Jabber Log is back with a double shot of Urban Legends. The first part of this post hits home because I used to own a Teddy Ruxpin. I remember when I got it for Christmas and I was stoked. I opened up the box and my brother and I took turns holding our new toy. My parents inserted the C size Energizers, put in the tape and turned it on. It’s eyes began to move and Teddy Ruxpin spoke.
“Hi, I’m Teddy Ruxpin.”
The voice was soft and gentle. I felt comfortable with this talking teddy bear and it was one of my favorite toys. A few years ago I was taking a trip down memory lane and I was trying to remember all the toys and cartoons from my childhood. Through a simple Google search I found them. What I didn’t expect to find was an urban legend on how the Teddy Ruxpin came to be. According to legend the beloved toy originated in England around 1972. The owners of a historic tavern were working hard to restore the building and within the basement a teddy bear was found within a rarely used closet. As the workers continued to restore the building, those in the area of the closet swore that the bear spoke and could move. In the beginning the workers were frightened of the teddy bear but after a while they found comfort in it. In the end the owner of the Ruxpin tavern decided to patent the idea of a talking teddy bear and named it after the tavern where it was discovered. The bear was a hit and was produced and distributed world wide.
The second half of this post involves the urban legend and origin of the Christmas Carol. The year was 1888 in London England. A young girl by the name of Carol Poles had gone missing. This happened about a week after Christmas and many people joined in the search. They went door to door to spread the word on the missing child, however, this also took place during the killings of Jack the Ripper. The towns people were reluctant to open their doors in fear of what had been going on in the area. They simply ignored those who were involved with the search. In order to let people know about the missing girl and show they were not violent they would sing the songs of Christmas at their doorstep. The towns people heard the songs and gladly opened their doors. The idea became known as the Christmas Carol in honor of the missing girl. She was never found but the Christmas Carol was born that year. A bittersweet ending to a tragedy.
The origins are creepy and unbelievable. When I see a Teddy Ruxpin now I can’t help but imagine it moving and talking by itself without batteries. Listening to people sing during Christmas makes think about the little girl and if the urban legend is true. Whether it is or not, it’s just a little something for you to think about the next time you are reflecting on the toys you had growing up and the songs you sing at Christmas time.