This WWF Stone Cold Steve Austin interactive electronic figure was produced by Jakks Pacific in 1999.
Here’s the official product description and system requirements:
Steve Austin, the finger-pointing WWF mascot, can now be directly plugged into your computer. Fans can download his rants and wrestling sound effects right off the Internet. Using the enclosed CD-ROM and secret password, players access the WWF-wired Web site. From there they download actual rants (about 45 seconds long) and program them into their Steve Austin action figure. Press the snake button on Steve Austin’s belt and hear him play back the rants you just downloaded. The action figure has bendable knees and elbows and flexible wrists so he can easily be posed.
Comes with a stand, a miniature microphone, and complete, easy-to-follow instructions.
System requirements: 486 DX 66 MHz; 8 MB RAM; 25 MB available hard drive space with available com port (Pentium recommended); a 56K modem recommended; Microsoft Windows 95; a CD-ROM drive; a sound card; Netscape Navigator (3.0 or above) or Microsoft Internet Explorer (3.0 or above).
“Hold your horses son, I’m downloadin'” sounds like something Yosemite Sam would say to Bugs Bunny.
So anyway, the idea with the figure was that you could hook him up to your computer, log in to http://www.wwfwired.com (click on that URL to go to the Web Archive of that page to see what it looked in late 1999 when this figure came out) and download Steve Austin sound bytes to the figure, press a button on the figure, and it would play the sound bytes.
Here are the system requirements as shown on the box:
So I guess if you were a Mac user, you were pretty much screwed.
Remember when computers had serial com ports? And Netscape Navigator? And 14.4kbps dial-up modems (ask your parents, kids)? And 486 processors? Ah, those were the (bad) days…
“Software may not work with some”? Some what?
The toy was essentially one big flash drive with some proprietary software, and a speaker, shaped like Stone Cold Steve Austin.
I guess my big problem with this toy is that it reduces the need for kids to use their imagination when playing.
I could make my Hasbro WWF figures “say” whatever I wanted them to say because I was the one doing the talking pretending to be the wrestler! I didn’t need no stinkin’ downloaded sound bytes to have fun when I was a kid, dangnabit!
Anyway, you can still buy it right now on Amazon for just $25.99! Since the download website is dead, I don’t know if there’s much you can do with it anymore but why don’t you buy one, find out, and let us know in the comments section?
It would make for a nice display piece, at any rate.
Check out this article by a guy who’s interested in hacking the toy and figuring out how the proprietary sound files work. I guess he hasn’t had much luck (or he just hasn’t bothered to update the page).
I would love to know if any of you Crappers had or have this figure and if it actually worked. Please leave a comment below!