Baby's first "mobile" phone is now an actual mobile phone. The iconic Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone pull toy has been made into a working Bluetooth-connected handset for grownups. It still has a rainbow-colored rotary dial. It's got eyes that wobble when the wheels roll. But now, 60 years since it first was introduced, you can take your business calls through the big, red plastic handset.
The novelty collectable went on sale for pre-order for a short time Tuesday at Best Buy for $60, with an additional batch released for sale on Thursday. For those interested in getting one, I'm happy to report Chatter works just as you'd hope it would. I've had an early model of this smiling buddy sitting on my desk all week.
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If you are like me and broken inside from working at home way too long, then you'll be sure to love it's many delightful surprises:
The Chatter Telephone has had several looks over the years. He's gotten a bit of a facelift since his original release, and this Bluetooth model reflects the new, more rounded design.
Comparing it side-by-side with the actual pull toy ($7 on Amazon), the adult Chatter phone has more weight and is built with higher-quality materials, notably in the rotary dial and wheels. But adult Chatter is missing one major feature: There's no pull string.
This special edition phone fits right into a trend that's driving toy sales this year: grown-ups buying more toys for themselves. The Toy Association trade group calls this the "kidult" trend, and it's been fueled by the pandemic as adults turn to toys to bring some levity into their lives.
Chatter's not the only Bluetooth-enabled receiver that can tap into your childhood. There's also the Banana Phone, which, yes, is exactly what you expect. It goes for $40 on Amazon and, as I have discovered while using it, the Banana Phone is a great way to get your kids to talk to their grandparents without handing them your $1,000 smartphone. (Only downside is having it around makes me always start singing the Banana Phone song.)
So all in all, it seems to be the perfect time for Chatter to re-enter our lives. And did I mention what happens when you turn him off? He says, "Love you, bye."
We love you, too, Chatter. May you have another 60 years of teaching kids what phones used to do before apps.