Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Baby Heather by Mattel 1987 Sometimes Had a Mind All Her Own

Baby Heather, an interactive doll by Mattel ©1987



Ninti Bower has left a new comment on your post "GabbigaleMute but Cute":

Have any one heard of the baby heather doll?.. I am looking for some information on this doll ..I recently purchase this doll on eBay, it is an 1987 Mattel interactive doll..I have a beautiful African American Heather doll that works very well.. Thank you...



In response to the the above comment requesting information about Baby Heather by Mattel 1987, I promised to write a blog post about the doll I own.


Photo of Baby Heather's entry in Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide 1820-1991 by Myla Perkins

Baby Heather is featured, described, and value assessed on page 201 in Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide 1820-1991 by Myla Perkins.  The image above illustrates her full description, which I will not retype here.  The doll was given a 1993 value of $95. 


Full view of my Baby Heather; missing are her bonnet, skirt, socks, and shoes.


I purchased my doll on the secondary market in preloved condition about 15 years ago.  She was fully operational upon arrival but either arrived with one leg broken, which is a common occurrence for these dolls, or the leg broke after arrival.  It has since been repaired using epoxy.  I did not take the time to add the multiple batteries the doll requires to work, eight size C and four AA, which are inserted in the back compartment that has a pink fabric cover, shown next.  

The top left area with square cover houses the required four AA batteries.  The on and off switch is to the right of the AA battery housing.  Baby Heather can be turned off with eyes closed, on, or off with eyes open.  There are sensors and wires underneath the white plastic disc.  The pink rectangular shaped button on the right is the "Grow Up" button -- the doll can be programmed to respond to you as a baby or as a 1-year-old.  The Enter and Set buttons are the red and gray buttons on the right.  The time can be set using these.  Their additional functions are explained below.
Not shown, Baby Heather has a sensor on her lower abdomen, underneath her pink fabric body, that activates her functions when the power button is switched on.

In some unknown location, I have a copy of the complete, multiple-page Baby Heather instructions booklet that I purchased on eBay.  I was unable to locate the instruction booklet to share the pertinent information that Ninti Bower might need.   An Internet search found the following details regarding some of the doll’s functions (they are copied below as they were written  by “Russell” in answer to another Baby Heather owner's question regarding the doll’s function:

Russell wrote:

Hi i have a baby heather and she works fine ,
hope this is some help ,
look at the back of heather
you will see two battery compartments the large1.5v box and above that a button stating grow up
press this once [to] stage baby
press again goes to 1 year old
press again goes to final stage two year old

directly below the large battery compartment
two rubber buttons
one grey one red
red means enter the programme mode
the time she first says is the time set to work on
push the grey button to change hour keep doing this till you get the desired hour to match [your] time
press red enter button
[do] this quite quickly or she will say exiting program mode

heather then instructs you
on to morning wake up time
press the grey button to enter wake up time keep doing this untill you get desired wake up time
press red enter button
heather now knows her wake up time

press red button again for night time sleeping mode ,and follow the same steps as above till you want her sleeping time press red enter her sleep time is stored
if you press the red button again she tells you her development status, baby 1year old or two years old…

…other functions
below her AA battery box the small thin batteries there is a switch
to the left it says off eyes closed
when switched to this the doll will switch off with her eyes closed
when switch is in the middle she is on and ready to play
when switched to off eyes open heather is switched off but her eyes remain open
still haven’t understood the clear round button…

under her left arm if she is facing away from you is her ticklish spot she likes that sometimes if she doesn’t she will soon let you know,
below her tummy is another sensor this is her hug sensor so if she asks for a hug gently push her tummy and she will know, heather can hear you and she will look around to hear your voice her eyes move left and right and her head turns as she working out where you are
also peek-a-boo if you’d like to play, gently place your hand over her eyes she will respond,
also horsey if she wants to play gently bounce her up and down and be careful these dolls can suffer from loose or detached legs.
other tips if she doesn’t have an original outfit pick one that won’t restrict head movements, as for feeding or hair brushing I’m working out if she does need original items or another doll item will do
have fun
Russell

1-800 Number
Additionally, Baby Heather's body tag provides the following toll-free number to call for problems or questions:  1-800-421-2887.  Whether or not this number remains valid or the folks at Mattel still have access to Baby Heather's instructions is unknown.  It is worth a try to call and ask. 

My Internet "Baby Heather" search located another site where a lengthy Baby Heather discussion has taken place among current and previous owners.  Some referred to the poor doll as being possessed due to their inability to power the doll down.  Many reported the same leg issue my doll has while several others reported their dolls' necks broke. A link to their discussions is included below under Additional Links.

See Baby Heather operate in a Baby Heather commercial here.

Working or not, flaws aside, I think Baby Heather is a cute baby doll.  It's unfortunate that Mattel did not work out the malfunctions preproduction.



Additional Links
Toys of the Eighties - Baby Heather 
Baby Heather - Do You Remember?

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18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I owned one as a child, had to have one wanted nothing more, legs never fell off or broke. That doll was amazing and before it's time , I've never to the date seen anything like it, mace my child hood awesome!! Loved my baby heather . Shame on you mattel for not continuing this doll and bettering it. They had something great. Toast to my child hood compare to the current generation,, lol they have Ipads 😃

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    2. Hi Ptrisha - Baby Heather was an advanced doll for her time. I am sure (as you can attest) that children who owned one enjoyed her to the fullest, especially those who never had a problem with the leg issue. I have been contemplating selling my doll, particularly after I recently found the copied instructions manual that came with the doll. I couldn't locate the instructions at the time this post was published. I have to buy the required batteries to see if she works before I make a final determination on whether she stays or goes.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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    3. Hi, I'm interested in buying an African American baby Heather doll. If you or anyone else is interested in selling, let me know! I always wanted one as a child! I'm 40 and still have 3 original hand stitched cabbage patch dolls that I will pass along to my daughter when she is of age to maintain!

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    4. My doll is not for sale at this time. Beyond searching for one on eBay, I cannot offer any leads at this time. Good luck in your search for Baby Heather!

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  2. The Baby Heather Commercial can be seen at this link (in case you read this post earlier and the embedded video was not included.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rdmwyhzyRk

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  3. In still form she looks quite adorable, but seeing her in that commercial makes her a tad bit Chuckie-esk. Then again, I watch way too many horror movies.

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    1. I never watched the Chucky movies and don't watch horror movies in general so interactive dolls don't creep me out. I was discussing interactive dolls with a few other doll lovers and remembered another interactive doll I own: My Real Baby. I have never removed mine from the box. This woman has three!

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  4. Baby Heather is cute. Although I don't have any interactive baby dolls in my collection, she would be one to have.

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  5. She is a cutie! She came along when dolls/toys used more of the bigger batteries. Now-a-days, you can use 3 AAA and call it a day.

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  6. Hello THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!! I just saw this today !! my Baby Heather doll has been very quiet she is still perfect! I do not play with her, maybe that is why she is still good to go..She is like new.. I would love to send you a picture of her as soon as i can ...this doll is soooo cute!!! I place all the batteries in her and she went to town started talking, head moving and her mouth does move while she is speaking to you WOW!! she is a fantastic doll!! ,was not aware they were making these type of dolls in those days wow!!..She is worth to me a whole lot..She truly a FANTASTIC DOLL!!!!! Thank you again!!......

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    1. Hello Ninti Bower - So glad you found this information helpful. I really wish I could locate my Baby Heather instructions, but what Russell wrote should help you and others who need to know her basic functions.

      I would love to see a photo of your doll. My email is located under the About Me link of this blog.

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    2. Hi, I have sent her picture to you. I hope you receive the picture, it was my third try.. My nephew had to help me! I really want you to see her.......

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    3. I did not receive the message. I sent you a message through Google+. You can message me back through there with the picture or use the email address I provided in the message. Thanks!

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  7. My parents bought me the white one with blue eyes and blond hair in 1987. The doll was quite expensive at that time at over $100. I didn't play with her too much. After a fee years, her right leg came off. I ended up putting her in footie pajamas to keep the leg attached. I was quite a hoarder and told my parents that I planned to keep all of my toys to pay for my own child's college education one day, lol. Sure enough, I've had that doll and many others for over or nearly 30 years. I would never sell her, but was curious of her worth.

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    1. Hi Kaci,

      Your doll's value will depend on its overall condition.

      The best way to determine a vintage doll's current value is to conduct an eBay search for completed auctions to see what dolls in similar condition have sold for recently on auction.

      There is a black mint in box Baby Heather listed on eBay now with a beginning bid of $99.99 and one bid has already been placed. So if the bidder follows through with the purchase, the doll will sell for at least $99.99.

      A completed Baby Heather auction search on eBay shows a white doll with box (played with) sold for only $19.99.

      Working or not, with a broken leg, your doll might have more sentimental value than monetary.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!