Poo-Chi

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Poo-Chi
Poo-Chi
Poo-Chi
ManufacturerSega Toys
InventorSamuel James Lloyd
Matt Lucas [1]
Year of creationApril 1, 2000; 19 years ago (2000-04-01)
Price3,980 yen (Japan)
$24.99 United States
TypeRobot dog

Poo-Chi (or Poochi, Poochie), one of the first generations of robopet toys, is a robot dog designed by Samuel James Lloyd and Matt Lucas, manufactured by Sega Toys, and distributed by Tiger Toys.[1] Poo-Chi was released in 2000 and discontinued in 2002.

History[edit]

Sega Toys' Poo-Chi hit markets on 1 April 2000, with Hasbro's Tiger Electronics distributing the toy in all countries other than Japan and Korea. Retailing at a price of 3,980 yen (then the equivalent of $38 USD) in Japan and $24.99 in the United States, the toy offered significantly cheaper competition to the AIBO's prices of up to 250,000 yen (then $2,400 USD).[2][3][4] At the time, Hasbro's sales in their leading Furby line were slowing since its initial release in 1998 and sales of Star Wars branded merchandise was in decline;[5] the Poo-Chi's release was a success, selling over 10 million units worldwide over the span of 8 months since its initial debut.[4]

Special editions of the Poo-Chi soon sprouted, such as the 102 Dalmatians holiday release of three Poo-Chis resembling the characters Domino, Little Dipper, and Oddball.[4][6] In addition to special editions, an upgraded version, the Super Poo-Chi,[7] and differing breeds of the Poo-Chi were released (all of which could communicate together), along with spin-offs such as the Meow-Chi and the Chirpy-Chi.[4] Miniature versions were featured as toys in the McDonald's Happy Meal.[8]

Poo-Chi stopped selling in 2002, having been replaced by FurReal Friends.

Description[edit]

The original Poo-Chi had a gray body with ears, tail, and leg joints of either purple, blue, pink or green colour. With four legs allowing the toy to stand up or lie down, it utilized a red LED display as eyes to show emotion.[9][10]

Special Editions[edit]

The Christmas Special Edition Poo-Chi was offered for a limited time, coloured red and white with snowflake designs throughout the body, ears, with an interactive bone included in its seasonal box; the toy had its list of songs updated to include Christmas music. The Christmas Special Edition was only available in a handful of countries and retailed for 2–3 months, making it the rarest and most collectible of the genre with collectors realizing in excess of $300 USD for boxed Christmas Poo-Chi units.

Speech[edit]

Poo-Chi spoke using prerecorded sounds such as barks, whines, and growls. Due to limitations of the toy's technology, most of the sounds were rendered as beeps rather than a realistic sound effect. Poo-Chi could also "bark" songs, which could be prompted by pressing the button on the top of its head.

Spin-offs[edit]

Multiple spin-offs of the Poo-Chi were produced. All were based on different animals, other than the Super Poo-Chi, a larger version of the original toy.

  • Meow-Chi - a robotic cat.
  • Super Poo-Chi - a larger version of the original toy.
  • Dino-Chi - a robotic dinosaur, with two types produced: the Dino-Chi T. Rex and the Dino-Chi Pterodactyl.
  • Chirpy-Chi - a robotic bird.
  • Petal-Chi - a robotic flower or plant.
  • Robo-Baby - a robotic baby.
  • Botster - a regular robot.

Songs[edit]

The Poo-Chi could "sing" one of 6 songs when following the light sensor in its nose being activated, the touch sensor on its head was pressed; the toy would then emit a series of high-pitched beeps. The user could afterwards press the touch sensor, the number of times the sensor having been pressed corresponding to a different tune; the different songs the Poo-Chi could play are as follows:

Number of sensor presses Song title
1 The Wedding March
2 Camptown Races
3 Bingo
4 I've Been Working on the Railroad/Home On the Range
5 Beethoven No.9
6 When the Saints Come Marching In

Poo-Chi would often sing "Ode to Joy" by Ludwig van Beethoven when happy, and if another Poo-Chi or Robo-Chi pet was nearby (such as a Meow-Chi), that other Robo-Chi would begin to sing "Ode to Joy" as well, though the playback would not be synchronized.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Poo-Chi Robotic Dog at ElectronicPets.org". Electronic Pets Ltd. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  2. ^ Inouye, Itsuo (19 January 2000). "Puppy love". Chicago Sun-Times. Associated Press. p. 58.
  3. ^ "Robofish splash down in Tokyo". BBC News. 16 March 2000. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Poo-Chi Leads the Pack in Holiday Toy Sales" (Press release). Business Wire. 12 December 2000. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Slow sales cause Hasbro second-quarter earnings to fall 80 percent". Associated Press. Pawtucket, RI. 20 July 2000.
  6. ^ "The Walt Disney Company Annual Report 2000" (PDF). Walt Disney Company. p. 41. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  7. ^ Kageyama, Yuri (13 October 2000). "Sony hopes for success with new robotic pet". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. pp. A9.
  8. ^ "Tiger Robo-Chi Pets™ Arrive at McDonald's February 23 Happy Meal Event to Feature Newest Cyber-Pal, Chirpy-Chi" (Press release). 20 February 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Poo-Chi Instruction Manual" (PDF). Tiger Electronics. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  10. ^ "Pio-Chi Robot Dog by Tiger Electronics Ltd - The Old Robots Web Site". The Old Robots Web Site. Retrieved 1 May 2011.

External links[edit]