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.
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
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
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
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.
What can we do now?
10) Please take me with you
have a party
May I have a cookie?
3) Give me a kiss
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
I hurt myself!
7) Please brush my hair
Please carry me
Will you play with me?
9) I love you
me a story