Cricket is a talking doll that was first unveiled in February 1986 at Toy Fair in New York. It was the first major offering by Playmates Toys, which until that time had mostly imported toys from overseas and distributed them for the U.S. market.
Cricket was designed by Larry Jones at California R & D Center. The idea was to create a talking doll, as opposed to a teddy bear or other animal such as Worlds of Wonder's Teddy Ruxpin and Mother Goose dolls. Scripts and songs were written for the doll by Robin Frederick and Jay Tverdak. Her catchphrases, including "Are we having fun or what?" and "I'll be talkin' to ya!" were written by Larry Jones. Cricket was voiced by nine-year-old Laura Mooney.
The Cricket dolls operated in similar fashion to Teddy Ruxpin, but with two-sided tapes instead of ones with sound data on one track and movement data on the other track. The doll required four "C" batteries for the player and 1 9-volt battery for the mouth movement.
Cricket was available in an African-American version as well. The African-American Cricket doll was released with two different hair styles. One featured hair identical to the Caucasian version with two curly pigtails tied with pink yarn. The other version had short curly hair with no ribbons.
Cricket arrived in a pink sweater, yellow underpants, pleated mint green skirt, yellow socks, & pink hi-top sneakers with monogrammed laces. Her sweater came in two variations, one version was knitted, the other was made of velour. Cricket also came with her 'health plan' and two tapes, one labeled Operating & Caring for Cricket, the other was unlabeled and featured songs, jokes & stories.
Book & Tapes Sets
Cricket Books were all hardcover and featured interesting facts & instructions for various crafts & activities.
- Cricket's Clubhouse
- Holiday Fun with Cricket
- Growing Up with Cricket
- Cricket Takes a Vacation
- Around the World with Cricket
- Cricket Goes to the Circus
- Cricket Visits Australia
- Cricket Visits Spain
- Camping with Cricket
- Cricket Visits the Zoo
- Cricket's Special Surprise
Outfit & Tape Sets
These sets included a tape with games, jokes & stories and a co-ordinating outfit with accessories.
- Cricket goes to the County Fair
- Time for Outdoor Fun
- Sleepy Time
- Party Time
- Indoor Play Time
- School Time
- Time for Health and Exercise
- Cricket Goes to a Wedding
- Cricket Tours the Hospital
- Cricket Kitty Shadow (Grey plush cat included)
- Cricket's Chair
- Cooking with Cricket (Included plastic utensils & recipe book)
- Cricket's Favorite Games (Board Game)
- Crickets Sneakers (Available in blue, red, purple or yellow)
Cricket had a younger brother named Corky, voiced by seven-year-old Edan Gross and released in 1987, and an older sister named Jill (voice actress currently unknown), both of whom operated in pretty much the same way. However Jill used cartridges instead of tapes & had voice recognition capabilities. In 1989, there was an inanimate, non-talking version of Jill made.
Besides the collection of books, outfits & tapes, there were also home videos, coloring books & papers dolls.