Teletubbies get big hug from Microsoft
March 26, 1999
by Clare Haney
(IDG) -- Microsoft is stepping up its presence in the interactive toys market with the official release of two dolls Wednesday based on the popular U.K. Teletubbies television series aimed at preschoolers.
The event hosted at the FAO Schwartz toy store in New York Wednesday was timed to coincide with the Teletubbies celebrating their second birthday since they first debuted on U.K. television screens in 1997. The creatures have been appearing on U.S. television for the past twelve months.
The four Teletubbies are known for their cheerful cry of "Eh-oh" (Teletubbese for "hello"), their brightly colored bodies, the television screens embedded in their stomachs and their propensity for big group hugs.
So far, Microsoft has released ActiMates Interactive Teletubbies based on the Laa-Laa and Po Teletubby characters, with the remaining Dipsy and Tinky Winky dolls set to appear in the summer.
Each doll has its own vocabulary and the TV screen in its stomach lights up with a variety of colors, shapes and patterns when a child squeezes the doll's hands and feet, Microsoft said in a statement issued Wednesday. By squeezing or pressing their stomachs, the toys will play 13 different songs. The toys can also play 13 songs and 12 games.
The dolls can be made to interact with the Teletubbies TV series and encoded Teletubbies videos with the purchase of a separate TV Pack, Microsoft said in the statement. The TV Pack includes a set-up videotape and a radio transmitter. Once the radio transmitter is hooked up to a video recorder, the toys can interact with the TV or videos that appear up to a range of 15 feet away from the transmitter.
Microsoft announced it had won a license to produce the dolls from Teletubbies creator Ragdoll Productions and its U.S. marketing company, New York-based Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co., in January of this year.
The toys have an estimated retail price of $59.95 each, while the ActiMates TV Pack costs $54.95, Microsoft said. Laa-Laa and Po join existing Microsoft ActiMates Barney, Arthur and D.W.
Sound familiar? Teletubby dolls the target of shoppers' mad rush
RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
How about an electronic cat?
Microsoft Teletubbies Celebration
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.