is a doll
manufactured by the Mattel
toy company from 1959 to 1965. The doll was first released in stores and appeared in television commercials beginning in 1960. Chatty Cathy celebrated her 50th birthday in 2010.
Revolutionary for its time, Chatty Cathy spoke one of eleven phrases at random when the "chatty ring" protruding from its upper back was pulled. The ring was attached to a string connected to a simple low-fidelity phonograph
record in the doll's abdomen
. The record was driven by a metal coil wound by pulling the toy's string. The doll said 11 phrases when she came on the market in 1960 such as "I love you" or "Please take me with you". Seven more phrases such as, "Let's play School" or "May I have a cookie" were added to the doll's repertoire in 1963 for a total of 18 phrases. Chatty Cathy's voice unit was designed by Jack Ryan, Mattel's head of Research and Development; Ryan had also been responsible for designing the Barbie doll
after a German doll called Bild Lili in 1959.
Originally, Chatty Cathy had blonde
hair and blue eyes. Brunette
-haired versions of the doll were introduced in 1962 and 1963 respectively; an African American
version of the doll with brown skin tones was produced those same years. In 1960, two outfits were available for the doll: one included a blue dress
with a white eyelet overblouse, panties
, blue shoes
and white socks
, and the... Read More