I can’t remember the exact year for this story. I had to have been around twelve or thirteen. Those of you who are Children of the ’80s may remember this product. It was the hot toy of the year – a robot. It was about a foot and a half high and it did all sorts of various tasks by command. (I know, I know – my description is so generic, it could be just about any old robot.)
The point is, I wanted it so badly. They sucked me in during commercial breaks on Family Ties and Kate & Allie. It’s probably needless to say, but I didn’t get the robot. My best friend Anna did and I think I still may be green with envy. It’s one of those childhood memories that stays with you for life.
This entire story came about again in my memory when I recently saw the Robopanda for sale from Wowwee. This is one of the hot top picks for the season. And what’s funny is that I remember the robot I wanted did like 4 things by remote – and I have to laugh when I now check out what’s on today’s market.
Because the Robopanda is like my 80s robot on steroids. It doesn’t require a remote – it’s voice activated. It has motion sensors and ten different touch sensors. It tells stories, sing songs and bases its actions on the actions of your child. It has different modes, and moods. It encourages interaction and actually teaches via memory games and more. It’s really truly amazing to see how far technology has come in our lifespan – it makes me wonder what our grandchildren will be playing with.
So the Robopanda’s not cheap, it retails for $149.99 but it’s a monster of a toy with hours of play possibilities. You can find it on Amazon, at Target, Best Buy or Hammacher.com. It’s listed as being age-appropriate for 8+, but I certainly think the younger crowd would appreciate it as well. There’s something about being a kid and controlling something to move around.
Check out the YouTube video to see a demo of it from a tradeshow.

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