The Two Faces Of TJ Bearytales
WOW! I bought a brand new TJ Bearytales book/cartridge at the Thrift Store about a year ago - I didn't have the bear, but from the looks of it, I knew I wanted one. Here we are a year later and I found the bear at one of our local Thrift Stores. Problem is I was not going to give a FOR PROFIT Thrift Store (who gets everything as free donations in the first place) $35 for an as-is teddy bear! Oh well, que sera sera. At least now I knew exactly what he looked like and what I was looking for. Then, one week later at the same chain Thrift Store in a different city, I find, sitting on the edge of the shelf just begging me to take him home, a TJ Bearytales teddy bear in almost pristine condition for the outrageous price of... 79 cents! I mean, come on! I haven't ever seen one of these before and here I find two within the same number of weeks! Talk about kismet...
TJ is like Teddy Ruxpin's younger cousin. As a younger cousin, TJ is more articulated, more entertaining and, dare I say it... so much cuter! Like Teddy, however, TJ is not much for cuddling - he is even more rigid and bulky than Teddy ever was. And while I have heard (or rather read) that he can take a fall out of the bed without blinking, I'm not really convinced of that. He just seems like he would be more delicate than Teddy. TJ moves his mouth and blinks his eyes like his older cousin Teddy, but he also moves his arms up and down, nods his head back and forth and even wiggles his ears. Now that is some impressive articulation!
Instead of cassette tapes, TJ Bearytales uses cartridges. I have only been able to locate the existence of 16 such book/cartridge sets:
The accessories that come with some of the sets are activated by placing them in TJ's left hand. The story that goes with the "My Big Birthday Surprise" book is built-in, so TJ is ready to play straight out of the box. Out of these, the ones that I have are in white. I actually found the camera and the flashlight in one of those miscellaneous toy bags they throw on the shelves at Thrift Stores, but I still need the books and the cartidges that go with them. So... if anyone has any that they would like to get rid of...
In addition to the stories, each cartridge also allows TJ to play different games and to sing songs. I haven't heard the other songs, but the song that comes preprogrammed in him is really a catchy little ditty. My gf makes fun of my because I will play it over and over again - but hey, I likes what me likes! The games, or the built-in game anyway, is not so great, at least not for me. Kids might enjoy it. He likes to play 'TJ Bearytales Says'. I think that's the only one that comes with him...
I found out that there were two versions of TJ. As you can see from the pictures above, the one on the left (mine) has a sweeter-looking disposition, whereas the one on the right (my dad's) looks more gruff. The initialization routines are different as well. The sweet bear moves his head up and down as part of his startup, but the gruff bear does not.
Year Released: 2005
Dimensions: 14" tall