Monday, October 15, 2007

Freak-a-zoids ... Robots ... IR-V's You Can't Dance With Macs!

Midnight Star - Anniversary Collection - Freak-A-Zoid

I collect robot toys ...

Over the weekend I found an interesting toy from 2001 called IR-V.

He was in the packaging and apparently worked with Macs as the user on the back of the packaging clearly has an Apple logo keyboard and is clearly using an Apple ADB mouse. (The monitor is Sony, the speakers are generic)

The package has a slogan:

The 1st Wireless Internet Robot!!

That should be two asterisks (**) instead of exclamation points (!!).

First off ... there's nothing really wireless about the robot. He apparently reacts to sounds and maybe IR signals that come from the IR-VONLINE.COM website which no longer resolves. I guess that shows how popular this toy was.

Second, he doesn't work with Macs eventhough the advertising is clearly showing the Mac OS, Internet Explorer for Macs, and Apple hardware controlling the robot. Here's a scan of the manual

NONE OF THIS COMPATIBILITY is mentioned on the outside of the package.

I wonder if anyone has ever sued because a package indicated Mac compatibility in the advertising but the actual product inside did not work with Macs. I suppose the statute of limitations has run out on this toy.

There is a small disclaimer on the box that reads:

Actual product may differ slightly from the photographs and infomercials

Is advertising Mac compatibility and having no Mac compatibility a slight diffrence?

The box also has this little piece of pop culture candy goodness:

"Your IR-V is equipped with W.I.T.™!

What is W.I.T.™?

"Wireless Interaction Technology" of course! An innovative system which allows Ir-V™ to download real-time signals from the internet!

There was a whole company (now defunct) formed around this robot. The company was located in Cottontown Tennessee USA. Honestly I think they should be ashamed for ever stealing venture capital.

He'll still make a good addition to my collection.


FYT said...

Interesting extra details:


Registrant: Make this info private
Room O, 11/Fl., Kaiser Estate,
9-11A Hok Yuen Street, KLN
Hong Kong, Hong Kong 852


Administrative Contact :
Room O, 11/Fl., Kaiser Estate,
9-11A Hok Yuen Street
Hung Hom, KOWLOON 852
Phone: 852-2366-6837
Fax: 852-2366-6837

Record updated: April 2007
Domain Renewed: April 2007
Domain Expires: April 2009

Anonymous said...

Hail! greetings from Brazil!
I just found out that the Brazilian website is still online (didn´t even knew that was one).
I won one of these robots long time ago, but back then the ir-vonline website was already down, I could not test it because I have no batteries for the robot, but I think it´s worth the try.

Here´s the link:

It´s in portuguese, but you can use the Google translator, works very well.