Sunday, February 16, 2014

Doll-A-Day 47: Chatty Cathy

  Today begins Chatty Week, and today's doll is Chatty Cathy.
She's about 20" tall.

This is a beautifully clean Cathy wearing her Pink Peppermint Stick dress. Unfortunately I don't have her shoes or socks.
Supposedly the open right hand is more rare than the right hand with a pointing index finger. It was changed so Chatty could wear her ring on either hand.

She does have her original papers though.

Chatty Cathy began to be sold in the Pink Peppermint Stick dress in 1961.Before that she came in a blue dress with white eyelet over blouse or a red sunsuit and pinafore.Only blondes were made until 1962, when brunettes were added.Originally she said 11 phrases. More were added later. My Cathy is a soft face,(They were made with soft rubber heads or hard plastic ones.). 
My favourite thing about her? She has teeth! They are a little crooked, but I don't mind that in real people either. She has what are called 'decal eyes'. In other words, she has the eyes that are a printed picture under clear plastic,rather than the plastic eyes with molded irises called pinwheel eyes. There are also glassine eyes, and I'm still not sure how you identify those!
Chatty Cathy was produced with this face from 1959 to 1965. When the dolls were reintroduced in 1970 they had a different look.Mine has a beautiful face with a nice pinkish complexion. Having the soft face means her head hasn't faded to white like her legs and one arm have.Apparently faded limbs is a common problem with the number 4 body, which mine has. I can tell this because she has the sound grill made on that particular body.
The speaker holes form a hexagon shape and have no surrounding holes. Plus the speaker inside is red.That's a number 4 body.

  My girl can almost talk. She gets a couple of words out if the string is only partially pulled.
Chatty Cathy was the second most popular doll of the 60's, after Barbie.Her voice was by June Foray, who also voiced Rocky the Squirrel from the Bullwinkle cartoon...
I'm gonna have to get me another hat.

...and countless characters in Warner Brothers and other cartoons, including Tweety Bird's owner, Granny,and Witch Hazel.
Witch Hazel with a trick or treating Bugs Bunny, before she runs off, leaving the air full of hairpins.

Granny with Tweety, who seems to be choking or something.

 Chatty Cathy went through several different hair colours and a couple of hair styles. We'll have a look at a few of these this week.She was so popular that she was given a baby sister, then a baby brother. There was a larger doll called Charmin' Chatty. (Cathy's older sister maybe?)There was also a singing version. She was even reproduced in 2001 in her regular size, which was quite a good reproduction of the original doll, and  a smaller size,which really didn't even look like her. There was also a porcelain doll  produced in 2002. I bought Ivy the 2001 repro  when she was tiny. She had loved to look at her and hear her talk in the store, but she never really played with her much once she owned her. Cathy is somewhat stiff compared to modern children's dolls.She's not cuddly at all. That may have had something to do with it.

There is a story behind this Chatty Cathy, and the doll you'll see tomorrow,her baby sister.It's another ...

  Technically it's a Garage Sale Tale, but that doesn't have the ring of 'Yard Sale Tale', so I'm gonna call them all that.

  Ken and I had been out for a day of yard saling.Late in the afternoon, about the time Ken usually starts saying 'all the good stuff will be gone by now',We went to a garage sale.The lady who was running the sale, here after to be known as TLWRTS, and her mother were sitting in their garage. On a table was a super clean near mint Chatty Cathy in her original pink peppermint striped dress. Next to her was her equally mint baby sister in her original outfit. Their brunette hair was shiny and silky and they were both in very old men's shirt bags. They had obviously been in those for years. They even had their original booklets tucked in the bags.Their price tags told a story. They had started out with fairly normal prices and had been getting marked down all day. They were now at $5 each. Oh yeah! TLWRTS and her mother explained that they had belonged to TLWRTS as a child, but that she had never really played with them, preferring her cars and trucks. The only thing they were missing was shoes and Cathy's socks. Now, as a child I received  a Chatty brother. I remember the day he came in the mail. (We lived in the middle of nowhere. We did a lot of catalogue shopping.) My mom hid his box behind the stove. When I came in and found him I took him out of his box and rolled all over the floor hugging him. I didn't roll around these ladies' garage, but I was well pleased...
  Tomorrow we'll see Cathy's baby sister.

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