Friday, January 7, 2011

Sheriff Woody's Anachronistic Pull-String

While watching Toy Story 2 the other day, I starting thinking about the movie's revelation that the Sheriff Woody doll was based on a character from a show called Woody's Roundup. The show was supposed to have ran from 1950 to 1959 when it was canceled. According to Stinky Pete the Prospector, "children only wanted to play with space toys" once Sputnik launched and the space race was on.

Given this background, it can only be assumed that the pull-string equipped Woody, Jessie, and Stinky Pete dolls were manufactured in 1959 or earlier. Because I can't help but to think about such things, the thought came to me; 'did pull-string operated talking dolls even exist in the 1950s?'

After a little searching, I found that talking dolls were being made as early as the late 1800s. However, the first pull-string doll was Mattel's "Chatty Cathy", which was released in 1960. A variety of other pull-string dolls were made by Mattel in the '60s and '70s.

Of course, since Woody and the rest of the Roundup Gang are supposed to predate Chatty Cathy, a Sheriff Woody doll should be unable to say anything (at least not with the pull of a string), let alone be capable of normal human speech. Strangely, I find the fact that Toy Story 2 depicts a pull-string doll at least a year too early harder to accept than the idea that the doll is effectively alive and sentient.

1 comment:

  1. Do you have to ruin all of my great memories with your infallible logic. I think I'm going to make you sad about something you love... Hmm... I'll have to think about this one.



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