Discussions on collecting Chatty Cathy dolls and more. Safe purchasing and other tips and thoughts.
Great place to tell about your Chatty Cathy doll experience. Did you have one when you were a child? Did you wish you had one?
How to get a great one now if you don't already have one.
How to fix problems with your Chatty doll or toy.
Anything Chatty Cathy is open for discussion!
Repairing Chatty Cathy’s Voice I realized there are a couple of older posts that I didn’t get notice of regarding Chatty Cathy voice repai...
Monday, September 1, 2014
More on "Franken Chattys", "Doll Artists" and Chattys for Posterity
More on Franken Chattys Out There
A Nasty Letter from a "Doll Artist"
Chattys Are for Posterity &
Why We Want Our Chattys as Original as Possible
I have been helping a disabled family member. This has taken up all my days and nights for this past year. Luckily, I still somehow find the time to sell my lovely Chatty Cathy dolls.
My family member has survived at least two severe traumatic brain injuries (Mark has TBI). It is a terrible condition, and he changed forever after his last TBI event. He is now homeless, and has several severe medical conditions, left untreated by his doctors and clinicians. They do not understand TBI at all. They see Mark as being "non-compliant" with his treatment etc. This is not the case. Most people including doctors, simply do not understand this debilitating injury.
I strongly recommend to anyone who has kids, grandkids, loves kids, or knows anyone who's had a concussion, or other head injury, to get information at www.BIA.gov. You can read how common brain injuries are, and that it is typical for TBI to go undiagnosed for years. Children who play sports, play on play equipment, or just play, can suffer a brain injury. The children who have hit their heads, or suffered a concussion, are often put in one of two camps. They are either, "incorrigible" or have "ADHD" (hyperactive attention deficit disorder). That was the case with my family member, Mark who suffers with TBI. He had a few head injuries as a boy. This put him in both of the above camps. Not much, if anything, was known about traumatic brain injuries, back in the sixties to eighties. It is only recently, that we have heard about TBI. This is because,thousands of our Soldiers, came back from our two longest wars, with traumatic brain injuries. So now we hear a bit more about it. If you have an active child in your life, I suggest checking out the Brain Injury Alliance online to educate yourself, and protect the children in your life from this disabling condition. Not all are so terrible and not all are like his. Mark died, came back three times, had no human face, his brain shifted back and forth in his skull, and his face was reconstructed from a very small photo. But, he did heal a lot. He eventually had a middle class life. But, the second brain injury, took all that away. He is getting better in some things. After his last TBI event, he did not know who he was, or who others were. Overtime, he got a little better. Somehow, his brain recovered just enough, to where he has an almost, encyclopedic knowledge of 1970's rock music, and Mel Brooks movies. The journey of recovery, for the few of us who love and care for him, as well as for Mark, still continues and he is living in a homeless shelter.
Now as to the letter I received, through an eBay messaging meant for buyers to sellers and visa versa.
I was minding my own business finally, taking some me time and checking out what was selling on eBay. First, I must say, it is not good news for the Chatty world. Anyway, I received a notification of a message from someone named "Carol". First she sounded as if she wanted to be friendly. But then, she sent a hateful, spiteful letter, disguised as an "offer of an olive branch" Mind you, this is someone I don't believe I know. I responded by asking, how could there be a need for an "olive branch", when I did not know who she was, or what she was talking about? I added that I was in the middle of a family crisis, was under too much stress, and did not have time to talk about an unknown conflict. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of posing my comment, as a question. Oh boy, was that a mistake.
Apparently, she went to my web site and read about me wanting to keep Chattys "all original". She despised the fact, that I referred to myself as, being "a purist" at heart, when it comes to Chattys I collect and sell to my clients. She let me have it with both barrels so to speak.
This woman I don't know, went on a long two page rant, about her and others out there, who "love" our Chatty Cathy's and want to "save them". She spat out her position in anger and what sounded like hate. It was upsetting as this was the first time in a long time, that I took some time out for myself. I only had a little time to decompress, before back to helping Mark through daily crisis's. I ended up upset, and even shaking a little. It was very mean-spirited. I explained, I did not have time for her, these were her issues, and I did not want to discuss what is, or is not considered "art". That is a very broad, and subjective topic. I thought the addedge of "one mans junk is another mans treasure" applied to her case. I am not telling anyone what is art. It is a very personal matter. However, to spray paint a Chatty Cathy shiny black, put in shiny strange, brown pinwheel eyes,paint on neon coral lip color (really bright), and add a spiral long wig, is a whole different discussion. As of today, every "pretty looking" Chatty on eBay, are dolls that are repainted, cute but non-Chatty Shirley Temple curly hair styles, and eyes not meant for a Chatty, or if they were, they have the wrong eyelashes in very poorly. The sellers, either only disclose that they did a "boil perm, bath and lip sealant". Mostly though, they say nothing at all about the alterations. They make changes to Chattys, and don't tell the consumers (and fellow doll lovers). Their Chattys are wearing more rouge, than a Burlesque performer. The sellers are say it's "all original". This of course drives me nuts! Therefore,I need to digress.
Ruth and Elliot Handler, Jack Ryan, Mattel, and others, made Chatty Cathy dolls in all her various forms. My thinking is, if you want to be a "doll artist" create your own doll and be one. Marie Osmond, Ashton Drake, Madame Alexander, Bob Mackie and countless others have done this. Why take a decent Chatty Cathy, and turn her into something she isn't? Then, turn around and charge a fortune for a doll that you ruined! All the while, most, don't tell the public they have swapped parts, repainted faces, and put in new eyes in etc. The Chatty sellers who do this say well, "Mattel reused parts." Yes, that is true, but that was Mattel's doll to do as they saw fit. Chatty Cathy is a trade name and belongs to Mattel.
If these folks are indeed "doll artists", why not tell everyone that they are rendering a Mattel doll, into something else entirely? Why not describe their "doll art in their auctions"?
My biggest beef, isn't about "doll art"at all. I don't care for it because, it is deceptive selling practices, it forever alters the doll and thus ruins her. I do not think one of these people who do this, think about a decade or two from now. They do not think about what happens when they are dead and gone. Years later, the doll may swap hands many times, and someone tending to an estate, or the end user, will think they have a true rarity. Then they in turn, sell an altered, sometimes awful doll for a fortune (or attempt to). It is already confusing enough and it has only been fifty years since Chattys inception. Just think, how much more confusing it is going to be decades from now. This lady told me she puts "her mark" on Chattys foot. How many people in one, twenty, fifty or a hundred years from now, are going to know, or even think to, look for a "artists' unknown mark, on a dolls foot?
I want to save Chatty Cathy dolls, warts and all, for future generations. After all, isn't this one reason why we collect these dolls? I say indeed it is. This is why I started collecting Chattys. I remembered how much I loved mine, and wanted her again after the tragedy of 9/11/01. It turns out that I was not the only one looking for my childhood doll. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, were doing the same thing. It might, just might, make us feel a bit more safe again. After all, it was such a frightening time. Remember, the colored "terror alerts"? Remember how frightening they were?
I did not realize at the time, this was why I sought out my Chatty, after so many years. I was not thinking of this at that moment in time. I read about this trend several years later. People were seeking out their long lost toys all across America, for comfort, or something familiar in a world, that had suddenly become anything but familiar.
All in all, I do not want to discuss what is or is not "doll art". I want to talk about Chatty Cathy dolls, and how to preserve them for as long we possibly can. If we find one that is bad condition, she can be helpful as a "donor" doll. This way, Chatty won't end up in landfills (one of the "artists arguments"). We can always use her for parts to get another doll talking, have a new arm, leg or even head. Say a doll has a broken eye, as long as you replace it with the exact same type of eye, that is what Mattel did.
I do not swap parts unless a record is scratched beyond repair for my guy fix it. But, I do have a very full, very deep drawer, full of Chatty limbs. I also have a few heads around too (it really creeps out new visitors, ha ha). So why save them if I do not swap parts? Maybe some day, I will find a perfect Chatty that just needs one limb or torso. Also, Chatty collectors, write and ask for limbs, torsos and the like, for their beloved childhood dolls. I suppose that is the reason. This is why I keep the parts. I keep them for all of you who, want to fix up your favorite childhood doll, to look just how you remember her.
I have my Chatty collection completed (for the most part). I have Chattys that are never to be sold. My hope is, they will go to my grandchildren, nieces, nephews, second and third cousins, and down the line. My Chattys and Mattel talking toys are not just for me. They are for posterity for my family and part of my past. Chattys capture a moment in time in our lives. This is why I want to see, and keep them as original as possible. I shouldn't have to even explain this. Most of you out there know this.
Chatty Cathy dolls were a gift from our parents, our grandparents, and Mattel's gift to all of us. She was our holiday and birthday wishes, to be proud of, to pass to our children, and in the end, for posterity...
Oh, and to all the "doll artists" changing Mattel's Chatty Cathy dolls, please think about hundred years, and two hundred years from now. How many people, that far in the future, will know an original Chatty from a non-original Chatty? How will they know? The only way they will is by looking at old books. Possibly, what you put up on the web, might still be around that far into the future. How will someone know what a Mattel Chatty Cathy is supposed to really look like? Maybe a museum curator needs to know. Maybe an anthropologist wants to know in two thousand years from now.
Yes, I am a purist at heart when it comes to my dolls that I collect and sell. Chatty Cathy's are all about the past and for posterity...
Need an Original Chatty Cathy or Mattel Talking Toy?
Give me a shout at either chattykathy00 then gmail then dot com (written this way for spiders and web crawlers), or contact me the usual email by going to my site for posterity!