Casper the Talking Ghost from Mattel (1961)
Release date: 1961
Where to purchase: eBay
“My name is Casper — I’m a friendly ghost.”
Mattel released its Casper the Talking Ghost doll in 1961. The doll was based on the Casper the Friendly Ghost character created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo in the 1930s and introduced to theatrical audiences beginning in 1945.
The doll was sold in a cardboard window-style box that was printed to resemble the façade of an old house, complete with rickety window shutters. Casper was positioned in the box to appear as though looking through the window at consumers.
The doll stood approximately 16-inches tall. Casper’s body was made of a soft white woven fabric that offered a pleasant “cuddly” experience for children. The doll’s face was made of plastic featuring large eyes, rosy cheeks, and a cheerful smile.
Pulling the string located on the doll’s neck activated an internal voice box. The doll could “speak” 11 phrases, including statements such as “I’m a friendly ghost”, “Let’s play ghost”, “Come play with me”, and “I’m not afraid”. The doll’s voice was provided by June Foray, the voice actor also known for her work as Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Jokey Smurf, Natasha Fatale, and other roles.
The Casper the Talking Ghost doll was frequently promoted in television advertisements along with the Matty Mattel and Sister Belle talking dolls.
Collectors may be challenged when looking for a Casper doll in mint condition. The light colour of the doll and the plush materials used in its fabrication left it vulnerable to discolouration due to humidity, water, and light.
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