It appears no licensed character was safe from the talking doll excitement of the mid 1980s.
That includes aliens from fictional planets.
I remember a time when a talking alien named ALF was a big deal. He had his own sitcom, books, toys, and even a talking doll.
And in the midst of the trend of cassette tape talkers of Worlds of Wonder and Playmates, Coleco tried its hand at making a “talker.” It wasn’t as technologically amazing (no moving mouths, no blinking eyes, and no moving body parts), but it was still worthy of a hug and a snuggle.
In 1987, Coleco released Wisecracking ALF, which said kid-friendly one-liners at the squeeze of his belly. The concept was more of humor than of story-telling charm. He existed to make three-year-olds laugh.
I’m sure it worked, too.
And when you click play, you can see exactly what I’m talking about!
Did your Teddy Ruxpin suggest raiding the fridge?
Did your cassette talker want a “high four?”
And how about a hug? Did htey want that?
Well, that was the common thread. They all wanted a non-interactive hug.
Oh, and there actually was a cassette talker version as well…
Unfortunately, a declining interest in Cabbage Patch Dolls, the Adam computer’s failure as a product, and their purchase of board game manufacturer Selchow and Righter (which happened in 1986) all led to Coleco filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1988. So it is pretty safe to say that ALF talkers (both versions) were likely as short-lived as they could possibly be.
I really hate ending these things on a low note, folks. It actually bothers me when I start off talking about what seems like a great product, only to end with “…and the company went out of business and everyone – I mean, EVERYONE – lost their jobs. The End.” I feel like The Price Is Right “You Just Lost On the Showcase Showdown” music follows me whenever I have to tell you about a company’s demise.
But if you didn’t already know about what happened to ALF, his show got cancelled in 1990, and 6 years later, they made this terrible TV movie that I remember, but never saw. And it never actually gave closure to the TV show and…
DAMMIT!!! It just happened AGAIN!!!!
Can I just go hide somewhere and pretend I don’t tell stories that bum people out?
I’m done. Maybe I won’t kill hopes and dreams on Flashback Friday.
Have a great Thursday, and…I’m so sorry!