Do You Know About Cricket’s Health Care Plan?

Well, do you know about Cricket’s Health Care Plan?

Stick around…you will, probably in far more detail than you ever wanted to know!

It’s All Been Done Before…By Me!

If you’ve read some of my past articles, you’re aware that I wrote a few about 1980s talking dolls, specifically Teddy Ruxpin and Cricket. I’ve also written a behemoth article about a larger, more expansive collection of 1980s talking dolls. On a weirder tangent, I told you about the things that have happened involving our wonderful 1980s technology.

On a personal note, it is a topic I hold as dear to my nostalgic heart as Chicago, David Foster, Kenny Loggins, and 1980s commercials.

So you know it is important!

Come On Down To Cricket’s Care Center!

I love the interwebs for the vast amount of information, especially when you’re looking up an address. Of course, this is also a force for evil, but here nor there, folks.

Cricket’s Care Center (as I’ve assumed it to be) was a “doll hospital” center to repair Crickets who received far more love than her body can handle, located in Hamilton, Ohio (Butler County/Cinncinnati Metropolitan Area), on 2350 Pleasant Avenue.

Today, this location houses two cabinetry companies (Nours Custom Cabinetry and Calihan Custom Cabinets and Countertops) and a print shop, Access Envelope Inc.

Cricket’s Care Center was established in 1986, but I can’t find any information as to how long it remained open. It hasn’t been easy finding much information on this doll or anything about her.

If you sent the warranty card back, you received this super cool little packet, which included the shipping label you would use to send Cricket back, and a even super cooler Cricket Care Center card!

I can happily say that until I was five years old, my card was valid!

Cricket’s Health Care Plan

Lucky doll recipients received a pamphlet/folder with Cricket, called “Cricket’s Health Care Plan.”

The pamphlet/folder contained printed instructions as heard on the instruction tape, along with lovely visual aides on how to put in batteries, insert cassettes, and use the tape player buttons.

If you need to remember anything about caring for this doll, it is these three words: Carefully, Slowly, and Gently. I could make an inappropriate joke here, but I won’t. All Cricket asked was to have the batteries inserted carefully, her cassette inserted slowly, and her buttons pressed gently.

Also, comb her hair, don’t use hairspray or wash her hair, and clean her tape player!

Oh, and DO NOT leave the fast forward or blue buttons depressed. You do not want to experience what I did when I was little!

Video: Do You Know About Cricket’s Health Care Plan?

And if you’re super curious about the rest of this health care plan, and like the sound of my voice, click play below to watch my awesome video!

Uploaded by Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

After all that, I really wish there was more information about the Care Center itself. But this really covers some ground.

Thanks for reading (and watching)!

I’ll be talkin’ to ya!

Caring For Cricket Doll With This Instructional Tape!

But first, I’ll demonstrate how to take care of a whole other kind of cricket!

It has nothing to do with doll care.

There’s a Point In Here Somewhere…

If you grew up during the magical decade of the 1980s, and you were my age, you may have had at least one talking doll-type toy. Either that, or you saw a commercial for a talking doll. The latter probably applies if you were an older kid, and dolls were so “not your age.” And that’s ok, I was you ten years later, explaining that I was “too old” for The Baby-Sitters Club.

“I’m almost thirteen! I can’t read these books anymore, and I’m NOT seeing that movie!”

(Likely my actual words)

Anyway, the actual subject…

Talking Dolls

Talking dolls are not new ground for me in my Retroist writings (Related: Do You Know the Answer…Box? and Live Action Teddy Ruxpin…Now With More Night Terrors!). I still have a working Teddy Ruxpin (ultra creepy because his eyes don’t work, so he’s sorta catatonic). And at one time, I had a Cricket Doll. Teddy stayed in my brother’s room, Cricket in mine. Both were equally fun, played with, and loved (but not to the point of damage or disrepair).

I remember wanting Cricket as a four-year-old in 1986. In fact, I think it was this commercial that did it for me…

Uploaded by Westerleb

I’m still convinced there is a commercial where she walks.

Seriously, if anyone knows what I’m talking about, please help me find that commercial! I know it exists!

False advertising aside, I got her as a Christmas present from my that year (I have to check with my mom – I think she came from my grandparents). I also have pictures from Christmas Day. Perhaps I’ll scan it, as long as my mom can easily be cropped out (or is ok with you seeing her in the background!)

Anyway…

Instruction Manuals for Kids Who Can’t Read

An Instruction manual is required/common practice for any complex-to-operate toy. However, the real struggle when marketing these toys to the younger set is that they likely don’t read or comprehend written instructions. So someone at Playmates Toys (perhaps the creators themselves?) had the right idea in creating an instruction manual that didn’t have to be read AND spoke on the level that a child would understand.

Operating and Caring For Cricket

In addition to the story/song tape (the “Unnamed/No Theme Blue Label Tape”) included with Cricket, she came with a beige label tape called Operating & Caring for Cricket, featuring Cricket’s voice, and speaking on a child’s level to explain how to care for her.

Uploaded by BB182000

Fun fact: My Cricket had the outfit in this video (Indoor Playtime).

The care tape covers the basics – battery types, inserting batteries and cassettes, auto shut off (in play mode only), the types of buttons (“The green one turns me on, and the red one turns me off!”), proper cleaning and hair care, and two things that are REALLY bad for Cricket (“Water and DIRT!”).

You know, all the usual manual information, told on a child level. I’m pretty sure the actress liked saying Alkaline batteries (AL-KA-LIIIIINE!).

Oh, and the Yellow Fast Forward/Blue Rewind buttons? For the love of everything, press the Red Stop Button when she’s done. There’s nothing quiet nightmare fuel-inducing like waking up to the sound of the tape deck motor.

I know this from experience.

There’s Just One More Thing…

I found this tape (strangely) fascinating, and listened to it like its a normal part of the whole “Cricket Experience.” Further adding to that “fascination,” Side B of this tape worked properly in any cassette player.

Guess who listened to it in their Walkman?

I’m not above admitting my guilt, folks. It’s why you read my stuff – you pretty much expect it!

And now that you know all about how to operate Cricket doll (including using AL-KA-LINE batteries?!), get out there and operate her properly! Why? Because you want that sickeningly sweet/cute voice to terrify you for a long, long time.

Further Reading…

In May 2017, I wrote a post that demonstrates what a Cricket cassette sounds like in your standard tape deck (among other things).

This Happened With Our Very Nostalgic Technology!

I’m always trying to find out things about my beloved talking dolls.

Let’s just say that “I’ll be talkin’ to ya” about it again!

Too sickeningly cute?