Though in one factor at least, the original out performs the Art Asylum toy/prop. The original handheld scanner Dee Kelley waved about had an electric motor to spin the little sensor array. The AA version has only a thumb driven "wheel" that spins the array and it's prone to jamming.
Some argued that the toy designers couldn't fit both a motor and the sound chip circuits to play the famous "warble" into the small casing. (BTW, the sound quality is very faint compared to the toy PlayMates released according to numerous purchasers, including me.) However, some intrepid fans re-engineered the unit, managing to fit both a motor and the audio circuits just to prove it COULD be done.