Today we have a little doodlewash of a Fisher Price Chatter Telephone, which was their best selling toy during the 60s and 70s. The original was made of wood and soon this was changed to plastic. Over the years attempts have been made to “modernize” the design, but since phones like this no longer exist today, it’s more of an alien creature than something your mommy might use.

The phone was actually a pull toy so it was also like having a strange little pet. One of the ideas behind the design was that it encouraged toddlers to talk by mimicking what they saw their parents doing. It was originally designed to actually show little kids how to use a phone, but again, this is no longer applicable. The coolest part was when you pulled the little phone across the floor it made a chatter sound while the googly eyes moved up and down.

Though I’m not a fan of talking on any sort of phone today, back then, this was the coolest thing ever. Of course you had to imagine voices on the other end as there weren’t any there, but that was also part of the fun. When push button phones appeared, there was an attempt to change it to this, but after consumer complaints, it was returned to the rotary dial. So today, he’s a persistent and colorful reminder of just how difficult dialing a phone used to be back in the day.

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Azo Orange, Cobalt Teal, Sap Green, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Teal, Permanent Green Pale, Ultramarine Blue, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

40 replies on “Chatter Telephone

  1. Now there’s a telephone I’d be more than comfortable using, with its fancy stars and the not at all creepy face on the front😉 Wonderful doodlewash Charlie, you absolutely nailed it (as I’ve come to expect) and you’re once again making me headily nostalgic (as I’ve come to expect). Yes – when I looked them up earlier and found a modern-day smartphone version, I was quite disgruntled, but indeed, a kid would just look in bewilderment at one of these today I imagine (with or without the face on it!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully he will! And then he will surely go into a museum, so that those of the future can marvel at this incredible toy.

        I wonder if anyone ever did their real rotary phone up to look like this? Maybe I’m the only one who’d consider such a thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with your sentiment about hating to talk on the phone but it was the coolest toy ever at our tender ages.😀 You’ve got the colors so right that I swear I’m looking at the real thing and not a painting!❤ And, heh heh…it does seem more like an alien creature now.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a darling little toy! And you can pull it around with you and then sit and chat to anybody when you felt like it…I think I’d like that. No, I didn’t have one…boo-hoo! These days I see very young children, even still on their mother’s laps, playing with cellphones quite competently! Scary! Beautiful doodle, Charlie!❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a cute doodlewash! I don’t know if kids today would recognize that as a telephone! Lol. I talk to my sister and mom on the phone but otherwise I’m a much better texter. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. what an awesome doodlewash Charlie O! Love it and remember well! Do they still sell these? I imagine kids these days (did I just say “kids these days?” YIKES – a true sign of being OLD!) wouldn’t even understand what this is! You did such a beautiful job of it. Thanks again for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jodi!! ❤️😃 And yes! They do actually still sell these. I guess parents still love the nostalgia if it all. And you totally said “kids these days”…haha… I caught myself saying that the other day! Lol Yikes! Oh well…I just said screw it and grabbed my cane and hobbled along. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sharon! 💕😃 Yeah…the world has changed quite a lot since this little guy burst onto the scene. And it just keeps changing. But after this project, I’m realizing just how much cooler the toys were back then. Maybe that’s why so many are still around today.


  6. Thank you for yet another enjoyable trip down memory lane 😊 It’s hard to believe that phones have changed so much in our lifetime that children wouldn’t even now what it was!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aw, cute little phone, so vintage and cool! So well depicted in your Doodlewash Charlie. I loved the feeling of a rotary dial, how slow it was…another era. I love toys that make kids use their imagination, this was a great one with an adorable face!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cathe! This was was really fun to doodlewash! I agree…rotary dial was so much fun to use. Made it seem like you were really involved in making a call. Of course if you messed the number up at the end you had to start all over which was sometimes frustrating. 😊hehe


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