to pull that off.
1 – Teddy Ruxpin
Nothing like receiving a gift from the underworld for Christmas.
Teddy Ruxpin boasts itself as “The World’s First Animated Talking Toy” when it should refer to itself as “The Reason Numerous Children Wet the Bed Talking Toy.” Teddy’s reign of terror goes back to 1985, and although there were periods of time where the bear was not being produced, it was manufactured up until 2005. I’m sure there’s some kids out there who legitimately enjoyed Teddy and his pals and all their fun. I’m not a worshipper of Satan, so I can’t be included in that group. Teddy’s face is animated and his mouth moves along with the cassettes placed inside of him, which is a neat concept. Sticking in some old batteries and watching Teddy speak in tongues is less than pleasant, however.
Did we skip your favorite robot toy? Be sure to leave a comment below!