There is something so inherently sweet about watching your little child play with a toy and make a voice of the toy. The little imaginary back and forth is very cute. For the kids, however, if the toys had the ability to talk back that would just be amazing. In the early 60s, a new doll was created with the pull string talk box that allowed her to communicate. It was this innovation that made the Chatty Cathy doll a huge seller.
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Manufactured by the toy giant Mattel, the doll was released into stores well before the first advertisement had even been made. They knew they were on to a hot ticket item. The original Cathy had blonde hair in a bob cut, but as the popularity grew so did the diversity so that every child could find one that looked like them.
Cathy became “Chatty” with a pull string on her back that would make the internal phonograph box run through one of the 11 sayings Cathy would say. These included “I love you”, “Please take me with you”, “Let’s play School”, and “May I have a cookie?”.
The doll was made to last, just like Mattel’s other big seller at the time Barbie. Also like Barbie, where Mattel made their money was on Cathy’s clothes and accessories. While originally there were only a few options like school outfits, or different coloured dressed, the collection soon grew to shorts, costumes, and pyjamas.
Another of Cathy’s features were her “life-like decal eyes” that would go to sleep when she was laid on her side. A feature that surely entertained youngsters, and creeped out a few adults.
A fantastic toy that with Barbie made sure that Mattel held the number one and two position for toy sales throughout the 60s and 70s.
Did you have a Chatty Cathy? Why type of one did you have? Do you still have yours?