To little brothers everywhere, Chatty Cathy was like something out of The Exorcist. However, to their sisters she was a trustworthy best friend and always there if you need to, well, chat. Because, as the name goes, chatting is what Chatty Cathy does best.
All you had to do to make dearest Cathy partake in a two-way conversation, was to gently pull on the cord that came out of her back. When you were feeling down, Cathy could always make you smile by saying "I love you!" or "Let's Play House". In fact, the original Cathy doll was capable of eleven different phrases, and the later version an improved 18 phrases, which was more than enough to satisfy the conversational needs of most little girls.
But Cathy could also be demanding when she wanted to be. Occasionally, she'd bark, "Take me with you!" or "Change my clothes". If she did so, you could play the loving friend back to her and comply, or you could just give the ring another tug until she said "I love you" again. If only you could do that with real human beings!
Like many dolls of yesteryear, Cathy Chatty made it onto the wishlist of little girls at Christmas the year she was brought out. It was 1959, and her makers Mattel Toys had gone to town, providing a plethora of Cathy choices - with different eye colours, hair and wardrobe choices. Of course, this was largely by the by, as all we really wanted was to hear those dulcit tones of Ctahy (well, actually June Foray and much later, Maureen McCormick of The Brady Bunch).
In 1984, Chatty Patty emerged on the scene, and even in recent years, Chatty Cathy has been re-released in new and improved forms. Little girls like to chat, just as much as their Mummys do, and for that reason Chatty Cathy looks like she's hear to stay - unless you're going somewhere, and in which case she'd like to go too.