Tuesday, August 7, 2012
It's summer, I'm lazy, don't feel like writing anything, but just had to share with you, my faithful friends, the bare facts about a doll that used to be popular a few decades back. A doll that keeps being reissued, with refinements, I guess.
There are lots of far more graphic videos of this thing in which little girls check its diaper and find a slimy mess of ingested material (begging the question: how do you clean this thing out so it won't be full of rotting food? Does Mommy have to stick it under the tap and flush it out?) But instead I thought I'd lazily append a detailed Wikipedia entry in fairly bad English, which nevertheless gives us the basic facts of this incredible artifact.
In all the ads I saw, the doll's feces is called "whoops", "an accident", or other coy terms. My kids' childhood would have been a lot easier for me if they had produced "whoops" every day.
I apologize for the length of this, but it seemed too astonishing to touch. Just read the parts that disgust you the most.
Baby Alive is a baby doll made by Hasbro that eats, drinks, wets and in some cases messes. Its mouth moves and is supposed to be lifelike, as the brand name suggests. It was originally made and introduced by Kenner in 1973, and reintroduced by Hasbro in 2006. Today, Baby Alive is offered in Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic varieties. The newest versions include Wets & Wiggles (male or female), Sip 'N Slurp, Sip N Snooze, Pat N Burp, Baby Alive learns to potty, and baby go bye-bye.
1970s-1980sThe first Baby Alive doll was introduced by Kenner in 1973. It could be fed food packets mixed with water, and came with a bottle, diapers, and feeding spoon. The spoon would be inserted into its mouth, and a lever on its back pushed to have it chew the food. The food would move through her and end up in her diaper; this version did not speak, so you had to check the diaper a few moments after feeding. It also produced droppings and threw up regularly.
1990sIn 1992 the first talking Baby Alive doll was produced. It was fed in the same manner, but swallowed automatically without the need for a lever, and used a potty instead of a diaper. There were sensors located inside the doll to detect what stage the food was at, and trigger its voice to say "I have to go potty" or "All done now". These dolls did not sell well due to the loud gear noises and her "deep adult voice".
It was later discontinued, and a non-speaking baby was released in 1995 with snacks and juice boxes, although these came in boxes and cans rather than packets that were mixed with water. They, as opposed to modern Baby Alive doll food and juice, had names such as Yummy Juice and Baby Cherries. It only came in two versions, Baby Alive and Baby All Gone.
It appeared as a doll with blue eyes and messy curly blonde hair, not dissimilar to the modern doll, although the 1990s version seemed more traditional and less "cartoon-ey". Nowadays, Baby All Gone is fed bananas instead of cherries, and the juice is given from a bottle instead of a juice box, which saved on cardboard waste from empty boxes.
A doll was introduced called Juice & Cookies Baby Alive who could be fed juice from a box, and cookies could actually be made, when a mix was put in a triangular mould, baked and removed with a scoop. The doll drank and chewed automatically.
Speaking toddler dolls
Baby Alive Real Surprises: A doll who eats her doll food and drinks from her bottle, and then wets and messes her diaper afterwards saying "Uh-oh! I made a poo-poo" or "I made a stinky!" or "Surprise!". She talks, sucks her pacifier and sings a discordant version of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". Many people make handmade bottles, doll food and pacifiers for these dolls instead of using those designated.
Baby Alive Better Now Baby: A doll who is ill and needs treatment. She drinks water from a cup, and then wets her diaper. She is given medicine and the child can "check her up" as if they are a doctor caring for a patient.
My Baby Alive: a doll who is fed powdered doll food mixed with water and water from her bottle. She makes a belching sound, wets and messes her diaper, and then asks "Did I make a stinky?". She comes in numerous skin, eye and hair colours.