I knew in my four-year-old heart I wanted a talking Cricket doll. I saw the introductory commercial and was sold…on a walking Cricket doll.
Cue the deception of many gullible kids!
Previously On Retroist…
This Happened With Our Very Nostalgic Technology! – Did you ever wonder what happens when you play a talking doll tape in a conventional cassette player? Wonder no more! Also included – other interesting things our childhood technology did!
1980s Talking Dolls: They’ll All Be Talkin’ To Ya! – A look at some of our favorite 1980s talking dolls, including Cricket, and briefly mentions the topic of this article.
Caring For Cricket Doll With This Instructional Tape! – The extremely vital pack-in cassette that teaches your all about life with Cricket, as told by her and on a level a child could easily understand!
Do You Know About Cricket’s Health Care Plan? – I found my Cricket’s Health Care Plan pamphlet and care center card! Learn all about what to do if Cricket doesn’t work well, and look at one of my oldest pieces of nostalgia in my collection.
And (Previously) Over On Allison’s Written Words…
Allison’s Written Words 1000th Post Celebration: “Cricket” Double Feature (Originally published November 16, 2017): My 1000th post salute, featuring a dig into the most obscure archives, and unearthing a rare animated Cricket doll cartoon…two times over!
This Topic: Not New Nor Novel
I only share my related links because writing about/reacting to something Cricket-related is neither new nor novel for me – I’ve been there, done that, and talked about it a few times. Unfortunately, I had the hardest time finding one very specific detail/aspect about the doll – the launch commercial! I remembered it clearly, and yet, it aluded me.
But alas, it found me!
Ok, it was found for me (thanks to an ever observant Retroist reader!), but it had this awful overdubbing that made me want to scream in agony (thanks commenter Lance for sharing that horror – once I turned the volume off, it was a true treasure!). I also wanted to shake the barbarian that created this monstrosity while shouting “why?!” at them. My very geeky, very nostalgic heart knew the original version existed. It had to be out there somewhere.
To be honest, I don’t even remember what I was searching when I actually found it. I was just happy I found it. Because quite frankly, when you’re searching high and low for the exact reason you wanted to own something, you darned well better be able to find it, free of someone else being a dork about it.
Le sigh, I guess not everyone is a purist like we at Retroist are!
Anyway, how about that commercial?
Witness Walking Cricket In “Action!”
Prepare thyself, this is the moment I’d been searching for!
Upload by retrorocker
So, um…yeah. That happened.
This was Cricket’s introduction to the world. I was three (possibly four, I’m not sure when in 1986 this commercial actually began airing), and I wanted, needed, had to have Cricket. All because I saw her skip and do a pirouette.
I know what you’re thinking, and yeah, I’m thinking the same thing,..
Why was this appealing?
The answer is simple!
Little Allison Loved It!
Little Allison also couldn’t read in 1986.
Poor Little Allison. If this had only been a year later…
Ok, now there were actually two versions of this commercial – the “first original” is the same as this version, sans the disclaimer that “Doll does not walk” (extra credit to anyone that can find that version!). Unfortunately, the commercial employed a bit (ok, alot!) of false advertising by showing Cricket doing things she could not do – skipping, walking, and doing a turn while moving her arms were not part of her purpose or function.
Cricket was a big, heavy doll with the childlike intelligence of a seven-year-old, but weighed as much as a three-year-old. She was a heavy girl – trust me, I carried her down the stairs many times – and those legs couldn’t support her weight standing up…unless you held her. Believe it or not, I got plenty of practice holding her up the way you hold an infant who refuses to sit. I’d like to think this prepared me nicely for working in the infant room at daycare the summer between high school and college.
Deceptive advertising aside, I loved her. She was so much fun, for something that talked without interacting. I would change her clothing to correspond with whatever tape I played, my cousin gave her a cool ponytail, and she and her director’s chair (a gift that same Christmas!) sat nicely in my childhood bedrooms from Christmas of 1986 until (I think) early 1997, when she went to the donation bin.
Although it had been quite a few years since I’d actually played with her (and a short time where I was afraid of her, thanks in no small part to a little incident involving some dying batteries that no instruction tape could prepare you for!), she still held an important place in my heart.
Who would’ve thought it would be because of a deceptive commercial?
You sit on a director’s chair of lies, Cricket!
She can be found at allisonveneziowrites.com.You can follow her blog on Facebook (facebook.com/allisonswrittenwords), Instagram @allisonswrittenwords, and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
(Her fiancee is supportive of the whole Chris Hemsworth and Kenny Loggins love thing.)
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