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 Norway.

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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  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.

  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.


  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.

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



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