The history behind the word takes us back a bit in time. Going through my research, I learned that Ken Forsse used to be an Imagineer at Disney Parks. Imagineers are responsible for creating, piecing together, and maintaining the animatronics that you'd see in Disney Theme Parks. Forsse himself worked on many attractions, such as the famous Abraham Lincoln and It's a Small World ride.
When Forsse decided to create Teddy Ruxpin, he used knowledge he had gained from creating animatronics at the Disney parks, and in what was considered revolutionary for the 1980s, commercialized the technology not only for consumer use (which was incredible enough), but for children. Both Alchemy II and Worlds of Wonder wanted to capitalize on this new technology, and so on May 7th, 1985 Alchemy II submitted the term "Animagic" to be trademarked under the category of toys and games. On September 10th, 1985, the trademark was granted.
Worlds of Wonder as the exclusive licensee for Teddy Ruxpin immediately grasped at the term for marketing purposes and advertised in their early materials the term "Animagic" - in flyers, and on Teddy Ruxpin's initial box design, and to the press. The ad below (actually, the only ad I can find that uses this terminology) defines exactly what Animagic was: "Animagic is the newest generation of animation technology used in America's most popular theme parks. Now, for the first time, you can take home your very own truly animated character."
And Animagic was also sprinkled over a few other Teddy related documents and news pieces. In this December article titled "Toy Shopping is No Child's Play" from The Washington Post that covered the shortage of bears due to it being a Christmas success, it was mentioned as the following:
"The story-telling Teddy Ruxpin, based on the Walt Disney concept of "animagic," was not available at any of the District stores surveyed."
And Animagic was also mentioned in the famous copyright infringement lawsuit of Worlds of Wonder against Veritel Learning Systems in October of 1986 for utilizing the audio track technology to animate Teddy Ruxpin bears to Veritel's own brand tapes.
There's no dispute that the term "Animagic" was trademarked by Ken Forsse and Alchemy II, and that it was used all over anything Worlds of Wonder initially touched. And the only other use I can find is actually by the stop-motion animation industry in the 60s and 70s (check out this Wikipedia article here that talks about it). But what's odd is that shortly after it's introduction, the term Animagic literally disappears from anything Teddy Ruxpin related after that court case in 1986.
Want proof? Compare these different pictures of Teddy Ruxpin boxes. The first image is a close up of the ad above with the prototype Teddy circa 1985. You can barely make out the text, but I believe it says "Animagic Adventure Cassette and Storybook Included!" The second picture is of a recent eBay listing that shows completely different text on the front. The text completely removes the term "Animagic" from any marketing copy. This box says "Includes your first adventure storybook and special animation cassette that makes Teddy Ruxpin come to life!"
In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a box in person that's actually had the word Animagic anywhere on it. Why the switch? Why is there never another mention of Animagic again? Seeing that there was an entire toy line of animatronic characters (Mother Goose, Snoopy, Mickey Mouse), they had an opportunity to brand the entire line. No mention of the term was made (that I can find) past the fall lawsuit in 1986 against Veritel Learning Systems, and that's actually the only time I can find it used in 1986 alone.
On June 24th, 2006, Alchemy II let the trademark "Animagic" expire. On June 22nd, 2009, a new company trademarked the term under toys and games. That company is Vivid Toys and Games, a British toy company.
Why do you think Worlds of Wonder stopped using the term Animagic? Am I missing something? Maybe you can help me solve the mystery. Let me know in the comments below.