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It's funny.  Laugh. Toys

The Neediest Dolls In The World 149

captinsano writes "Forbes.com is taking a look at, 'The Needies,' the newest interactive stuffed toys, each one of which is fitted with an internal microprocessor and wireless antenna. They beg for attention (with varying levels of perversity) and when you finally pick one up the others complain loudly ("Throw him! Throw him!"). They're a cool example of the coming wave of wireless toys --and interestingly enough they are being designed for adults, not just children. There's a funny video showing the dolls in action, as well." These toys were originally designed after their NYU student creators and modeled after the horrible behavior they saw themselves exhibiting while trying to come up with a school project.
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The Neediest Dolls In The World

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  • Risky idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:05PM (#14341359) Journal
    They beg for attention (with varying levels of perversity) and when you finally pick one up the others complain loudly ("Throw him! Throw him!")

    Lawsuit city. Imagine when a toddler does the same thing to a *real* baby.
               
    • by falzer ( 224563 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:32PM (#14341493)
      > throw baby
    • Re:Risky idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by whm ( 67844 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @06:28PM (#14341729)
      This is a wonderful example of why we don't give real babies to toddlers! What planet are you from?
      • The dolls' target market is 14-24; not "toddlers" and definitely more in the range of ages of children who would throw smaller children around.

        That said, anyone who buys this crap deserves what they get. Needy dolls from Codependent inc.? Don't we have enough of that shit in our real lives to seek it out in cuddly toys? On top of that the toys don't look all that pleasant at all; they are ugly and dopey looking, hardly the kind of thing I would want to hug, especially if it was fucking whining "touch me

    • by rustbear ( 852420 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @07:14PM (#14341926)
      I'm sure that would only happen if the other babies shouted "Throw him! Throw him!" when the toddler picked one up... Real babies just don't possess such a sharp wit.
    • Lawsuit city. Imagine when a toddler does the same thing to a *real* baby.

      Well, when he picks up the real baby, all the toys wont shout "throw him! throw him!" since the real baby wont have the microprocessor and wireless connection to the the toys.

      But if this is a Borg family...
  • Ads. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hungrygrue ( 872970 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:06PM (#14341362) Homepage
    Jesus, could they have put any more ads in that damn video? Now I remember why I quit watching TV.

    • I wouldn't know... "Helix cannot play this format."

      Ho hum.
      • Re:Ads. (Score:3, Informative)

        by tomhudson ( 43916 )

        Consider yourself lucky ... I had to stop half-way through (Suse Openlinux/Firefox).

        By the way - this toy is NOT original or new. About a decade ago, one of my nieces had a stuffed toy that, if you didn't pick it up every few minutes, would start complaining.

        If they try to sell these as "original", they may end up having to change their name from "Co-dependant Designs" to "Co-defendant Designs".

        • Re:Ads. (Score:2, Insightful)

          My kid had one we referred to as "Annoying Amy" She came with all this stuff, bottles, juice, milk and what not. In her mouth and on the tips of each thing was a chip and let me tell ya when the little &*%$# asked for juice you best give her the juice cause she got pretty cranky if you didn't. "Amazing Amy" as she was actually known as was soon locked safely in childs closet (by child) and was happened upon by her friend. Freinds father still hasn't forgiven me for letting his kid take it home. The prob
        • Re:Ads. (Score:2, Interesting)

          By the way - this toy is NOT original or new. About a decade ago, one of my nieces had a stuffed toy that, if you didn't pick it up every few minutes, would start complaining.

          Did it interact with other stuffed toys nearby? I highly doubt it, and that seems to be the main thrust of the concept. There's a huge difference between a toy with a simple timer in it, and a toy that wirelessly interacts with other wireless toys.

          That said, these look like horrible toys, and it might just be me, but I couldn't shake
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This one wins awards for "Stiffest Performance by a Host", "Worst Host", "Least Content", and "Least Fun". Avoid.
      • Re:Worst video ever (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tomhudson ( 43916 )

        Yo forgot "most blatant attempt to get some dumb-ass VC to throw money their way", and "Oops - forgot to update the web site" awards.

        From their web site:

        We anticipate the release of an ultra-limited edition line of Needies in November 2005. We do not yet have pricing information but we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Manufacturers and distributors: please feel free to contact us.

        Just e-mail: info@needies.com

        If you'd like to hear more about Needies as we develop them, please sig

    • Worst reporter ever (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Who gave that reporter a job?

      I have seen/heard better video presence on The Naked News. Even if you turn off the monitor and merely listen to The Naked News you'll get higher quality news, better dialog, more informative reporting, and in general more professional reporting than this crappy Forbes video.

      This comes witht he disclaimer that the last time I watched The Naked News was back in 2000 when they still gave out free daily shows.
    • Amen, on the TV watching I'm with you. I stopped watching that gargage over 8 years ago. And if the dolls aren't a joke, well then they have earned my vote for top honors on the list of worst ideas of 2005/2006(not to mention maybe a Darwin Award mention). The only thing that scares me about this is the makers and the potential market of these dolls are operating vehicles on our nations streets and highways. "Shootin's too good for ya, hangin's too good for ya..." --Heavy Metal the movie
    • Re:Ads. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HD Webdev ( 247266 )
      Jesus, could they have put any more ads in that damn video? Now I remember why I quit watching TV.M

      I would not have minded one advertisement. Or, even a couple of very short ones at the beginning. After all, *someone* has to pay for bandwidth. I'll "pay" the price of losing 30-60 seconds of my time if the content is hard to find anywhere else and it's an interesting subject to me. Heck, if it's a quality 1 hour video I'll put up with several minutes (ala PBS) at the beginning but the content had bet
    • Real Ads (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wooferhound ( 546132 )
      Not to mention the fact that it needs Real Player to view it.
      this makes it an advertisment playing an advertisment.
  • Nerdiest? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:06PM (#14341363) Journal
    I always though Realdoll was the choice for the nerdiest?
  • Alright! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:07PM (#14341367)
    Just in time for Christmas!
  • investors (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:11PM (#14341389)
    ...when you finally pick one up the others complain loudly ("Throw him! Throw him!").

    Rumor has it that Steve Ballmer has invested in this technology and plans to implement it in a new line of chairs.
  • ID (Score:3, Funny)

    by daeley ( 126313 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:11PM (#14341391) Homepage
    These toys were originally designed after their NYU student creators and modeled after the horrible behavior they saw themselves exhibiting while trying to come up with a school project.

    Damnit, when will these Intelligent Design freaks stop their propaganda campaign?! ;)
  • by still_sick ( 585332 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:12PM (#14341392)
    ... This technology is integrated into RealDolls?

    Finally, you can have a more realistic three-way without faking two falsetto voices.
  • Are we sure that that Forbes.com staff writer whos trying to be a presenter isn't the doll? Good god she's wooden.

    Plus of course, 800 commercials. Whee. Useless waste of bandwidth!

  • Sadistic? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:15PM (#14341409) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like a fun sadistic toy. I hope these things are like really mean. (I am remembering a cute late night cable tv cartoon with furry animals killing each other.) It'd be great to be able to buy toy flame throwers and stuff and have the dolls yell at you to fry each other. If done right this could go well with my demotivator posters! :)
  • I smell a prank. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cloud 9 ( 42467 )
    Guaranteed we'll be hearing about this in a week.
  • by spirit_fingers ( 777604 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:25PM (#14341458)
    I can see how these things could be big laughs for the first 10 minutes. Just stick your hand up their ass and they start chattering away. Love me squeeze me never leave me. How cute. How adorably neurotically needy! By minute 11, I think I'd begin to feel a burning desire to cram them into the microwave. The frozen burrito setting should be about right. In that regard, Needies are much like my first marriage, only without the pre-nup.
  • by johncadengo ( 940343 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:25PM (#14341462) Homepage
    There's a funny video showing the dolls in action, as well.

    That video wasn't really that funny. I mean, the guy was laughing half the time at his own jokes and the lady... Well, the lady seemed bored of him and a little annoyed at the dolls. I would be annoyed at those dolls. I can't see how they would ever perform well, selling-wise. I wouldn't simply turn it off and throw it away. It incites rage-like, pyro-like tendencies in me... Grrr... I could already sense my temper flaming up just from watching the video...
  • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )
    The video won't load. That's the Slashdot effect I guess. Thank you the Slashdot effect
  • Used as punching bags
  • Toss my Toys! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Joffy ( 905928 )
    I think the guy ticked off someone cause they kept turning the volume down on his mic. Unless he talks like that normally then I can see why he needed to invent some friends. The girl also looked liked the only thing she has ever slept with is a couple of dolls. Someone give her a shot of Jager stat!! Wow that was an awful video. Anyways the toys look like something I'd want to throw across the room for sure. And was I the only one getting a creepy vibe from him fondling the toy crotch? I do like
  • ...the most underwhelming and boring recorded interview for a product ever. She has no stage presence, he has no personality, and I couldn't stand how slow it was going before I shut it off before the presentation. Show the damn toys already!

    And what's worse? They played that stupid car commercial twice and you can't fast forward in the window. Stupid commercial, stupid car, stupid people!

    I'm going to grab a needie and beat you all with it! GRRRRRRR!
  • I hope the Borg doesn't start designing them. Then they'd always be asking for money and getting the flu.
    Wooden horse included for free?

    My name is Talking Tina and you'd better pay your license fee...
  • I'll take that blond needy interactive doll sitting in the left chair.
  • by Ginnungagap42 ( 817075 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @06:45PM (#14341807)
    ... I've got two daughters. Same concept, except I have to send them to college.
  • we need an open source doll, someone in asia, should just release an open source doll as a frame and electronics and let the rest of us add, dress and modify.
  • that seems to mimic my girlfriend! Except that her 'competition' is my Pocket PC and '73 Mini Cooper. Wonder if I can sue for copyright infringement....?
  • supposedly modeled their skits after the behavior of children, which provided an endless source of material.
  • by constantnormal ( 512494 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @07:45PM (#14342043)
    This could spark a wave of vasectomies and hysterectomies.
  • These aren't new. I remember reading about them a couple of years ago, when they were a new startup like they are now (huh?). I remember the many, many comments about exactly where the model placed her hands on the toys.

    It's a shame they are _still_ searching for someone to mass-market them. Even worse that you _still_ can't buy them. I think they have a really, really neat idea there.
    • According to a new update on their site (on the front page), the limited edition sale never happened but they are going to be at Toy Fair 2006 in NYC. Booth #5856 in the Urban Bazaar section.

      There may be hope for the psychotically demanding toys yet. I'm just wondering how long it will take the guys from the RoboCup lab at my alma mater to get their grubby little fingers on a few of them and hack the things to be *really* entertaining.
      • Well, I hope they do well. They are the sort of toys that I'd buy if they caught me at a time with decent disposable income.

        And I hope they are hackable to some degree, I mean, soft toys that can speak and communicate amongst themselves... some possibilities there... ;)
        • I have this fear that they'll do something like:
          "It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again"
          "My name is Talking Tina, and I'm going to kill you"
          or "I'll be your friend till the end! Hidey-ho!"
  • Good to see the Schmoo [lil-abner.com] is getting work these days.
  • MY GOD, that interviewer needs some lessons in interviewing people. It's like she's never done this before.
  • The last I heard, the toys are also programmed to grow up from being just needy to becoming utterly demanding. Will they form a union? Will they go on strike?

    Watch this space ...
  • A friend of a friend recently came up with the idea of promoting beer by giving away dolls of a cricket icon (think baseball but slower) with large purchases of their product.

    The TV transmissions of certain games sent out signals the dolls responded to, saying various more-or-less appropriate comments.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/boonanza-for-thes e-fans-but-sport-too-fleeting-for-former-pm/2005/1 2/09/1134086812393.html [smh.com.au]
  • With Needy Evie: http://www.planetmadtv.com/forum/showthread.php?s= e4e2ef87fb36e21acd0709981447ed57&threadid=7217 [planetmadtv.com]

    Needy Evie: I need someone who will love me and never leave me, is that you? Is it?
    ANSWER ME! STOP IGNORING ME! I'M TALKING TO YOU!
    I'm a little doll and I deserve to be loved! WHY CAN'T YOU SEE THAT!?
  • I don't need an annoying toy, I already have a computer.
  • Use it to teach kids and young adults just how ridiculous a notion the socialist welfare state really is.
  • The lady turns off her needie pointedly halfway through to indicate she's ready to give him an interview.

    He keeps the thing in his lap for the whole interview and talks over it. You can't actually hear him talking in response to her in depth questions cause every time she finishes talking, he shifts a little and the damn thing goes off again...

    If they want to sell these things they need to learn a few interview skills... like taking cues from your interviewer...
  • I think I'm covered in this area, thanks anyways.

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