a doll hospital, and I have no experience restoring toys and dolls. What are the
I'll be able to get mine talking again?
The chances are extremely good. You are the person we write
these manuals for: We thoroughly test our instruction manuals by
distributing advance copies to doll repair novices before publication, and to the best
of our knowledge no one has ever failed to repair their doll.
My wife has had
this doll since she was little, and the possibility of ruining it
scares the heck out of me.
Understandably. We don't recommend that anyone use a doll
that's precious to them as a guinea pig, though many people have done
so successfully. Each manual gives suggestions as to which inexpensive
toys to practice on, to gain experience (and confidence) quickly and
Where can I find a [insert toy name here]?
I don't have one, but everything turns up on eBay eventually. Go to the eBay search page:
do a search for the toy. Don't assume that the seller will know the
toy's proper name or know how to spell it, and don't assume that you remember that name correctly from
your childhood. So if you're looking for a Mattel Bernie Bernard
Animal Yakker talking toy, search for "Bernie Bernard," but also do
searches like the following:
first search will lead you to every dog or puppy with the words "talk,"
"talking,"talker," "talks," etc. in the item title. The second search
will pull up every Mattel talker identified as such, including those
listed by sellers who can't spell "Mattel." You'll find a lot of toys
you aren't interested in, so put their names in the "Exclude these
words" slot on the search page and click the "Search" button again.
Keep modifying the same search until the results are as closely targeted as you
can make them.
When you're satisfied with a particular search configuration, click on "Add to Favorite Searches" then on
"Save Search." eBay will now e-mail you whenever something likely is listed,
and eventually it will be the toy you're looking for.
Who has complete talking units (or just records) for my talking toy. Is someone making them?
No one has them,
no one is making them, and no one is going to. It would cost between
$50,000 and $100,000 to retool to start making talkboxes again. That
isn't going to happen. The only source of supply for parts that I
don't carry is by cannibalizing less-valuable talkers and those too
shabby to restore. See eBay search procedures, above.
did experiment with making replacement records using a silicone mold
and casting resin, but the results were unsatisfactory. Cast records
had poor sound quality and volume, so that option seems to be out, too.
broke at least 30 years ago, and she was dunked in water (lots of
water) a couple of times when my sister washed her hair. Will it still
be possible to repair her voice, despite the water?
It's repairable, yes. The absolute worst-case scenario (which
isn't very likely at all) is that you'd need to replace the steel parts: the
needle, the clutch bearings, and the spring. Spare needles I have, and I tell
how to make bearings on the Repair FAQ page. A spring you can get
from a cheap junk talker, like a Drowsy or one of many other talking toys or
Would you please
fix my doll for me? Or could you recommend someone who will?
Sorry, no. The problem is that it takes at least a couple
of hours, spread over a couple of days, to fix a talker. If you run
into problems, or need to make or fix parts, the time involved can
expand considerably. It's difficult to do all that at a price
people would pay--and
make a living at it. That's why we've put together the kits. Some people
bought our kits are now advertising repair services on eBay and elsewhere, but I have
no way of assessing their reliability or the quality of their work.
buying the repair kit and trying to fix my doll, but I'm not sure if
manual will handle the problem. When I pull the string, it rewinds very
and the doll's voice basically sounds like a very fast, high-pitched
words are not distinguishable. I'm pretty sure the damage happened when
powder got into the voicebox holes. In your opinion, is this something
can fix, and does the kit contain everything I need to do it?
Your doll's problem is the most common pullstring talker problem,
and the talcum powder isn't what did it. When it's working right,
Cathy's voice is slowed down by a centrifugal governor, driven by a
rubber belt. When that belt breaks there's nothing to regulate the
voice speed, so you'll need to replace the belt.
You can do it.
Hundreds of people have; in fact, all those working talkers you see on eBay
were brought back to life by people who bought our kits. The kit has
all the parts and all
the instructions you need to replace that pesky governor belt.
My toy just needs
a new string, so I don't need a whole kit. Couldn't you just sell me
the one part?
Sure, but you'd be disappointed, since the repair isn't quite
as uncomplicated as it may seem at this stage. A broken string is the
most obvious problem, but when you remove the talkbox from the toy
you'll find it necessary to open the sealed device to replace the
string. The manual tells you how to open it--safely--and how to put it back together
again. (You'll also need the manual to identify in advance which talkbox
you have, so you won't create more problems by opening it incorrectly.)
The manual also will tell you how long your string should be, how many
turns it goes around the spool, and how to tie the knots on both ends.
perhaps, the manual gives you an orderly procedure to follow--to keep
yourself out of trouble--and tells how to correct unexpected problems
and problems your inexperience may create.
find that the forty-year-old rubber parts inside the
talkbox have failed, or are on the verge of doing so. A kit contains
those rubber parts, and the manual tells how to replace them.
We didn't put
together these repair kits just to gouge money out of the toy owner; the
kits simply combine the parts and information necessary to get the job
done. Believe us, you'll be happier and less frustrated with a kit.
Ask us some more questions!
© Talky Tina Press, Medford, Oregon