Although it’s more than 50 years old, the friendly-faced Chatter Phone from Fisher-Price remains a classic toy for generations of children. First released in 1961, the first Chatter Phone combined a rotary telephone with a pull toy. The original toy was constructed with a wooden base and wheels and a red plastic handset attached via a fabric cord. By the mid-1980s, Chatter Phone featured the all-plastic construction that we recognize today. Collectors are able to properly zero-in on the production date of a Chatter Phone thanks to ongoing changes to the side and back lithos over the years.
The basic function of the Chatter Phones hasn’t changed. When pulled along by a string, the phone makes a chattering noise that synchronizes with its blue eyes moving up and down. The rotary dial emitted a ringing sound when it was turned and released, so children could effectively mimic what their parents did when making a phone call in the days of pulse dialing.
Like other classic toys, the Chatter Phone enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to its cameo appearance in Pixar’s Toy Story 3. Fisher-Price re-released the vintage version of the toy in 2012 as part of its Classic toy line.
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