Bop It toys are a line of audio games where play consists of following a series of commands issued through speakers by the toy, which has multiple inputs including pull handles, twisting cranks, spin-able wheels, toggle switches - with pace speeding up as the player progresses.
Based on concepts originally patented by Dan Klitsner, Bop It was licensed to Hasbro and further developed there by a number of designers including Bob Welch. With newer versions, additional inputs have been added or altered such that units like the 2010 Bop-It! Bounce shares no inputs in common with the original 1996 Bop It (see below).
Bop It has been identified as some of the more popular children's games on the market, and toy and game development researchers have pointed to the natural interactions between player and toy, and the ability of players to use the toy to revert computer gaming processes back into those that resemble non-mediated object play. Other studies have shown that it is the Bop It's ability to mimic engagement in social behavior that has led to its commercial successes.
Since Hasbro re-invented the brand in 2008, Buddy Rubino has been the voice for the games. He has been the voice for Bop It!, Bop It XT!, Bop It Smash!, Bop It for Hasbro Family Games Night 2 for the Nintendo Wii, Hasbro Family Games Night Volume 1 for the Nintendo DS, Bop It! for iOS and Bop It Smash for iOS. He will also be the voice for Bop It! Tetris.
In 1996, the instructions to a handheld voice game called Bop It were copyrighted. This game was the first of what was later to become a series of Bop It games relying on the same set of basic patents. The original game, called simply Bop It, features three inputs — "Bop it!" (a depressible button), "Twist it!" (a twistable lever) and "Pull it!" (a pullable handle) — and three game modes: Solo Bop, Vox Bop and Beat Bop. Gameplay is predicated upon a player's efforts to match the commands issued by the Bop It in a timely manner by performing the task that is commanded. Thus if the Bop It is to call out "Bop it!", the player must quickly depress the "Bop It!" button. If the Bop It is to call out "Twist it!", the player must quickly turn the "Twist it!" crank. If the Bop It is to call out "Pull it!", the player must quickly pull the "Pull It!" handle. Players' scores are announced at the end of gameplay with a cypher in which different tones represent different point values and the maximum possible score is 100. Thus, in the end sequence, each "Pull It!" whistle denotes 100 points, each ratchet denotes 10, and each drum denotes 1 point. This style of score-reporting would later recur in later Bop It models, and the Zing It spin off (see below). The same cypher values were used for all subsequent Bop It cyphers. This device requires 3 AA batteries.
Bop It Extreme
In 1998, Hasbro copyrighted its instructions for the Bop It Extreme, describing the underlying patents as "pending." This game included the additional commands "Flick it!" (a green zigzag lever) and "Spin it!" (a red wheel) along with the original three from Bop It. The game featured 4 games modes (Vox Bop, Beat Bop, Vox Bop Solo and Beat Bop Solo), and the maximum score (reported via cypher) was increased to 250. As with the earlier Bop It model, special victory songs were unlocked upon completion. Thus, achieving a score of 100 or greater rewards the player with an additional victory song after the announcement of the score. On reaching 150 inputs, a different special victory celebration plays, and achievement of the maximum score would trigger a yet different special victory ending. This device requires 3 AA batteries.
In 2003, this model was one of the top games in the market.
Bop It Extreme 2
Partially reliant on the original Bop It's 2000 patent, the Bop It Extreme 2 also relied on the newly issued 2001 patent describing the layout changes that had been adopted for use in the Bop It Extreme. With its instructions copyrighted in 2002, the layout of Hasbro's Bop It Extreme 2 was shown to be altered from that of Bop It Extreme. The shapes of several inputs were also altered. Volume controls were added, and the method of score reporting was changed to using plain English. In addition to the four modes featured in Bop It Extreme, a "One on One" mode was added. Bop It Extreme 2 was awarded "Electronic Game of the Year 2005" in the UK. This device requires 3 AA batteries.
Bop It Extreme 2 was made in black, white, and pink variants. The Bop it Extreme 2 like the Bop it Extreme has a maximum score of 250.
Bratz Bop It
As described in its instruction manual (copyright 2004), Hasbro's Bratz-themed Bop It game uses a layout like that of the earlier (3-input) Bop It format. The maximum score in Bratz Bop It had the same scoring as the original Bop It re-release with a victory song playing after the score cypher for scores of over 100 points. Bratz Bop It requires 3 AAA batteries to operate.
Bop It Blast
In 2005, Hasbro copyrighted the instructions to Bop It Blast, describing it as covered under the original (3-input) Bop It patent and referencing other patents that were pending. This member of the series again increased the maximum score to a total of 500, and for the first time allowed different high scores for different modes rather than having one high score for all modes collectively. Minor vocal additions were implemented such as the announcement of the player's score at notable landmarks (each 100 points scored). In addition to the six modes from Bop It Extreme 2, a "Light Bop" mode was added. The game also had an optional female voice. The game can allow the player to select a male, female, or both voices calling the commands. The same victory song from the original Bop It was used to report the 500 highest score. This device requires 3 AA batteries to operate.
Bop It Download
In 2006, Hasbro secured the copyright to a game called Bop It Download (also called Bop It Extreme Download). The software can be downloaded from http://www.playbopit.com which allows users to record their own voice, upload beats and sounds. Hasbro also made different accent voices. Bop It Download has a maximum score of 1000 and 15 difficulty levels. It includes the ability to download beats and sounds. This device requires 3 AA batteries to operate.
In 2008, Hasbro secured the copyrights to the instructions for Bop It!. At the 2009 London Toy Fair, Hasbro allowed attendees to try out Bop It!. Bop It! has a new optional input "Shout It", which requires a player to shout into the microphone. The Bop It! has three difficulty levels: "Novice", using only voice commands, "Expert", using a random mix of voice and sound commands, and "Master", calling out voice, sound, and color commands. If the player scores 100 points in either of the less difficult modes, the next most difficult mode is unlocked. Players that achieve a score of 100 points in "Master" mode are considered to have beaten the game. Hasbro also added a multi-player game called "Party" where all the Bop It commands are replaced with body parts like "foot", "hip", and "arm". Bop It! requires 3 AAA batteries to operate.
After securing the copyrights to the instructions in 2009, Hasbro made announcements regarding the newest member of the Bop It game line, entitled Bop-It! Bounce during the 2010 Hasbro Toy Fair. This toy features a ball and a small hand-held trampoline. There are six games that may be played on Bop It! Bounce including three games that emphasize the speed or number of bounces and three games that emphasize the player's ability to control the height of the bounces.
- Max Bounce - Players compete to achieve the greatest number of bounces in 30 seconds.
- Infinite Bounce - Players compete to achieve the greatest number of bounces without a time limit.
- Hang Time - Players compete to bounce the ball the highest.
- Right Height - The player must listen to vocal cues from the Bop It! Bounce, calling for higher or lower bounces until the correct height is achieved when a chime sounds.
- Little-Middle-Big - As with Right Height, the player must listen to vocal cues from the Bop It! Bounce calling for bounces of "big" height, "middle" height, or "little" height.
- Free Form - The toy produces different tones as the ball bounces to different heights.
Bop It! XT
In 2010, the instructions for the Bop It! XT were copyrighted. The Bop It! XT is the fourth edition of Bop It Extreme with the same commands but adding a new command, "Shake It". Also, "Spin It" is now orange. The game was demonstrated at the London Toy Fair and was released in 2011. The Bop It! XT is based on the gameplay of the Bop It! and returns the "One on One" mode and adds the new Pro level. In order to beat Bop-It! XT, the player is given a set of three commands to remember and must perform them in order with a mix of voice, sound and color commands 100 times.
In 2012, Hasbro introduced Bop-It! Smash at the New York Toy Fair. Bop-It! Smash features color changing lights in a central area called "The Zone". Players score by "smashing" two Bop-It! buttons together when a zone light is either green or blue. Bop-It! Smash has 3 various game modes: Solo, Pass It and Multi-player.
In Solo mode, the player scores five points for smashing a blue light and one point for smashing the green. If the player smashes the amber light, the voice of Buddy Rubino will say "Yow!" (followed by a negative comment such as: "Try harder!") and a game life will be deducted. After 4 rounds, the level is completed and a Bonus Round will begin. The player can get 5 or more bonus points. During a level (except bonus rounds) the player can earn a life back if they smash another blue light after smashing an amber. In the Pass It mode, the player has three attempts to try and smash a green or a blue. If they smash an orange light 3 times, then the game is over. In the Multi-player mode, up to 6 players can play. The winner is the last one surviving after all other players have lost all their lives.
Bop It re-release (2000)
In July 2000, the first patent for Bop It was issued. This patent covers all subsequent Bop It models, and was cited in the instructions for the re-release of the original Bop It (instructions copyrighted in 2000). The newer version of the original toy increased its maximum score to 200. In addition to the score-report cypher, the 2000 model made use of a special victory song that would play after the score if the player achieved a score of 100 points or greater. The use of victory songs associated with in-game point-plateaus would recur in later model Bop Its such as Bop It Extreme and Bratz Bop It. This device requires 3 AAA batteries.
Keychain and pen versions
Mini versions of several Bop It models have also been released throughout the duration of the series to be used as keychain carabiners and pens. Mini versions have been released for Bop It 1996 and 2002, Bop It Extreme, Bop It Extreme 2, and Bop It! These versions differed from the original titles primarily in their size but also in other ways. The scoring of the Bop It Extreme pen had a maximum score of 25, and the original Bop It key chain had a maximum score of 15. The older Bop It pens had a maximum score of 200 and newer original Bop It pens have only one game mode and a maximum score of 15. The keychain version of Bop It Extreme 2, for instance, used Bop It Extreme sounds such as "Nice going!" and the high score melody. The use of a cypher was also added for scoring instead of using plain English.
Bop It! Tetris
In January 2013 The Tetris Company have announced that they have signed a deal with Hasbro to make some real life Tetris themed games with their brands. In August 2013, they will be launching a Jenga themed version of Tetris and there will also be a Bop It themed version of Tetris.
In Feubrary 2013, a demo version was available to play at the New York Toy Fair. The game is to be released in August and has several game modes from Tetris games such as the Marathon Mode and it also features a Pass It mode too. The voice of Buddy Rubino can also be heard in the demo version.
Vox Bop(with voice commands)
"Vox Bop" is a multi-player game that serves as the primary game mode for the Bop It toy. A voice recording in the game machine calls out the commands randomly with a musical beat that increases in speed as the game progresses. The player must match the series of commands exactly and then the voice will call out "Pass It!" and the Bop It is passed to the next player. As the player passes the game to the next player, the game will play a short melody and then the intro beat will play again before the next command. A player is "out" of the game if the player performs the wrong action or if the player hesitates. This mode is also known as "Vox Bop Pass It" in Bop It Extreme 2, and then simply "Pass It" in Bop It XT and Bop It!.
Vox Bop One on One
"Vox Bop One on One" is available on Bop It Extreme 2, Bop It Blast, Bop It Download, and Bop It! XT, though in XT it is simply "One on One". In this multi-player game, two players each take hold of the Bop It with the yellow player holding the "Twist It!" crank and the "Pull It!" knob, and the green player holding the "Flick It!" lever and the "Spin It!" wheel. The unit calls out a series of commands and each player is responsible for only his or her assigned inputs. When the unit finally calls "Bop It!" both players must try to hit the "Bop It!" button on the side bearing their color first. The unit will announce which player was faster by which colored side of the button was depressed first. The winning player earns a point. If either player misses a call he is "out" of the game. The final winner is the player who gets to five points first and does not miss any commands.
Beat Bop (with musical commands)
The "Beat Bop" mode follows a similar format as the "Vox Bop (with voice commands)" mode (above) and the rules are roughly equivalent. The difference in "Beat Bop" mode is that the game uses sounds as commands instead of words. Thus:
- "Bop It!" becomes the sound of a bass drum.
- "Spin It!" becomes the sound of a wobbling wheel.
- "Flick It!" becomes a "Boing!" sound.
- "Pull It!" becomes the sound of a slide-whistle.
- "Twist It!" becomes a cranking sound.
- "Shout It!" becomes a DJ's scratching sound.
- "Shake It!" becomes a cowbell sound.
"Solo Bop" is the single-player mode for the original Bop It. This game is substantially similar to "Vox Bop (with voice commands)", except the "Pass It!" command is never issued. Instead, when the player misses a command, the game ends and the score is reported. This mode is also known as "Vox Bop Solo" in Bop It Extreme and Bop It Extreme 2, and simply "Solo" in "Bop It!" and Bop It XT!.
Beat Bop Solo
"Beat Bop Solo" is only available for Bop It Extreme and Bop It Extreme 2. This game is substantially similar to the "Beat Bop (with musical commands)" mode, except that the "Pass It!" command is never issued. Instead, when the player misses a command, the game ends and the score is reported.
The "Light Bop" mode is featured in Bop It Blast and Bop It Download. The player must respond when the light and the command match together.
In the Master level on Bop It! and Bop It! XT, color commands are issued. Color commands are also issued in the "Pro" mode on Bop It XT.
- "Bop It" becomes the word "White" in Bop It! and "Black" in Bop It! XT
- "Twist It" becomes the word "Yellow"
- "Pull It" becomes the word "Blue"
- "Shout It" becomes the word "Green" in Bop It!
- "Flick It" becomes the word "Green" in Bop It! XT
- "Spin It" becomes the word "Orange"
- "Shake It" becomes the word "Purple"
In 2009, EA Games released Hasbro Family Game Night 2, a sequel to the earlier-released collection of Hasbro boardgames and toys, Hasbro Family Game Night. Hasbro Family Game Night 2 was released for the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo DS and both versions featured Bop It as a playable simulation. Buddy Rubino is the voice of "Bop It!" in "Hasbro Family Game Night 2".
In 2011, EA Games released an app for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. This app features several game modes, commands from the handheld games, X-Move bonuses and newer commands like "Brush It!", "Crank It!", "Squeeze It!", and "Poke It!". Buddy Rubino is the voice of the "Bop It!" app for iOS.
The popularity of the Bop It line encouraged Hasbro to release a number of sister products.
Zing It is a yo-yo-style audio game that, like Bop It, issues commands with which the player must comply. Like the original Bop It, three commands may be issued: "Bop it!", requiring the player to press the depress-able purple button, "Zing it!", requiring the player to throw the yo-yo downward and jerk it back up to the hand again, and "Loop it!", requiring the player to perform the "round the world" yo-yo trick. Zing It features three modes: "Vox Bop" (as with Bop It products), "Beat Bop" (as with Bop It products), and "Vox Bop Challenge", where the game will test mental pelmanism by issuing rapid strings of commands which must be subsequently performed in the correct order. As with Bop It and Bop It Extreme, Zing It announces the score by musical cypher. Like the two Bop It Extreme games, Zing It has a maximum score of 250 and is announced by a horn, followed by a crowd clapping.
The Top It is a kendama-style audio game developed by Parker Bros. (under Hasbro) that also issues commands which a player must respond to with the appropriate action. Commands include "Top it!" (requiring the player to catch the ball in the red top cup), "Flop it!" (requiring the player to catch the ball in one of the purple side cups), and "Flip it!" (requiring the player to catch the ball in the purple side cup on the other side). The command structure has slightly fewer variations than any other Hasbro game, since the "Flip it!" command can only be issued if the "Flop it!" command directly precedes it.
Groove It is an audio game made by Hasbro whose instructions have been copyrighted in 2003. With similar game play to the Bop It games, Groove It employs photodetection technology to determine the player's hand position. As with Bop It games, Groove It issues voice commands, however in this case the commands are: "the scratch", "the slide", and "the zoom". The game is more tolerant of errors than the Bop It games, allowing as many as three missed commands in some modes. The game requires a score of 250 to win, has a maximum score of 300, and employs a ranking system.
In popular culture
- Bop It was parodied on a 2004 SNL Weekend Update, as "Bump It", a seemingly sentient and sexually suggestive toy which asked Amy Poehler to "Pull it" numerous times.
- Bop It appeared in the TV series Gilmore Girls, where it was referred to by Lorelai and Rory, and used in the episode "We Got Us a Pippi Virgin" (Season 5, Episode 5) as Lorelai explains that Bop It is what they bring out in social situations that "need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation", and with which Luke takes on Dean.
- Bop It appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2009, where an enlarged version of the classic game was used on stage. Contestants would have to do the traditional Bop It tasks, but as an added challenge, "Stomp it" and "Chomp it" were made. "Stomp it" consisted of a contestant stomping grapes. "Chomp it" is where a contestant took bites out of some food item such as a watermelon or frosted cake. Two contestants typically compete against each other in order to win a prize for themselves, the audience or charity.
- Bop It was parodied as "Bonk It" on The Simpsons episode "Rednecks and Broomsticks".
- Bop It also appeared on Family Game Night on The Hub as "Bop It Boptagon".
- BATR Electronic Game of the Year Award 2003.
- BATR Electronic Game of the Year 2005 Award 2005.
- US 6086478
- US 6210278
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