Tekno the Robotic Puppy (2000 - Present): Why We Were So Obsessed with Teksta

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How often do you sit back and just let your mind reconnect with the good old day? Whether it is a TV show, a movie, a retro video game, a toy, or just fashion of back then. For a while now, I have been treating myself with any nostalgic memory, with a daily dose of nostalgic gadget. It is quite therapeutic I must. And I enjoy every bit of it.

Today, I just stopped by, for another retro toy review that I loved. Not so long back in time. And it is Tekno the Robotic Puppy, you might as well call him Tekno the Robotic Dog! Whichever slides better in your mouth. We used to call him a dog because it was easier to remember.

Yesterday, while walking the dog downtown, I bumped into this kid. Guess what, he was playing with Tekno! For a moment I thought I thought it looked familiar, but it didn’t hit me at first that it was Tekno the Robotic Puppy, but it thought I have seen and interacted with it before. I felt goosebumps all over, I couldn’t hold but went over and touched it. Then it dawned on me, that about a decade back, I had the exact same puppy, exact color, and stature.

This made me go back to the junk in my dad’s garage, hoping that I may bump into it. But Nah! It wasn’t there. So I resolved to feed my nostalgic thirst with online archived videos and publications about Tekno the Robotic Puppy. But honestly, they are not so many. There is very little online about this might puppy. And that made me decide to write something down in his honor.
The only good thing, thanks to the toy industry, Tekno the Robotic Puppy is still on the toy shelves in the United States and some parts of the world. This is just crazy! It has been over two decades since it was first developed and it is still appealing to Generation Z and the millennial alike. Unlike Gen Z, the millennial at least had the first-hand experience of the “technologically” deficient original release of the robot. The new robot has tens of sensors if not hundreds and it is just an adorable piece of technology.

Why is Tekno the Robotic Puppy still Famous?

If you were a teen back in early 2000, you should have experienced Tekno The Robotic Puppy at least once in your lifetime. Have you ever gotten Tekno to sing on your birthday? Well, those are some of the things that made us go crazy for Tekno. You would sometimes forget that he was a robotic dog.

Did you have a chance to see the first version of Tekno the Robotic Puppy, here is the commercial back in the early 2000s that featured version 1 of it?

So, have you ever wondered why Tekno the Robotic Puppy is still Famous? This is because Tekno the Robotic dog has over 160 emotions and functions that appeal to kids and adults alike. Ever since it was introduced has remained popular all over the world. He has for many years entertained both old and new generations of kids. Surprisingly, even the baby boomers are amazed by his antics. Despite the fact that Tekno responds with walking gestures and music, he has still remained the most adored of all the robotic toys ever developed during this period.

Besides, it is a good toy for training your kids how to take care of a dog, before you buy a real live dog for them. Tekno came in many different colors, but the most common back then was the silver one. I remember a few friends who had the rare gold-colored Tekno.
A dog is man’s best friend, Tekno is one of the robots that proved that a robotic dog can still have the same effect on kids and adults alike. You can interact with Tekno and teach him new tricks which make him close to a real dog. Tekno had unique and charming moves. He was a cute and amazing toy for dog lovers. I now many friends of mine who had real dogs, but they still had a Tekno robot.

Development in the sector of robotic toys has advanced. Sony is one of the companies that have invested much in this with the Sony Aibo. They have taken this to another level, thanks to the internet and smartphone technology.

Understand The Background of Tekno the Robotic Puppy Now
Tekno has come a long way. Back in the day, he could not do Flips, but the latest version can do a whole lot of new moves. Just like a real puppy, Tekno can walk, talk, sit, jump and interact with you. Tekno listens to your commands, simulating the real-life experience of owning a puppy. You won’t have to bother with its feeding or messes because it is a toy. Tekno is the best companion for toddlers, adults, or those who are lonely since it is adorable and entertains them.
How much do you understand about the background of Tekno the Robotic Puppy? Let us dig in...

Tekno the Robotic Puppy (Also referred to as Teksta the Robotic Puppy) is among the most popular electronic robotic toys of our time that debuted in the late 2000s. Tekno sold more than 7 million units on its first sale season and more than 40 million units in its first four years of production. Tekno’s global fame resulted in numerous prizes and extensive media coverage including blog articles, newspapers, TV and movie appearances, and also as a stand-alone profile on the cover of the Times magazine.

Tekno the Robotic Puppy grabbed the attention of parents and children by delivering a unique technical glimpse into the future with over 160 emotions and capabilities. Kids could enjoy the company and playfulness of a genuine pet without the responsibility of daily upkeep.

Tekno can walk, bark, eat and sleep. It featured special motor sensors that enabled emotional and lifelike intelligence. It can also be trained to respond to different voice prompts and so to do actual dog behavior like fetching, whimpering, and playing tricks with the electronic bone and accessories that is included in the package.

Tekno was also able to grasp visual commands and respond to environmental cues, even going to sleep on its own, thanks to smart light sensor technology. Character Toys has been releasing the new Teksta in the United Kingdom since 2013. Tekno can be controlled by smart devices like iPad, Android phones or Windows Phones. A 5th Gen version was also launched in 2016.

The Development of Tekno the Robotic Puppy
Tekno, created by Bob Del Principe, Brian Dubinsky, and designer Gary Lynes, was released in the fall of 2000 for about 40 dollars each. It was aggressively marketed through various initiatives including:

  • A national TV commercial campaign,
  • Public relation exercises,
  • Live talk show appearances, and
  • Establishment of the Institute of Robotic Technology to promote the field of robotics
In a crowded toy pet market that included Rocket the Wonder Dog from Fisher-Price and Poo-Chi from Tiger Electronics and SEGA, Jim Silver of the popular magazine Toy Wishes awarded Tekno the greatest puppy or its value.

Later on, many other robotic pets were launched. Besides Tekno the Newborn Puppy, which was the smaller version of Tekno, here are other pet robots that were released:

  • Tekno the NewBorn Puppy – Was Tekno the Robotic Puppy’s spin-off. It resembles the 2013 version, but instead of a card trick, it comes with a ball.
  • Kitty the Tekno Kitten – It was originally sold only by Toys “R” Us, debuted in 2001, and was marketed as the ideal companion to Tekno the Robotic Puppy. Kitty’s color-changing eyes, in addition to the integrated smart technology in the robotic dog, exhibit diverse moods. Kitty was also available in a variety of colors and breeds which made them stand out.
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  • In 2007 a new version of Kitty the Tekno Kitten was then renamed “Tekno the Robotic Kitty”. Unlike the other pet robots, this one came equipped with remote control.
  • In 2014, A pink-colored version of Kitty the Tekno Kitten was introduced in the United Kingdom in July and was later on released in the United States in December of the same year. She had additional functionalities like pouncing and flipping. It also featured a mouse with blinking eyes.
  • Baby Kitty the Tekno Newborn Kitten and daMouse the Tekno Mouse – it is based on the original prototype of Kitty, and the Tekno mouse is known as daMouse. daMouse is a robotic mouse who enjoys racing around and being chased by Kitty. It includes cheese, fish, and a little mouse.
  • Polly the Tekno Parrot – was the third release of the Tekno and Friends pet series. Polly was a more edgy chatty robot and earlier Tekno pets, with special voice learning technology that allowed it to replicate and repeat its owner’s phrases. Poly came equipped with a cage that acted as a battery charging station. When she felt that the battery was running low, she would go to the cage for charging.
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  • The Fighting Tekno Dinosaurs (Rex & Steg) – Tekno and Friends, was the fourth release in the Tekno and Friends pet series. It was released in 2003. Unlike the other pets, these two featured fighting as one of their unique robotic features. Steg comes with a leaf, while Rex with a bone.
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  • Tekno Dinkie Robots /Teksta Dotbot Robotic Family – Fubokie, JiboKie, Otokie, KoukouKie, and BikouKie were the sixth release in the Tekno and Friends Robot line. The AI and voice-activated robots communicate with one another in Dinkish. They resemble astronauts, but with sound sensors and red fuel buttons. Except for KoukouKie, each robot enjoys walking, instead, he rocks left and right. Each Dinkie Robot has the following game modes: Walk, Antivirus, brush teeth, clock, alarm, music, game, and status. It is referred to as Teksta Dotbots in the United Kingdom. Tomy’s Pablo Dinka Robots are popular in Japan.
  • Battling Tekno Saber Scarab – This was the sixth release in the Tekno and Friends' line of pets that featured a saber scarab. It comes equipped with remote control.
  • Boomer the Robotic Puppy – this was the first Tekno 2.0 pet. It was a beagle or dalmatian. It came with a ball and steak.
  • Mack the Robotic Fish – This was the second Tekno 2.0 pet that could swim on the floor and table surface. Unfortunately, it cannot swim in the water.
  • Roscoe the Robotic Frog – This was the third pet in the Tekno 2.0 line of pets. It could leap everywhere. It came with a lilypad and a fly hooked on it.
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  • Flash and Robotic Turtle – It is the Tekno 2.0 pet that would walk slow. It came with the lake. When you take its shell off, it would say Uh oh!
  • Tekno the Robotic Pony – this one was released in 2007 in the Tekno and friends line of pets. He gallops and loves eating apples.
  • Tekno Mega Mech R/C Robot – This was a 48-inch robot. It was an inflated huge Tekno robot that looked like a balloon. It came with remote control and did not walk, instead, it rolled on the ground.
  • Sakura: Best Friend Robot – Toys ‘R’ Us, Walmart, KB Toys, Amazon, and Target were the first toy retail shops to sell this robot. Sakura was the 2007 release in the Tekno and Friends line of robots. Sakura interacts with both girls and boys, answering yes and no to questions, fortune-telling, knowing humorous facts, fashion, guarding secrets with her key and remote, and dancing on a robotic scooter. Sakura also comes with remote control, a keychain, and a bouquet.
  • Playful Pup Tekno – this was the 2007 release in the Tekno and Friends line of pets and was a beagle. It also came with remote control and an option of a magnetic ball or bone.
  • Tekno Newborns – In 2007 a Tekno Newborn was released under the Tekno and Friends line of robotic pets. They were puppies, kitten, elephant, and monkey. The puppy featured a bone, while the kitty came with a mouse, the elephant had a haystack, and the monkey came equipped with a banana. In 2015, a newer version of the same was released under the Tekno and Friends line of robotic pets. Later on, in 2016, even more, Tekno Newborn pets were released which had different colors for the newborn puppy and newborn kitty.
  • Tekno Robotic T-Rex – This is the 2014 release of the Tekno and Friens line of robotic pets similar to Rex: Fighting Tekno Dinosaur. It came with a detachable bone. If you open his mouth and feed him with a bone, he would chew it and hurl it away with a strong burp.
  • Tekno Robotic Scorpion – The scorpion was the Tekno and Friends line’s 2015 release. This feisty little toy has added a degree of electronic interactivity, as well as a sting in the tail ( a look-alike). It comes with a smart Infra-Red hand remote controller that can be strapped on your hand. This controller can translate waving movement into 360 movements on the Scorpion. Two or more of these frightening figures can combat each other and battle for victory utilizing their massive pincer hands in multi-channel mode.
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  • Tekno Robotic Toucan – This was the 2016 version of the Tekno and Friends line of robotic pets. It was a toucan. This magnificent bird came fitted with the latest ultra-sensitive voice recognition chip for much greater control and sophisticated functions.
  • Tekno Babies – This was the 2017 release under the Tekno and Friends line of robotic pets. It comprised puppies, kittens, dinosaurs, and raccoons. They all came in smaller versions and came with their own track to run on.
The 2000 versions of Tekno and Friends robots came with silver, gold, and dalmatian. While the 2007 versions came with white, silver, dalmatian, beagle, red, and purple. The 2013 line of toys from the Tekno and Friends robotic pets came with blue, pink, dalmatian and they also featured Scooby-Doo. Later on, in 2016, the pet toys came in black and were also available in the Newborns variety with new colors. In 2019, they released a version that was popularly known as 360.

Final Thoughts

Tekno the robotic puppy is one of the robot dogs I loved most back in the days. The latest releases are improved with many emotions and functions. If you owned this robot when you were young, you may have the nostalgia of the toy. It is hard to get this off your mind. It was a delightful experience and tarrying to some younger toddlers at the same time.

What is your experience with Tekno the Robotic dog? Did you get a chance to play with it back in the early 2000s?