Sunday January 6, 2008 11:00 pm
CES 2008: Wowwee Announces New, Plasticky Robotic Things
Not one to be left behind by Ugobe’s recently released, highly lifelike Pleo robotic dinosaur, Wowwee’s fired back with their announcement of their 2008 product line. Mr. Personality, pictured, features a full color LCD screen that portrays “personality” through animated facial features displayed on the screen. He’s also expandable, by virtue of USB or a media card. Wowwee also announced the plasticky, bellbottom-donning FemiSapien robot. FemiSapien can dance to music and “even speak her own language of emotive sounds,” kind of like a life-like, freakish Sim.
My experience with Wowwee is that they present the cold, dark, plastic filled and android-esque side of the robotic toy world. They last year demoed one of their robotic toys for me that had what I could only liken to an epileptic seizure, flailing around and then off the table. It was… macabre. I think that Wowwee’s going to really need to kick things in to gear in order to be able to hold their market here. The Pleo is adorable, has well painted, silicone-based skin and emotes far better than anything we’ve seen from Wowwee. They also “evolve” in their personality (or will soon, once a firmware update hits). Wowwee’s robots fall of the table and scare me.
It’s even more impressive that Pleo only cost $100 more than, say, the RoboSapien when it was initially released. Wowwee charges far too much for something that’s not damn close to the Pleo’s quality and feature set. Get ready, Wowwee—there’s some serious competition in town.