Saturday, October 1, 2011

Susie Scribbles; Debbie Did, Too

Susie Scribbles has written a special message.

Susie Scribbles by Wonderama Toys, Inc., ©1987 is a 26in/66.04cm battery-operated doll programmed to write. This was a very innovative doll for 1987. The doll retailed for about $70, which was a lot of money (in my mind) to spend on a child's doll or any doll for that matter.  Other than buying dolls for my daughter, I had no interest in them. 

During a visit to a local toy store in the fall of 1988, my daughter, who was 11 at the time, and I saw Susie Scribbles on display.  I briefly considered purchasing one for her as a Christmas present, but she did not seem impressed and did not express a desire for it.

Susie's body houses a cassette tape player to play the tapes designed to activate her writing mechanism. She sits in a white wooden school desk, has a writing tablet, an ink pen, and the Meet Susie Scribbles cassette tape.  Additional cassettes were sold separately.

After being bitten by the doll-collecting bug, I eventually purchased the Susie Scribbles in the early-to-mid 1990s from another collector for myself.  As a lover of the written word and a writer of it as well, I have enjoyed seeing Susie scribble.

In 1966, longing for a penpal, either domestic or international, I wrote the Boston, Massachusetts branch of the International Friendship League (IFL), an organization that, among other things, still pairs individuals as penpals. I scribbled the following letter to IFL, which they returned along with the name and address of my new 10-year-old penpal, Colleen Thompson of New Zealand.

My 1966 letter to IFL (click to enlarge)

Colleen and I corresponded for at least a year, maybe longer. I kept every letter she wrote until I left home.

I hope she enjoyed receiving my letters, learning about me and my family, my interests, and other aspects of  my young life as much as I enjoyed this from her.  She liked horses and, like mine, her penmanship wasn't the best either. 

To view a video of Susie Scribbles writing her special message, click here and press the Play arrow after the video loads.

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4 comments:

  1. Wow what a sweet story and post. I had a penal as well as a child but I didn't keep letters. That is great that you did. Thanks for sharing this lovely story. And Susie is adorable.

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  2. Thank you Georgia Girl. I'm glad you enjoyed this post. In the precomputer age, penpals were a fun connection to worlds outside our immediate ones.

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  3. Yet another Barbara Walters, tear shedding moment. "Would you please help me?" I was impressed with the doll, but after seeing that you have a letter that you wrote in 1966 in perfect condition, I am more impressed with you.

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  4. I keep saying this, but you are too funny, Vanessa.

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