Monday, May 19, 2014

Doll-A-Day 139: Casper the Friendly Ghost Talking Doll, and Part Two of How I Coveted My Cousins Toys

  First of all, welcome to our new follower, Dogsmom.I hope she's reading this one, since she still has her own childhood Casper.
  Also, in case you missed it, I'm celebrating the one year blogiversary of Planet of the Dolls with a giveaway. Check out today's earlier post for details.
  Yesterday I told you about one group of my cousins, the doll they gave me,and the toys I'll always associate with them.Today's doll is one I bought because my cousins did not give me theirs. I bought this Casper at a toy show to make up for that.

Casper is a pull string talking doll, made by Mattel in 1962 I think, so he is the same age as me!

But he has less wrinkles than I do.

  His voice is supposed to sound sort of echo-y and ghostly, but these days, since he doesn't work as well as he should, it makes him harder to understand.
  He's about 15" tall, with a terry cloth body and a plastic head.

The creator of  "Toy Story" claims the character of  Woody was based on his favourite childhood toy: his talking Casper doll.

 It's the same head mold as Matty Mattel and Sister Belle.(In an eerie way, it's like seeing Matty Mattel as a ghost.Dead Matty!Yech.)

Casper the friendly ghost has, of course, been featured in cartoons, comic books,and movies. 
This Casper was cleaned up by the lady I bought him from, so he's fairly snowy white.
He's missing his red sash.

  His counterpart was owned by a different set of cousins.This group of cousins we often saw too. They lived even closer to us, so we saw them a little more often than our Kentucky cousins. These cousins were City Cousins too, but they lived in a bigger city. The oldest was a girl about a year younger than my sister, so they stuck together like glue. They were good friends and our cousin spent 2 weeks at our farm every summer.I suppose it was like going to camp for her.(Except more boring.)
   She and my sister lorded their advanced ages over me. My sister enjoyed having a partner to help her torture me, as alone she couldn't easily over power me. Though my sister is six years older than I am, she was the embodiment of the phrase '90 pound weakling'. One summer, in the midst of Monkeemania (Was there such a thing?...Emma will kill me for that one.), they chased me and held me down and gave me what they referred to as "The English Tea Torture" (as opposed to the Chinese Water Torture. We watched alot of secret agent stuff.).

 This was my punishment for not liking Davy Jones. (I'm sorry, but my Monkee of choice was Peter Tork.) It was supposed to involve slow drops of burning hot tea being dropped onto my bare stomach, but turned out to be freshly made hot tea poured all over most of my torso. It's hard to do slow, meticulous drops when target of said drops won't stop wiggling.  
   There were times though, when my sister and I worked together and the target was our cousin,her accomplice.Let's call her Easily Fooled. Easily Fooled believed most anything we told her. When we told her the clumps of grass in the chicken lot were elf houses, she believed us. Like wise the skinny tree stump we told her was a leprechaun.She was,however oblivious to our insisted pleas that there was nothing scary about the poseable Popeye doll, or umbrellas, so we used to chase her with them.Hey, one at a time. It was either the doll or the umbrella, not both at once. Although there were two of us. We could have done that. 20/20 hindsight...  Why she had this irrational fear of the Popeye doll I'll never know. He was pretty harmless looking, especially after his head fell off and Mom used it as a pin cushion.
  The other two cousins were boys. The older one was between my age, and his sister's. He was...well, we could call him 'Damien', but let's be nice and refer to him as 'Teebee', which is what his brother called him when he was too little to pronounce his name.Teebee's  friend was the kid next door who liked to kill baby birds with his slingshot.You know what I'm getting at here.The third cousin was about a month older  than I was. Let's call him Mindless Follower. He often got in trouble, and his usual excuse was, "Well but, Teebee told me to." I've often imagined him getting arrested for something and telling the judge, "Well but, Teebee told me to."(That's unfair really. Mindless Follower has never been arrested as far as I know. Teebee on the other hand...) 
Tee Bee,Easily Fooled, and Mindless Follower. And yes, look out world! Tee Bee has a gun. I have wondered if the boys' behaviour was just them over compensating for always having to wear dress pants and dress shoes. Never once saw these guys in jeans or tennis shoes.

  These cousins weren't One For All and All For One like the other set I told you about yesterday. They always struck me more as All For Me types. (Except for Mindless Follower, who was more of an "All For Whatever Teebee Says, But I'll Take Whatever is Left (Especially if no one is looking.)" . 
  Since my sister monopolised Easily Fooled, I was left to hang out with the boys. We usually played together well enough.(Although there were times I had to bail on them and go tell an adult what they were doing.)I remember playing something with them that ended up with Mindless Follower dropping my Chatty Brother doll. Chatty Brother never spoke after that. Sometimes all 5 of us even played together.
   These cousins owned a Casper doll. He lived in the giant cardboard box in the corner of the dining room that they kept their stuffed toys in. (Hey! I had the exact same toy box at my house!) Every time we visited I dug Casper out of the box and played with him. I loved him, and I always hoped they'd give him to me.But sadly, they never did. I finally found an affordable one at a toy show a couple of years ago, so now I have my own, but I still think fondly of the dirty, well-loved little guy in that cardboard box. 

Easily Fooled,my sister, holding me, (Don't let that adoring look fool you.), and Tee Bee, getting an early start at controlling Mindless Follower.Hard to believe there's only a month's difference in age between Mindless and me! 

And here we are again. My sister looks a bit overwhelmed by Mindless Follower. Not me. I'm showing him who's boss! Tee Bee looks perplexed. He must be wondering what's to become of him...

Teebee did actually give me a toy once. It was a small rubber pig. He was black and white and was one of my favourite small toys. He traveled with me once, to the house of a relative I had never met before, and haven't seen since. I don't even remember who they were. But I remember that I had three pigs with me, two rubber ones the dentist gave out (I had a lot of cavities.), and Teebee's pig, and walking around outside in the dark by myself I lost Teebee pig. I went inside and managed to get somebody's attention enough to beg a flashlight to search with. I never found him though. I hate losing things. I still think about that pig. I suppose that's related to how Fuzz and I can watch a movie where people are being shot at or chased, and be more worried that they lost their hat. "Isn't he going to go back and get his hat?!", we both cry. You have no idea how relieved we were when Billy unexpectedly showed up with Dr. Grant's hat at the end of Jurassic Park 3! 
  Join me tomorrow for Part 3.

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