May 22, 2018 Alchemy II Teams Up With The Jim Henson Company To Develop An Animated Series Featuring The World-Beloved Teddy Ruxpin! A New Pre-School Animated Fantasy Adventure Series Will Use Emmy-Winning Digital Puppetry Technology
Los Angeles, CA, May 22, 2018 - Alchemy II, Inc. has teamed up with The Jim Henson Company to develop an animated fantasy adventure series for kids ages 3-7 with Teddy Ruxpin, one of history’s most successful, trusted and cherished children’s entertainment properties.
The new Teddy Ruxpin series will have an all-star team, including showrunner John Tartaglia (Splash and Bubbles, Johnny and the Sprites); producer Russell Hicks, the Original Head Illustrator for Alchemy II during Teddy Ruxpin’s initial launch; global master toy partner Wicked Cool Toys, winner of the recent TOTY award for the 2017 Teddy Ruxpin relaunch; and the team at The Jim Henson Company led by executive producers Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. World-renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will bring the series to life with its Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio (Sid the Science Kid, Word Party), which allows performers to puppeteer animated characters in real time allowing for more organic and natural movement.
With last year’s highly successful Wicked Cool Toys toy relaunch, Teddy Ruxpin is as relevant as ever to today’s kids and ripe for a magnificent full franchise return! The new series will focus on important themes and skills like fostering self-esteem, empathy and individuality.
“Teddy Ruxpin started out 35 years ago as a puppet created by Ken Forsse. He is returning to his roots with this dynamic form of puppetry and I am so excited to start this creative adventure with The Jim Henson Company,” said Jan Forsse, President of Alchemy II. Mary Becker, Vice President of Alchemy II, adds, “Fortune continues to smile upon us. Wicked Cool Toys has been hugely successful with Teddy Ruxpin and now we are in Henson's gifted hands. I foresee nothing short of greatness.”
“After all of these years, I am so proud and excited to be working again with my dear friend Teddy Ruxpin. The Jim Henson Company has assembled an incredibly talented dream team to work on this beloved property and I am privileged to be part of this miraculous project,” said Russell Hicks, Producer of Alchemy II.
“Kids need to love themselves and appreciate their own individuality. Who better to teach that than Teddy Ruxpin?” said Halle Stanford, President of Television for The Jim Henson Company. “Teddy is a loving sensitive hero and will be a favorite ‘first friend’ for our viewers, taking them on adventures to discover all they can become.”
“We are absolutely thrilled at this brilliant collaboration for an animated series with our partner Alchemy II and The Jim Henson Company. The timing is perfect and imperative in all of our efforts to furthering the extension of this monumental brand,” says Michael Rinzler and Jeremy Padawer, Co-Presidents and Partners, Wicked Cool Toys.
“Teddy Ruxpin was a huge part of my childhood and the original stories about friendship, adventure, and kindness have always stayed with me,” said showrunner John Tartaglia. “This incredible team will bring brand new Teddy Ruxpin adventures to life for a whole new generation. Teddy and his friends are about to go places they’ve never been before!”
About Teddy Ruxpin
The first interactive children's toy took the form of a talking teddy bear; Teddy Ruxpin’s mouth and eyes were programmed and synchronized with his voice as he told stories that played on a cassette deck in his back. At the peak of his popularity, Teddy Ruxpin became the best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986. An animated Teddy Ruxpin series, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, debuted in 1987.
About Alchemy II
Alchemy II, Inc., owner of the Teddy Ruxpin brand, was founded by Ken Forsse in 1982. Following the success of its technology and toy, Alchemy produced a 65-episode animated series called, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin as well as more than 60 books and audio tapes featuring original stories, art and songs. The Teddy Ruxpin brand expanded to include interactive games, plush, poseables, clothing and more. Over 8 million Teddy Ruxpin animated toys were sold worldwide in 13 languages. The combined worldwide gross earnings from the Teddy Ruxpin talking toy products, books, audio tapes, television series, merchandising, licensing, and other ancillary products and royalties were an estimated 6 billion dollars over a three-year period from 1985 to 1987.
Alchemy II also developed the Talking Mother Goose, and in collaboration with Disney, Charles Schultz and Henson respectively, Mickey Mouse and Goofy, Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and Baby Boppers all became Talking Toys from Alchemy II.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 60 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world-famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), Dot. (Sprout/Hulu), Splash and Bubbles (PBS), Word Party (Netflix),Doozers (Hulu/ Sprout), and the Emmy®-nominated Sid the Science Kid (PBS), Dinosaur Train(PBS), and Pajanimals (Sprout). Television productions include Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller and the sci-fi cult series Farscape. Features include Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, as well as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, MirrorMask, and Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow. The Company is currently in production on the upcoming Netflix original series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Projects in development include the highly anticipated film Fraggle Rock. With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. The Company is home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television, theme park and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand is currently touring Puppet-Up! – Uncensored, a live puppet improvisational show, and its feature The Happytime Murders, starring Melissa McCarthy, will be released in August 2018.
About Wicked Cool Toys(LLC/WCT)
Founded in 2012, Wicked Cool Toys (Wicked Cool Toys LLC/WCT) a leader in innovative play, creates, designs, manufactures and markets a dynamic, fun portfolio of licensed and owned-IP toys for all ages. WCT’s portfolio includes global master toy partnerships with Pokémon (ex-Asia), Cabbage Patch Kids®, Teddy Ruxpin™ as well as key licensing deals with Crayola®, Nickelodeon™, CozyPhones™, MasterChef Junior, WWE® and more.
Janis Van Tine, Vice President
GennComm for Wicked Cool Toys/Alchemy II
Yannina Diaz, Director of Publicity
The Jim Henson Company