#FlashbackFriday, You’re Pulling My String! (Literally)

Welcome to Flashback Friday, which never pulls your string with grand promises of it almost being the weekend.

It’s just not acceptable.

Yesterday, we watched 13-year-old Kurt Russell lay the groundwork for his future acting career while we witness him play with Agent Zero M Sonic Blaster, aka “Big Honkin’ Toy Gun.”  So we’re going to ease our way into the weekend with something slightly less…eerie.

Ok, that’s perhaps based on interpretation.  Those are not less eerie than what Kurt Russell was using for target practice.

What you’re looking at is Mattel’s “newest” (in 1961) line of talking dolls – pull the string attached to the ring, and you’ll hear one of these Creatures that Haunt Your Dreams say something to you.  Yes, for what doesn’t seem like much money these days, you too can hear one of these Night Terrors speak without moving mouths or eyes.

Because Mattel was out to terrify.

Mattel had three characters to scare – er, choose from:

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Their Boy Mascot, Matty Mattel…

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His sister, Sister Belle…

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And everyone’s favorite phantasm…Casper!

The dolls talked at the pull of a string, as these three siblings are all too happy to demonstrate for you.  They love you, they want to hear a story…and Casper’s voice echoes.  I don’t claim to know everything about Casper The Friendly Ghost, but, um…did he always sound “ghostly” and far away?

Matty Mattel was the official mascot of Mattel Toys from 1955 until 1970, and then renewed in the 1980s, and was printed in warranty information.  He was the host of Matty’s Funday Funnies from 1961 until 1963, along with his sister…Sister Belle.  The show aired on Sunday mornings and featured cartoons from the Harvey Toons library, Casper The Friendly Ghost, and Beany and Cecil.  Matty and Sister Belle dolls were in production from 1961 until 1963, while Casper was produced from 1961 until 1965.  Casper underwent a design change in 1964, when he was made from white plush (his original 1961-1963 design was made of terry cloth).  This trio had the distinction of being the first talking dolls produced since Chatty Cathy became a thing in 1960.

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But the creepiest element isn’t the fact that these dolls talk…

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It’s when the dog talks that things get weird.


While you have the choice, by clicking play, you’ll get to witness the magic of some of the earliest talking dolls on the market.

Go ahead, click.  The 55-year-old dolls can’t hurt you.

See?  Harmless.

Oh, and before I wrap this up, don’t forget…

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You can tell it’s Mattel…because it’s swell!

Flashback Friday (and its older sibling, Throwback Thursday) will return next week!




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