Velvet and Crissy
mechanical versions of the popular Velvet and Crissy dolls were
introduced by Ideal for the 1972 Christmas season; they were carried
that year by the Christmas catalogs of the
Aldens, JCPenney, Sears (right), Spiegel, and Montgomery Ward catalog companies.
dolls are marked
between the shoulders "(c) 1972 Ideal Toy Corp./Hong Kong P/U.S. Pat.
No. 3,162,976/Other Patents Pending." The patent referred to is for the
waist- and head-turning mechanism is operated by a thin stainless steel negator
the pullstring unwinds the spring, which turns
the gears as it returns to its original shape. These springs are easy
to fold or kink if you aren't careful during the repair, but will still
straightened. The speed of the action is regulated by a silicone
governor riding in a cylinder molded into the bottom plate of the
page covers swapping gear mechanisms and replacing strings. Note that a
doll whose head barely moves during operation is not broken: Most
movement is at the waist--even new dolls only moved their heads
For instructions on how to open the torso (or just to see why the mechanism can't move the head), click here.
Untie the pullstring knot at the butterfly, or cut the string close to
the knot. This relieves tension on the spring and makes disassembly
easier and safer. Remove the two screws holding the mechanism to the
it together with your fingers, and pull it off. It'll come off easily.
To get at
the mechanism, just remove the three screws in the butt and pull it
apart; set the legs aside. The result will look like the two Look-Around Velvet mechanisms above. The one on the left
is a botched repair job. Someone disassembled it and bent the spring,
reassembled it wrong. It's still repairable, but I want to switch this
mechanism with the good one
on the right, giving the good mechanism to a doll that hasn't had a
mechanisms, taking care to insert all the axles into their proper
bearing holes, and replace the screws.
This is where the previous repairman messed up the reassembly. If you
have to pull
the spring takeup drum off its shaft, take care upon reassembly to
insert the end of
the coil spring (center) into the hole on the rim of the drum (barely
visible on the right).
Thread the pullstring through the hole in the butt, pull out several
inches of string, and clamp a pair of plastic forceps (or tape-wrapped
metal ones) onto it to hold it in place and give you some slack. Thread
it through the butterfly (pretend the cardboard above is a butterfly
with the flat side up) and tie as in the three steps above.
I didn't replace the string on this particular doll. If you need to
pullstring, this is how to tie the knot at the pullstring spool.
Original strings are 23" long, but it's okay if yours is shorter--the
won't operate quite as long. If the string is too long and the
butterfly dangles, either shorten the string or pull it out several
inches, clamp the forceps (see above) on it again, and thread it around
the pullstring spool another turn.
If you already have some on hand, Chatty
Cathy pullstring will work fine,
but original Velvet string is a
heavier 80-lb. braided dacron line
(click on "order parts," above).
© Talky Tina Press, Medford, Oregon