There’s a Robot Beneath the Fluff!


I've always been curious about stuffed animals that sing, dance, light up, or talk back. There must be a fascinating robot underneath the fur and fluff, right? Surely the robot hiding in the bear's clothing, vestimentis ursum, is impressive. So: armed with my childish curiousity and the spurious excuse of 'product design research,' I set out to discover what, exactly, these creatures are hiding.

There are lots of pictures of the unfamiliar inner workings of some familiar toys. http://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.mattkirkland.com/ursum.html#2 -via the Presurfer

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Reminds me of a story:

I took my family to see an IMAX film about hollywood special effects. A young boy of maybe three was sitting next to me. There was a scene involving the animatronic lion created for the Chronicles of Narnia. Basically there is seventy foot high lion head on the screen. The boy started to cry saying it was scary. (and to a kid it probably was). The mother consoled him and tried to explain that it wasn't real. It was a kind of puppet. The kid looks back to the screen, but by now they've peeled off the fur to expose the robot underneath. That lion is now a seventy foot tall lion-terminator snarling in super-surround sound! It's probably ten, no a hundred, times scarier than it was before. He starts scream-crying, "Monster, mommy, Monster!" His mom is deperately trying to calm him. I even tried to help console the kid but he is way past rational thought at this point. He bolts from his seat screaming the entire way out of the theater with Mom trailing after him.
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When I was a kid I was a HUGE fan of the care bears. Wore the clothes, collected the bears, and, according to my parents, thought they were real. My father, in a misguided attempt at humor, hung my favorite care bear by a noose in the living room door way. When I saw the image for this article, it all came rushing back to me. The pain. The horror. The reminder to myself to make sure that my father's nursing home is really, really unpleasant. I wonder if you can ask specifically for German nurses with a penchant for cruelty and unwanted enemas?
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