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The Laziest Corporation in America

Drew McEleney

I have discovered the laziest, most unimaginative company operating in America today is Productivity Incorporated (note that I’m not making the company’s name up for ironic comedic effect). Productivity Inc. is the maker of the all new must-have-toy known as “Teddy Ruxpin.” I discovered the upcoming release of this animatronic singing/speaking marvel while browsing the technology section of CNN today.

Now for those of you who were alive in 1985 who are thinking “Teddy Ruxpin, that name sounds familiar” pat yourself on the back and have a shot of Jack. The original Teddy Ruxpin was released nearly 20 years ago in time for the Christmas shopping season of 1985.
Engineering Wonder Teddy Ruxpin
The basic premise of Teddy I (as I will call the original from here on out) was you pulled open the doll’s Velcro back, loaded in a special cassette tape and hit play. Then the doll would speak/sing the song blaring out of his thorax to the delight of little children. On the whole Teddy I was a good toy and kept kids entertained while their parents were out bowling or buying rolls of lotto tickets.

We then fast forward to 2005 and the much anticipated release of Teddy II: the new bear will have exciting features like the ability to speak or sing when a cartridge is loaded into the area under his Velcro back. What kind of crap are the good people of Productivity Inc. trying to pull? The only difference between Teddy I and Teddy II seems to be the replacement of a cassette tape with a data cartridge. Talk about mailing it in – it is as if little Katie Wendell stuck up her hand and pitched a new Teddy Ruxpin when her father brought her to take your daughter to work day. Then the management team heard the idea and thought “Let’s flush Teddy a second time and see if he goes down.”

I also like how this adorable little story landed on the front page of the technology section. I mean how slow of a news day does it have to be for Teddy II to steal center stage? Just think of the advances humanity has made over the past 20 years – the world wide web (the Internet as we now know it) was created, cell phones now weigh less than a brick and have talk time of over 20 minutes, CDs, DVDs, and mp3s were created, and the list goes on and on. In 1985 the Chicago Bears were the reigning Superbowl Champs, Ronald Reagan was president, the Berlin wall wouldn’t fall for another 4 years and I was 5 years old. In all this time we have gone from cassette tape to other kind of tape that does the same thing. For that I salute you Productivity Inc. and your unrivaled apathy!

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