Chatty Cathy dolls were introduced in 1959 by Mattel
. They were conceived by Mattel co-founder Elliot Handler
, and designed by Tony Haller
, who used his own daughter as the model for the doll.
They were the first dolls to feature the innovative
voicebox (invented by Jack Ryan), with a pull string to make the doll
talk. They came in a three hair colors (brunette, blonde, and red) and two eye colors (brown, blue). There were two versions in dark skin tone as well, these are the rarest
today. There were many adorable outfits and other accessories you could purchase seperately including a bed, armoire
, and stroller
. The doll also came with an 8 page storybook
, wrist tag, shoe horn
, warranty and a numbered certificate of authority
Mattel introduced Chatty Cathy family members as well including the Charmin Chatty, Chatty Baby, Tiny Chatty Baby, Tiny Chatty Brother. A singing Chatty Cathy was also introduced.
Charmin Chatty was 24" and came with little records that could be inserted into a side slot of her torso
. The records gave her the largest vocabulary of the entire Chatty Family. She wears glasses and her face mold was much different than Chatty Cathy's. Mattel also produced the Charmin Chatty Games including; "Chatty Animal Roundup and the Chatty Animal Friends
" and "Chatty At the Fair and the Chatty Skate n Slide
The Whispering and Singing Chatty Cathy was introduced in 1969 in both fair and dark skin tones. She whispers, sings and says some of the original Chatty phrases.
The Singing Chatty Cathy sings many songs such as London Bridges
, Rock a bye Baby
, Pop goes the weasle
and also says her name. They have pinwheel blue eyes on the blondes, and green rarer brunette dolls.
Among the sayings Chatty Cathy made were:
“Please change my dress!”
“Let’s play house!”
"Where are we going?"
"I love you!"
Chatty cathy came in many body types including:
#1 Chatty was produced in 1959. She has blond or brunette pageboy, or bob hair, and a cloth covered speaker. There are no markings on her back, and her limbs are a tan color and a little thicker than the other dolls. Chatty had a soft face and said 11 different phrases.
# 2 Chatty was produced in 1960. She has blond or brunette hair in the pageboy or bob style, blue or brown decal eyes and a cloth covered speaker. She has a Mattel Patent pending mark on her back. Chatty had a soft face and said 11 different phrases.
# 3 Chatty was produced in 1961. She has blond or brown hair, page, bob, and an occasional pigtail that slipped in there, and had a hex shaped speaker with a cut out circle around it. It looked as if the cloth cover of the other two had been removed leaving the open speaker. Chatty had a hard or soft face and said 11 different phrases.
# 4 Chatty was produced in 1962. She came with blond, brunette or auburn hair, bob, page or pigtail style, and a hex speaker. This is also known as the transitional chatty whose limbs tend to turn white with age. Chatty had a hard or soft face and some said 11 phrases while others said 18. Then speaker box inside Chatty is red.
# 5 and final production was produced in 1963. She came with blond, brunette, or auburn hair, in the page, bob or pigtail style. She has a hex speaker with holes underneath. Chatty had a hard or soft face, and said 18 different phrases.
Chatty Cathy dolls were the 'must have' toy
for baby boomer girls
in the 1960's.
As with most toys from the 1960's, these dolls are now a collectors item
, and there are quite a few Chatty Chathy collectors
There are a number of books available for collectors including; "Chatty Cathy and Her Talking Friends: An Unauthorized Guide for Collectors"
by Sean Kettelkamp and "Chatty Cathy Dolls: An Identification and Value Guide"
by Kathy Lewis and Don Lewis.
Cathy has a legacy
as well, still today an overly talkative person is often referred to as a "Chatty Cathy"
You can take a peek at many Chatty Cathy's here: