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and Mattel said, "Let's create a  doll that talks......

 

Late in the 1950's, Mattel decided to create a talking doll that would appeal to all girls of every age.  She had to look and sound just like a real little girl, so a real little girl was used as the model, from the chubbiness to the impish grin to the two little protruding teeth.  Her name was Margaret.  June Foray, who did the voice for 'Rocky the Flying Squirrel', was chosen for Chatty's voice, saying all 11 original phrases.  And in 1960, the first Chatty Cathy doll hit the stores......and history was made.

 

Chatty Cathy came in five different body styles commonly referred to as #1 (also known as the 'prototype') through #5.  The first three Chatty's had a hard body and a soft head with their hair styled in a short bob which only came in two colors, blonde or brunette.  These first three had more of a 'toddler' look to them, and their most distinguishing feature was the right pointy finger.  

 

The #1 and the #2 both had the round cloth-covered grille in front; the only difference is that the #1 had no markings on her back (they weren't added until #2).  And the only difference in the #3 is that the cloth was removed revealing the open grille with holes.  These earlier Chatty's are the ones which most resemble a little girl and which are, in my opinion, the most adorable doll ever made.  Also, if you're lucky enough to find a Chatty who is still chatting after all these years without being repaired to do so, more times than not it will be the #1, or the 'prototype', believed to be because of the mechanism used in this one's voice box.  If you go back to my welcome page, this is the doll you see on the left.  And if you look above the bear's head, you'll also see the famous 'pointy finger'.

 

In 1962, a new Chatty arrived in the stores looking a little different.  She now had a smaller, harder head, and a hexagon shaped grille in front.  Her hair had also changed.  To go with her 'older' look, Mattel gave her longer hair, so she now also came in long pig-tails in either blonde or brunette.  This body style is commonly referred to as the #4 and was made for only one year.

 

 In 1963, Chatty changed one last time.  Commonly referred to as the #5 body and deemed most desirable by many collectors, she still had the hexagon shaped grille in front but Mattel added four extra holes underneath.  She also talked more; 7 additional phrases had been added to her vocabulary for a total of 18 phrases that she now said, all of which you will find listed below.  

 

  Mattel also added a new hair color to this last Chatty; you could now buy a blonde, brunette, or auburn-haired pig-tail (the auburn-haired Chatty's are some of the most difficult to find.  It's been estimated that out of every nine Chatty's made, only one was a redhead).  This #5 is the one you see on my welcome page sitting on the right in pig-tails, a beautiful doll who has earned a place of honor in a museum.  She, too, has the right pointy finger but as you can see, these later versions were not as pronounced or as 'pointy' as the first ones.  She was my first Chatty and has a very special place in my heart.  These two dolls, which are the very first and the very last body styles Mattel made - the #1 from 1959 and the #5 from 1963 - show how they changed over the course of five years.  We loved them back then with a fierceness that's never been shown any other doll since............and we love them still.

 

 1) What can we do now?                      10) Please take me with you             
 2) Let's have a party                           11) May I have a cookie?
 3) Give me a kiss                                 12) Let's play house
 4) Let's change my dress                    13) Where are we going?
 5) Do you love me?                              14) I'm hungry
 6) I'm so tired (or I'm sleepy)            15) I hurt myself!
 7) Please brush my hair                       16) Please carry me
 8) Let's play school                             17) Will you play with me?
 9) I love you                                        18)
Tell me a story