Who would have thought that after almost 20 years, the original Big Mouth Billy Bass could be improved? Well, this technological marvel finally happened and just in time for Christmas.
The animatronic singing sensation from Gemmy Industries that debuted way back in 1999 and spawned a number of different versions over the years just got an upgrade. Now the big green fish will be able to do so much more than sing Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”
Of course, its new smarts aren’t built-in; they’re borrowed via Bluetooth. So when it turns its head and gazes upon you, it can read the news, give you the weather forecast or even beatbox on command, thanks to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
“Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.”
Move over, Jelly of the Month Club. The talking fish on the wall that classes-up any living room is now Alexa-enabled, so the fun can continue well into the new year. Big Mouth Billy Bass now has the ability to pair to compatible Echo devices via Bluetooth and lip sync Alexa’s responses or any song you’re playing.
The ability is new, but also isn’t. Two years ago, an engineer hacked his Big Mouth Billy Bass and gave it access to Alexa’s capabilities (check out the original story and video here). Jump ahead to December 2018, and now it’s available to the masses.
This is possible because of Amazon’s Alexa Gadgets Toolkit, which the company first announced last year. It launched into beta back in September. The toolkit allows anyone to build their own Alexa hardware that connects to Echo devices via Bluetooth. The possibilities are endless, and a number of companies have already jumped on board to begin producing new gear.
Yes, you can order yours today
Big Mouth Billy Bass releases on Amazon Saturday, Dec. 1 for $39.99, shipping fast and free for Prime subscribers. The new version also includes a new original song, “Fishin’ Time.”
But wait, there’s more! If the fish just doesn’t do it for you, Gemmy is releasing two Bluetooth plushes that are also compatible with Alexa: a Twerking Santa and a Twerking Christmas Bear. These are also available at Amazon for $39.99 each. Decisions, decisions…