Soft-Bodied Errata

The soft-bodied book was our first effort, so I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that we left a few things out:

  • First, check the Repair FAQ page.

  • It's embarrassing to admit, but it just didn't occur to us to try a detergent, instead of a solvent, to remove melted belts. Just about any dishwashing detergent or even hand soap will work, and you won't have to worry about dissolving plastic parts. I'm also told spray electrical contact cleaner is plastic safe and works well.

  • If you have a turnover doll (Baby Flip Flop, Flip Wilson/Geraldine, Humpty Dumpty, Red Riding Hood/The Wolf, Redd Foxx/Fred Sanford, or Somersalty), your talker was designed to say one set of phrases when resting on one side, and another set when turned over. A little plastic piece may have fallen out when you opened the talkbox; it's a spacer that travels up and down on a peg so that when it's down against the record the needle can only play the grooves toward the inside of the record. Turn the doll upside down and the spacer flops to the top of the box, allowing the tone arm to reach all the way to the outside of the record. To replace the piece, install the record first, then put the spacer on its peg (the peg nearest the tone arm pivot peg). The spacer's legs straddle the plastic vane attached to the peg.

  • If your toy's pull ring is secured with an aluminum ferrule instead of a knot, you can replace the ferrule with a knot without any loss of authenticity. If you'd prefer the ferrule, they're available from Talky Tina; see the "order parts" page. To install the ferrule you'll need a pair of electrician's pliers with a U-shaped slot, like this one:

    Put scotch tape in the "U" of the pliers, so the jaws don't soil the aluminum, and position the ferrule so a tiny bit of it projects from the jaws. This will duplicate one original style of crimp (though possibly not the style of crimp on the original ferrule you removed). The metal projecting from the jaws will give you a place to push on should the ferrule get stuck in the pliers.

  • If you separate the pullstring spool from the flywheel on a full-sized Mattel talker, the warnings in the manual will come true and the clutch bearings will fall out--and they don't like being found. Okay, not a problem; you'll just have to make a new set. The original bearings are .063" by 7/32". You'll need to buy a #52 drill bit, which is .064" in diameter. You can buy them separately at hobby shops or high-class tool stores. Cut three 7/32" long sections with a Dremel cutoff wheel, and round off their corners. (Even if you're only missing one, you should make a full set of three.) They live in those three notches around the axle hole of the spool; stick them in place temporarily with spit for reassembly.

    Please contact us if there are other things we've missed:

    Talky Tina Press
    607 South Holly Street
    Medford, OR 97501-3638

  • © Talky Tina Press, Medford, Oregon