TubbyBox: TinyFlaccid Po

This TubbyBox started life as a MicroSoft/ActiMates Interactive Teletubby Po, a fairly advanced kid's toy that would interact with other like Teletubbies. And with a special externally-plugging kit apparently could interact with Teletubby television and videotapes. I have another Tubby, LaLa, which I have been unsuccessful at cross communication with Po, and haven't tried the external peripheral yet. Nor do I have one. Hmmm.

With pleasure, I gutted the Teletubby (as seen in gruesome detail here along with construction shots), ripped the electronics out, did some poking, and came up with a really amazing gadget.

The buttons on the side are the triggers that used to be in Po's hands and feet (which trigger and control different "games" and songs), the single toggle sets it into glitch-spew, and the 5 toggles control different loop and crash states. The big black button is main power cut, just in case it crashes, which it does occasionally.

The best part about this gadget (and the toy) is that it has a multi-color (red, green, and yellow) LED 8x10 matrix screen set in it—the telly in tubby's tummy. Animations, shapes, numbers, letters, and of course Tubby Custard are displayed on it. The really cool thing is that the bends I've added affect the screen, making it freak out in really amazing ways. See the video below...

I love this gadget! The sounds go from pure digital glitch to organic bubbly loops and everywhere in-between. With the switches I can control the looping somewhat, and they are additive, although some combinations cause it to crash or go into a default high loopy sound.

I also have LaLa, cowering in the corner of my studio, waiting for the blade and soldering iron to make another...

Click to see a video (568Kb QT file) of what
the screen does while glitching out.

Here's a video (6Mb QT file) of my son Fin dancing to
TinyFlaccid Po. Of course, his best moves
were right before I could grab the camera...

Completed: September 2005
Dimensions: 5" high x 4" x 4"
Current Status:

Convincing LaLa that being gutted and re-purposed into a cube is a good thing.

Audio Bits:

Po02.mp3 Uh Oh! I've been eviscerated! A long vomitus of phonemes.
Po03.mp3 More glitchiness, with some interesting loops.
Po04.mp3 Loopy voices, "Scree in the Trees." What? Makes me laugh!
Po08.mp3 Organic tumblings with digital stomach turns. What the hell is "Scree in the Trees"?