Blue Man Group's amazing range of musical toys

These are the new toys licensed by Blue Man Group (and developed by ToyQuest). They'll be launching in July with a big TV ad campaign in the run up to Christmas. The keyboard is $79.99, the percussion tubes are $69.99. I don't yet have pictures of the intriguingly named 'Drum Suit' and 'Air Pole'. All the instruments use "new proximity sensor technology, pre-programmed songs[and] interchangeable instrument sounds" to "enable kids to mix and layer music with a simple wave of their hands." Entertainment Weekly played with them at Toy Fair: "While the keyboard is interesting, it's the motion-sensor instrument that responds when you wave your hand over the tubes that floored me. But the best part? The ability to hook your iPod up to them and mix over your favorite songs.".
It's hard not to love the design combo of PVC tube, G5 mac and Fisher-Price buttons, but I really can't wait to see what the circuit benders do with this stuff. (Thanks, Steve in LA)
More images ... [HERE]


Comments:
No, I don't think white synths have jumped the shark.
 
Blue Man Group have always struck me as Devo gone Las Vegas...you wanna embrace them but they're too smug and smarmy for their own good.

There can be only one Devo - screw the home-made instruments!
 
Well there isn't any Devo any more. Devo 2.0 is beyond "clever deconstruction" and well into "cynical cash-in." Plus, blue power domes and playing a Nike festival?

Naw, Devo was done a long time ago. They left us a great live album and a legacy of intelligent and freaky synthpop with weird sex undertones, but Devo as we knew and loved them have been gone for a long time.
 
Devo may be no more, but they rock harder now than they did when I saw them as a teen (OhNo and NewTrad tours).

I caught their show in Southern California a few months ago at a small club: loud guitars, screaming Minimoogs, obscure album tracks with odd time signatures, political commentary, tons of energy from a pudgy bunch of guys pushing 50.

And don't forget, Devo was heavily into merchandising back in their day, and they did Honda commercials then, too.
 
Devo was always notoriously involved with "cashing in" as a sort of revenge activism.. one of their first videos was expressly on this topic, where they discussed marketing action figures based on the band with some character named "Rod Rooter".. which oddly happened some 20 years later in real life

theyve always been involved with corporations and industry stuff...

The Men Who Make the Music was the first home video released by new wave band Devo. Finished in 1979, the film was set to be the first Video LP, but was shelved by Time Life due to concerns about its anti-music industry content. It was released in 1981. A DVD of this film was announced in 2000, due to be released by Rhino Records, but as of 2006 it has still not been released.

granted they may not be as "punk" anymore as their mid-70s era stuff (when they set out to actively annoy and antagonize people - re their Sun Ra performance, and others).. but they still do the Devo thing in their middle age perspective

there really hasnt been anything like Devo even after all these years.... hell id put GWAR over the Blue Man group in terms of performance art
 
Sorry, I've always been amazed that a group of guys who paint themselves blue and use weirdo homemade instruments could make music that sounds so damned mainstream and corporate.
 
Regardless of who is merchandising what or painted what color, isn't the point here that these instruments have potential to be very cool and funky for acutally making music? now YOU can knock off devo however you like ;-)
 
Bloody hell...I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest here!

Maybe Blue Man Group are the 21st. century Devo (for the benefit of all the people screaming foul over me dissing off Blue Man Group), but I was at a mate of mine
seeing that DVD concert with that pretty good version of 'I Feel Love' on it, and the audience consisted mostly of CNN viewers - vacuous, corporate and desperately seeking humour. Devo's audience were certainly the opposite...

Come to think of it, Blue Man Group's initials spell BMG...now there's a giveaway for all the conspiracy theorists out there!
 
the blue man group sucks.so much.
 
the blue man group sucks.so much.
 
Are these samplers? Can load in your own sounds to be triggered? Or does this have canned sounds like most kids toys?
 
Casios with optothereminish controllers?

With iPod docks.

wow.

Seems to be more a case of 'Look what they did with what the Benders came up with'.
 
that looks the keyboard I need for my daughter!
 
yall can whinge and cry all you want, but I'm lookin forward to these.
 
For anyone who has never seen a Blue Man Group performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVgB9VmWLZg
 
ok. listen.the blue man group didn't even bother returning the toronto musician's union calls. they completely ignored them and went on record as saying they had no interest in signing an agreement with the union. great. they also do not have agreements with equity or IATSE.
http://www.bluemanboycott.com/
this show is a ridiculous, overproduced anti-musician borefest. speaking as a working musician, someone who earns money playing music to buy FOOD and SHELTER, this is a total slap in the face and disrespects all professionals and music lovers.
deb
 
Quit your whining already, you little crybaby!

Blue Man Group doesn't need to join your little union, so why should they?

...to make you guys happy?

Screw you!

Those of you who diss them, just don't get them. Plain and simple. Blue Man Group are true artists and entertainers on a level that you will never attain (much less, understand). The fact of the matter is that any one of the BMG troops has more fans than all of you second rate, starving "musicians" combined.

"Boo-hoo, Blue Man Group won't join our little club"

You sound like a bunch of little pussies!
 
I'll buy at least one for sure!
 
Speaking as a working musician, someone who earns money playing music to buy FOOD and SHELTER; kudos to the Blue Man group for taking a stand against you, your little toronto musicians union, equity and iatse.
 
Just as a note, some of you might check out their Web site that goes over their roots. (http://www.blueman.com, of course.) Their thinking of the Blue Man concept is more rooted in art than you might think. (Which is why some of you probably dislike them; I got no problems with that.)

I'd agree that their comedy is sometimes more interesting than their music, but I still like their live version of "I Feel Love"--the singer from Venus Hum is one of the cutest girls I've ever seen. (Yeah, I'm easily swayed.)
 
very good, very good.
a. sign your names.
b. obviously you care nothing about, oh, i don't know, job security, equity in payment, exploitation, etc etc etc. and for those of you buying FOOD and SHELTER playing music without giving a rat's butt about what other musicians are going through, then you'll get yours. or eventually take that job with daddy's company.
musicthing, you are off my list. have fun, all you self interested "musicians".
 
There are many ways to look at this. Some people might think they've sold out by commercializing their "Home-made," "found instrument" style. Some might think it's a great move to feed their fans, as well as future fans. But tell me this. What does a toy have to do with unions, comedy, and unresearched 'bad concepts'? Blue Man Group happens to have an incredibly complex concept, with many, many views to what they stand for, mean, or represent. Some include the taking off of a mask by putting on their bald caps and paint. They strip off all features one would associate with themselves: skin color, ears, and hair. This position is the most vulnerable a human can be in. I could go on into other views and such, but I beg of you, before judging a group or anything like that, please at least see their show. Especially the Blue Man Group. It's amazing.
As for the toy, I think it's a great way to teach kids the basic structures of music. By making it flexible to different forms of music--BMG or the player's favorite music of other choice is a great idea. Music is a very important part of our society, and kids' education. I know that for a fact, because it's saved my life, from suicide. Please just give the kids a chance, or even the older who are young at heart.
 
Deb honey, music and unions died in the late 80's. The last time I heard about you dinosaurs, you were trying to get the synthesiser banned!

How's that for FOOD and SHELTER, as you put it? Stick to the pub circuit where you belong, and never darken this blog again - not all of us are the major label Pavlov's Dogs that you lot have been conditioned as...
 
This blog has an amazing ability to get way off track in its comments. What started as an article about a musical toy for kids has now morphed into a debate about the musicians unions.
 
WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT THE FRIGGIN BLUEMAN GROUP? THE BLUEMAN GROUP, TO BE HONEST, SEEMS TO BE MERE STEPS AWAY FROM SESAME STREET ON ICE, CUTTING EDGE TOYS OR NOT. DO WE EXPECT EVERY ENTERTAINER IN THE WORLD TO JOIN EVERY UNION IN THE WORLD JUST TO DO BUSINESS? IS THAT FAIR? I DON'T KNOW, I'M NOT THE FAIRNESS POLICE.
 
What I really wonder is if Brian DeWan, who created the original instruments used by Blue Man is going to get a cut of the profits.
 
Where can I get one in the US.
Now.
 
you can't wait to see what the circuit benders do with this stuff? we already did it. these are the the first fully commercial machines to reap the rewards of hundreds of circuit benders
thousands of hours bent over a board with a sautering gun. when i find one of these at goodwill next year i am going to melt it with a blow dryer.
 
Incidentally Deb, if you're a "musician" who is really struggling to earn enough for food and shelter, then it might be time for you to wake up and smell the coffee... Maybe you're just not that good of a musician (cuz it sure doesn't sound like you're having much success).
 
What is the name of this carzy lookinf keyboard? plz

http://www.muzix.org/entry/crazy-looking-keyboard-from-toyquest/
 
Could we please cut this Ayn Rand shit already. Who's got a problem with unionized technical personnel on a local level? "Your little club"..god, haven't heard that before. typical neocon aggression.
 
Hmmm? According to IATSE, BMG is undercutting "legitimate" productions like Ain't Misbehavin, Lion King, Mamma Mia! and Hairspray...

Ah, down here in the sticks (NYC) we call productions like that "Broadway Musicals". BMG is about as off-Broadway as you can get.

Sounds like the group with the problem is the local union leadership.

As for you Deb, just bear in mind that when it comes to success and acceptance, the audience decides not the musician. You just get to choose what kind of music you play.
 
I can't believe I made it to the bottom of all these comments...

Deb, you are a disgrace to the art of music. Music should remain an art form and not some bullshit 9-5

I have never seen the Blue Man Group but I understand that they bring something raw and unique to captivate the audience. You talk of unions??? LOL I can't even believe there is such a thing in the music industry.. maybe country music in Nashville... but please.

I am an electronic music producer who has an ear for broken beat and experimental sounds. I have created many many circuit bent synths. I can't wait to have all the kids screwing around with something so abstract. Anything but that formulaic bullshit heard on the radio and (I'm guessing) in the realms of your so called unions.

Does anyone else hate those bumper stickers that say "Drum machine's Have no Soul"?

~Anamoninimous
 
No, but I do love the Mojo Nixon line "Drum machines don't get drunk, try to start a fight/Or creep around your backdoor and try to screw your wife"

The sad thing about most musician's unions, at least here in the states, is that they want to do nothing for you to get you off the ground, but then they also want a cut of anything you make as soon as you make it. So, you can play the Union poilitics biz to get the "EZ Listening" gigs that people actually book through something this archaic, or you can get real gigs based on your talent and have the Union bother you for a cut of the little you do make.

I personally left the Union here because all they did was make it harder for me to get gigs. I cannot understand why any group with an established fan base would be willing to give the Union money for nothing. Perhaps if you're a symphony musician, but for the average "Act trying to book a show", they just complicate your dealings with club owners. Add to that the pleasant bonus of having other guild members talk behind your back...

If you're lucky, your involvement with the Union will just lead you to having people like Deb who want to bad mouth you and your music.

"this show is a ridiculous, overproduced anti-musician borefest."

Thank you for your opinion. You can just see the boredom on the faces of their cheering audience. Would you please post some clips of your music, maybe some folks would like to give their biased opinion on it?

Funnily enough, if these guys were doing the same thing out of their garage, with no fans, you'd probably talk about how unappreciated these poor struggling artists are. Sounds to me like you're just jealous of their success.

Personally, I like the fact that their "I feel love" is all done by beating on some PVC, when the original was the first "All Synth" song. It's almost like a cargo cult. It's like drummers heard some synth sounds and tried to recreate them by beating on things.

Anyway, we all do ifferent things, and our primary job as fellow musicians is to support each other, not traipse around trying to cut the legs out from under whomever can walk on their own.
 
For all of you Blue Man bashers out there, screw you. BMG is a unique band/show that utilizes everyday things that we take for granted. If you have anything bad to say about them, I swear, as a future Blue Man, you'll have to answer to me. BMG FOREVER!
 
What the fuck are we talkin' 'bout Devo for?

As many cool people have previously said, Blue Man Group absolutely ROCK Big Time! And I totally agree!

I am sure the losers who have commented negatively about BMG have never seen their shows or, as others have said, just don't have the mental capacity to 'get' them! :-)

Frankly I think you would have to be DEAD not to enjoy a BMG show, but it takes all types to make a world I guess... unfortunately!!!

Oh, and as far as their music goes, they simply Rock!!!

They attract some very big name artists who want to jam with them on their albums and tours and they have been commissioned to provide the theme song for the new Terminator 3 movie!

Consider checking out the people you decide to comment on first, and if you have nothing positive to say than shut the Fuck Up OK!

It's so easy to be a critic, but it takes culture to provide a compliment!

Rock On Blue Man Group!

Andrew G
 
Yea!! Finally some toys from my fave men in blue ;)
 
my 7 yo girl who has been taking piano lessons and has seen the Complex DVD will love experimenting with this toy!!

You Devo-union ranters don't get that parents are gonna love watching their kids get creative with this!
 
Wow that's amazing... the keyboard has a motion sensor for making sounds. Hasn't anyone here ever heard of a theramin? That's an actual instrument. These toys are crap just like the blue man group are crap. Fisher price is so high tech.

They have "such an amazing history" or whatever bullplop everyone tries to defend them with. They're total rubbish. The blue man group are total rubbish.

"They're so artistic". LOL LOL LOL Okay go and spend your $50 or $60 to see them you SHEEP. Better get poncho section seating so you can be blessed/splattered with their and your stupidity. Stupids. Also make sure you spend $70 on these sh|+ instruments... buy a bunch of blue makeup and black outfits and pretend you're one of the blue man group 'cause they're AWESOME!!

(I know their history... blah blah blah they were a bunch of bums playing street corners for loose change in the 80s and blah blah blah so don't lecture me for anything because you're stupid). Did I mention you're stupid? LOL
 
Music is about expressing yourself. If the only way you can express yourself is by having others tell you how you get to express yourself, then so be it.

I enjoy playing for my own personal gratification. Occasionally, people listen and enjoy what they're hearing. If they they don't, tough crap for them.

If you want to work your 9-5 making money off your expression, so be it. But don't gripe when people don't want to be like you.
 
OK!!!!WHERE can I buy the BlueMan's musical instruments???
 
sorry not cool. if you have one these you are not even dork enough to have a circit bent item..neat for the kiddies, but a cool piece of gear for tech junkies they aren't. I would laugh at any of my friends who was super psyched for this toy.

but lets face it, if blue man group makes a toaster oven with pvc pipe look and slaps an "ipod" license on it the same people would want it, not just because the like blue man group as a branding concept, but there is an intrinsic neat factor.

listen, blue man group hss built on tricks other came up with long ago. sorry to burst your blue man bubbble but they are only superficially avant-gard. they are thieves like everyone else. they wear the masks of artists, If you truly feel that BMG is deep and moving, I question your taste.

Listen most rational art appriciators understand that BMG is art for tourists, the residents of art land know it's a big fake show meant to capture the amazment of neophytes, OKAY!

In parting the waters of the BMG sea, please allow me to close like a blogger Moses:

Why can't there be a simple thanks paid to circuit benders for their craft, and don't benders know that they are the owners of this genre.
Pop culture has this nasty way of tearing down the woods next to your house and putting up cloned developments that disreguard heritage, let's all understand that the arts have roots, and they are not to be purloined and co-opted by every blue motherfucker who puts on a scullcap and vinal makeup.

oh and I'd like to give a shout out to my boy JK, who, while alive could have smashed BMG into tiny pieces.

amen
 
anyone willing to berate BMG for being too commercial/mainstream or "disregarding artistic heritage" is either A. an uneducated, misanthropic fool or B. a jealous struggling musician.

From someone who knows a bit more about BMG than the average generalizing cynic, the Blue Men are one of the few performance groups who have achieved worldwide recognition without compromising their artistic integrity.

They draw from (not steal, you bitter idiot) an ecclectic artistic heritage - commedia, mime, vaudeville, etc and have never claimed to be innovators. anyone heard of the Brazillian percussion group Uakti? They've been banging on PVC since '79, and if you spend more than a minute on their site, you'll see that BMG cites them as one of their influences.

And anyway how can you look down your nose at a group whose objective is to spread joy through a hybrid of art forms. their mass appeal has come despite refusing countless opportunities to sell out, and by sticking to their simple formula of 3 annonymous (ego-less) dudes exploring their world and creating art as they go. you'd have to be quite the downer to hate on them.

so haters, do the world a favor and funnel your energy into improving YOUR art, rather than pick apart one of the few remaining purely artistic collectives out there.

or actually go see the show you seem so bent on besmirching, and if you leave uninspired you might want to retire from the human race.
 
I STRONGLY AGREE, BMG IS VERY TALENTED, AND THEY BRING A LOT OF JOY TO A LOT OF PEOPLE. COULDN'T WE ALL BENEFIT FROM ENJOYMENT? THERE'S ENOUGH CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS TO DUMP ON IN TODAY'S WORLD, LEAVE THE BMG ALONE.. FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF US THEY ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
I know very little about BMG, my son and I were talking (a teenager)which unto itself is a good thing. I went to DEVO concerts. It appears that those who wrote in do not have a wide range of exposure to the art world. Andy Warhol was not liked by all, Vangogh cut his ear off, Bethoven a bit weird and Everyone's interpretation is just that, your own, and although opinions are very good to have we should not be so quick to call people stupid and an idiot just because they chose to disagree
 
I saw Blue Man about 16 years ago when there weree only 3 Blue Man.
The original members brought their staging & set it up themselves
The crowd loved them on all levels.
Over the years I have talked to many people associated w/ their organization & they love working with the guys.
They also are very generous to the cast & crew according to the crew.
Don't forget that these guys are also musician that have Gold records & Grammy nominations as well.
They are amazing !
 
Comparing BMG to Devo displays how musically ignorant the masses can be. Two totally different sounds, two totally different bands. It's unfortunate that the modern "MTV" mind set has all but erased our sense of all things creative and new. To the point of comparing a creative musical outlet to a bunch of old people who haven't been active in the scene for 20-plus years.

As for me, I think those BMG toys are a great way to get children interested in music and an even better way to spark their creative sides.
 
I can't believe I actually made it to the end of all those comments. Anyway, what disappointed me was that there was really no critique of how these toys work. Do they work? My son wants one for Christmas and I don't want to spend money for junk. All of your comments were mostly amusing, especially the whiners of the union. And what the heck are circuit benders? For the record, I saw BMG and loved them. Anything that gets kids interested in music on any level is cool by me. btw, you swearing bloggers don't have to swear to be cool. Didn't your mothers ever teach you that?
 
If they make people smile, so be it. Nobody owns a patent on that, nor should anyone impose their pompous attitudes on those who find humor in music, and appreciate what BMG has achieved. Different strokes for different folks. If ya don't like it, don't listen to it.
 
Here's a clever idea for you fine folks up there in Toronto who have a problem with the BMG. Have your local union officials all get together, form a commitee, and write a new by-law stating that originality and family entertainment only be allowed to be produced by your musicians union. you should admire the talent and ceativity of thier show. i've been three times here in vegas and love it every time!!! Who said that a union was only able to learn from itself?stop whining and make a better mousetrap. sincerely, COOP I.B.E.W. lu 354
 
Alright. Here goes:

Musicians Unions: Great if you are a large touring act or booking Adult contemporary shows. Otherwise, they have no interest in your success but do take an interest in your income. Abusive waste of power.

Devo: Certainly innovators in their day. Certainly influenced by others. Certainly old news now.

BMG: My wife is a fan. My 16 month old son is a fanatic. We've never seen them live.
I see it as an interesting concept with some very high quality backing musicians. Visually stimulating, decent music, some great tongue in cheek humour and overall very good entertainment that can be shared as a family. No they are not my favorite group/music style.
Are they innovators? Certainly in performance art they brought a marketable concept to the stage in a unique and exciting way. Musically? Not neccesarily. Name one band that hasn't borrowed from another artist though.

To the troll that called BMG fans stupid, etc: Take your meds and pull the melon known as your head out of your rectal cavity. Not everyone is going to like the same things and no one is calling you names b/c of your posts on www.ilovemichaelbolton.com

To the other that used the word 'sheep': I'm sorry your musical career hit the crapper. That or you're just purely an elitist twat. Any band that makes it big is a sellout and it's fans are sheep. I guess I'd rather be a sheep than a fairweather fan. "Baaaa".

Lastly: The Toys
I didn't know they existed until last Saturday. I was doing some Xmas shopping and happened to see these sitting on the shelf with no price tag.
I took it to the counter to check the price. $129.99 (CAD), on sale for 1/2 price, plus a $10.00 gift card. Add to that the $25.00 gift card in my pocket that I won the day previous at work and I bagged the keyboard for the bargain price of $29.00
I also just saw them on Amazon.com for 199 and 299 for the two that are available. Anyone want me to pick one up for them?
 
what the hell is the name of the song in the demo of the toy on the BMG website its driving me crazy its an awesome song

anyways who cares if they dont join the union how can it possibly hurt any one I love music hell I am a musician and you don't see me complaining

if you are truely a musician you shou;d appreciate all music no matter how crappy it sounds becasue there is a meaning behind it all you have to do is find it
 
Just saw them again last night, and was thoroughly entertained. I will gladly spend my money on their shows and toys, and I don't really care what the whiners think.

I'm not a professional musician, so I don't have an opinion on unions other than: if they were really useful, wouldn't they help musicians keep from getting screwed by the major labels? I think a true artist or musician creates for the joy of it, the rest bitch about who's a loser or sold out for the profit.
 
where is possible order it?
 
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