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MS, Bandai designing Power Ranger talking toy

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Microsoft has teamed up with Bandai America to produce a talking Power Ranger toy with a download capability. Or so Japanese paper Nihon Keizai Shumbun tells us. The paper isn't particularly free with details, but although on the face of it the joint project seems relatively modest, if you think about the convergence implications you'll likely wind up in places you definitely don't want to go. As The Register's in-house market segment deemed Power Rangers uncool several years back we'd no idea the blessed things still existed, but apparently there's a new show out on Fox Kids Network this month, and the Microsoft-Bandai talking toy will ship in September as a tie-in. It's to be priced at a stiff $59.99 (sheesh -- why not just by the kid a mobile phone?) and for this you'll be able to connect it via cable to the TV and download up to four phrases or sound effects. Later, the Power Ranger will be able to repeat these noises for you. It's not much, true, but there's obviously plenty scope for development here. Add more local intelligence (or not -- you could always run it as a networked thin client), wireless, give them the capability to interact with one another, let it receive email and short messages from parents... After all, why does a CE appliance have to look like a pocket computer? One for kids could just as well look like a Power Ranger -- scary, no? ®

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