Chatter Telephone

Chatter Telephone Doodlewash

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 It was originally designed to actually show little kids how to use a phone, but again, this is no longer applicable.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

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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
40 Comments
  1. Snehal Kank 2 years ago

    Tring Tring!! ☎️ Hello Charlie!! Beautiful illustration 👍🏼

  2. cindy knoke 2 years ago

    He looks alive!

  3. Jacob 2 years ago

    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!)

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob!! This was super fun to doodlewash…I loved these things. Boo to a smartphone version! I have a feeling this little guy will stick around until the last person who remembers rotary dials passes away. 😉

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        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.

      • Author

        Haha! That’s a brilliant idea! That would have been so cool!

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Well, I’m just glad I’m not alone in thinking so 😛 there’s still time, Charles!

  4. S. A. Smith, Author 2 years ago

    Soooo cute as usual. Thanks for sharing, Charlie.

  5. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    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! <3 And, heh heh…it does seem more like an alien creature now. 🙂

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Teresa! 💕😃 I liked how colorful these were so it was really fun to paint. Glad you think I captured it well!!

  6. jmnowak 2 years ago

    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! <3

    • Author

      Thanks Janina! 💕😃 Yeah, I think these little guys would have trouble distracting kids from the “magic” of smartphones. But I still think this toy is pretty darn cool!! They still sell them, it’s not to late to get one! 😉lol

      • jmnowak 2 years ago

        You’re a keen toy salesman, Charlie! I have enough toys, for the present…lol.

  7. Kari 2 years ago

    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. 😊

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! 💕😃 Yeah… Unless you’re at work, even a handset is like looking at a foreign object. The rotary dial is just pure Sci-fi! Lol Yeah…I agree… texting is my preference. And my mom and sister are the only people I talk to on the phone as well! Hehe 😉

  8. Jodi 2 years ago

    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!

    • Author

      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. 😊

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        Lol!!!

  9. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Hello?! Is this Charlie, the famous doodlewasher?! 😍 Hehe! LoVe how happy this little toy is – you painted happiness right into it! 💕🎨😄

  10. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Charlie, what a wonderful replica of the toy phone. Your painting style brings out the fun in this toy. What a different world we live in now. 😄💕

    • Author

      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.

      • Sharon Mann 2 years ago

        I agree, there too many little plastic parts to deal with, these days. 😍

  11. Teri C 2 years ago

    Another toy winner! Looks good enough to talk on! Haha

  12. Seriously, well done, Charlie! Loving all of these great toys taking me back soooo very far lol. 💛💛💛💛💛

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! ❤️😃 Yeah…it’s taking me back soooo far too and I’m starting to feel soooo old!! Hehe… which is ironic considering this project was about bringing out the kid inside. Lol

  13. Oh I love him, I forgot about the phone model, feeling sad……I never had one of those 😉….but play school did, reminiscence on paper.

    • Author

      He’s a pretty cute little creature…hehe… even though he isn’t a “real” phone anymore. Glad ya liked him!! 😃

  14. Tori 2 years ago

    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!

    • Author

      Yay! Glad you liked this Tori! 💕😃 And I know, right?! Things have changed so drastically and I guess will continue to. And now there are parents today who never used or saw an actual rotary dial phone. Hehe crap…now I just feel old. 😊

  15. jotsfromasmallapt 2 years ago

    Charlie…good grief! You wear me out! How do you find the time. WHERE do you find the time and oh…..about those toys…! Grinning…..

    • Author

      Lol!! I’ve actually been having a bit of trouble finding the time lately, so many these have been pretty fast! Hehe…but I’m committed to doing my daily sketch! 😊

  16. Cathe 2 years ago

    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!

    • Author

      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

  17. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Those googly eyes were the best! (K)

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