Talking toys have been around since Edison made a doll that recited nursery rhymes by means of a small hand-cranked phonograph. Now there are dolls that reply emotively to a child, by name.
Nebraska native Ken Forsse, who died at 77 on March 19 at his home in Laguna Woods, Calif., advanced the field in the 1980s by inventing a plush bear that made appropriate facial expressions as it told stories or sang. His creation, Teddy Ruxpin, was almost impossible for harried parents to find when it burst on the scene in 1985, and it remained wildly popular through the next year. In 2003 the Toy Industry Association named it one of the most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century.