ActiMates were Microsoft's first attempt for toys that were introduced in 1997. They would respond to a TV or computer via an compatible "pack" included with an cookie-shaped transmitter.

The character Barney was first released in 1997. Before any new characters were introduced, the TV Pack included a video which showed games hosted by Barney. The Arthur and D.W. ones would not come until 1998. The TV Pack Barney game video was turned to a introducy video that showed instructions how to set up the device and an practice clip compilation. All four Teletubbies were introduced in 1999, thus modifying the introducy video with Teletubby-style instructions (the Teletubbies must have a radio cartridge in them for example). They were discontinued between 2001. The Biscuit ActiMate was released in March 2000, but was discontinued the next year.