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Wednesday February 20, 2008 12:51 pm

Monty the Tengu Review

Monty the TenguCreator Crispin Jones was kind enough to send us a Tengu, knowing that no one can ever have enough friends, even if they are electronic ones. We nicknamed ours Monty, and from the time we plugged him into the USB port, he was instantly on, albeit asleep. No software is needed to get him to do his thing. We have a full review and video of our 2 3/4 x 1 3/4 x 1/2-inch buddy awake after the jump.

(Thanks, Crispin and Mike)

Because Monty was sleeping, we blew on him and that woke him up instantly. He began to mimic everything we said or sang and even ambient noises got his attention. We decided to try him out with different types of media and set him up next to a speaker. We first turned to CNN, where a discussion was going on about Bill Clinton being heckled during one of his appearances. We got a bit of Hillary next. Note how the Tengu responded to the applause.

He was almost weepy when it came to a rendition “Lonesome” by B.J. Thomas. Maybe it was the vibrato or the fact that it is a somewhat dreary tune. Carl, of ATHF fame, was overjoyed that the Giants had won the Super Bowl. Monty, not having seen the game, was only moderately impressed.

Artist/Composer Mike Wrathell tried out an original composition called “American Dollar,” then played with the Tengu’s numerous personalities by blowing on his, um bottom. There were several different patterns to his antics which also change when he hears a loud noise.

Note that Tengus respond to any noise; your cat, your dishwasher, your phone, rude body noises. We are still playing with him, although it seems that Monty prefers the company of Mike. After having him for almost a week, we still find him making new and different facial expressions. This would be a great gift for the geek in your life, but we think you will end up keeping him all to yourself.

By the way, don’t forget to take the face sticker off of your Tengu. We left ours on for protection against our ever-clawing cats.

Read More | Mr. Jones' Tengu

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