Steve Irwin figure launches



The naturalist's widow wanted to proceed with the sale.
TWINSBURG, Ohio (AP) -- Crikey! A talking "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin action figure with his recorded voice saying his trademark exclamation will go on sale nationwide next month.
With the blessing of his widow, the 39-piece Steve Irwin Wildlife Adventure Series that includes plush toys and educational items will launch next month at the 2007 International Toy Fair in New York, toy maker K & amp;M International said.
K & amp;M was ready to stop the international launch after Irwin died Sept. 4 from a poisonous stingray barb piercing his chest, but Terri Irwin wanted to go ahead, said G.B. Pillai, K & amp;M president.
"After Steve's death we decided to take the toy line worldwide immediately," Pillai said. "We want people to know what he stood for and never forget him."
Irwin recorded the voice for his action figure, dressed in his well-known khaki shorts and shirt with hiking boots. The doll describes a crocodile rescue, sprinkled with funny phrases in his thick Australian accent.
"Holy Guacamole!" it says at one point. "Do you see that? It's a giant golden orb spider and she's built her web right across our path! It's super sticky for catching small birds and bats. Let's not disturb it."
Other toys
The line also includes stuffed crocodiles and a Steve Irwin Australian Tracker, a device like a walkie-talkie in which Irwin's voice describes parts of the continent.
"Steve was a person who worked to connect animals with humans, and he worked on ecology," Pillai said. "This is our primary niche core. This is not just a souvenir toy, it's a collectible."
K & amp;M, based in this Cleveland suburb, also will sell the toys under its Wild Republic brand in Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. They've been selling for a year at Irwin's family-owned Australia Zoo.
The company also plans in six months to launch a line of plush toys called Bindi's Friends, named for the Irwins' daughter, who will debut her own show on the Discovery Channel.
Irwin's final documentary, called "Ocean's Deadliest," is to air tonight on Discovery. It will not include footage shot the day he died.

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