Monday, September 28, 2009

TZ Spotlight: Rod, the Twilight Zone Bear

A blog I follow regularly is James Sawyer's A Piece of the Action, in which he spotlights a different item from his extensive Star Trek collection every day. While my Twilight Zone collection is nowhere near as grand, I thought I'd borrow (okay, steal) his concept for some spotlighting of my own. I'll probably do this every few days or so, interspersed throughout my regular entries.

First up: an unlikely item, probably something nobody ever saw coming. Brace yourselves. It's a freakin' teddy bear.

Released in 1999 by a company called Tra La La, Rod the Twilight Zone Bear was one in a series of four "Original TV Tune Bears," which were essentially Beanie Baby knockoffs. The others in the series commemorated The Brady Bunch, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Get Smart. Only 15,000 of each were made, and each was individually numbered. The only picture I could find online of all four is as follows:

...which unfortunately cuts off The Brady Bunch and Twilight Zone bears, but you get the idea (I love the Get Smart bear's necktie and Don Adams-esque hair). Each bear has a sound chip that plays each show's respective theme song when you press on its tummy. Yeah, pretty cutesy, I know. I can see the other three shows getting this treatment, since they're all harmless comedies. But the more somber (and sometimes frightening) Twilight Zone? An odd choice, to say the least, but I wanted it just the same. I got mine on eBay, probably around 2001. The sound chip still works today and, when the batteries finally die (they're still going strong as of this writing!), there's a velcro-lined slit on its back for easy replacement. I hardly ever see these bears, so maybe it's worth something. I don't know and I don't care. I'm keeping him! It's a bit kitschy but undeniably fun, plus mine has an added special significance that makes it a keeper:

Mine is number 01127 out of 15,000. 11/27 is my birthday! What are the odds? 1 in 15,000, I guess. Coincidence? Maybe. Or perhaps it's just a tiny gift from Fate, marked Special Delivery... from The Twilight Zone.

* Addendum: It seems there was a variant of the Brady Bunch bear. Ladies and gentlemen, have a look at... Alice.

... complete with apron (but no curly hair!). I'm assuming it's blue because Alice always wore a blue outfit. Hmmm... this makes me wonder if there's a variant of the Twilight Zone bear out there somewhere. Maybe a bearified version of Rod Serling himself? Hey, I can dream.


James Sawyer said...

That "Get Smart" bear rocks! Loving it! I have to find one of those now...

J. A. Britton said...

I have #02760 of Rod, the Twilight Zone Bear. He was the last in the Spencer's Gifts, but I found another one at a different Spences's that I gave to my daughter. (last one there too!) They had some of the Beverly Hillbillies ones and the I Love Lucy bears. (The one you have pictured as the Brady Bunch bear looks more like the I Love Lucy bear I saw.)