Customer Reviews: Chatty Cathy Dolls: An Identification and Value Guide
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on September 1, 1999
As a major collector of Chatty Cathy dolls I have seen how the Lewis' book has impacted the collector and the collectibility of this entire classic family of Mattel talking dolls. The Lewis' have captured the heart of Chatty magic and provide collectors, old and new, with a self-assured, intelligent and comprehensive review of the six incredible years that Chatty and family were produced starting in 1960. This book does not represent that all dolls pictured are "mint". Instead Kathy and Don take us on a colorful pictorial carnival ride, showing us all the warmth, charm, detail of the original dolls as well as pointing out the very many factory variations/substitutions that make Chatty Cathy and family SO collectible...Because of the Lewis' love, hard work and dedication to this doll over the last fifteen years, they have played a particularly important role in helping to "save" many original dolls that would have been lost over time. Clearly Kathy and Don have helped to establish the modern collecting craze that has led to the re-introduction of Chatty Cathy, which continues to inspire great joy in the hearts of many collectors with the release of each "new" doll over the past two years...Here's to the year 2000 and the 40th Anniversery of Chatty Cathy!
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on November 12, 2004
I used this book in my first year of collecting and still do from time to time. I use it now mostly, to double check that an outfit is suppose to have this detail or that the correct stock number is on a box etc. In the beginning of my collecting years this book was like my "Chatty Bible". I will always recommend it to any new collector with a couple words of caution; prices are not in keeping with the fair market value and are often way undervalued and there are many variations out there not in this book. The values, while well intended, can and has led to confusion especially for the new collector. I think the word "Guide" is to be used loosely. There is no great book out on this topic that clearly depicts all the ins and outs of collecting of Chatty Cathys. This is especially true when it comes to the rarities and variations that are now uncovered. This book fell short when it came to warn this collector and many others, of the pitfalls and trickery out there used by unscrupulous sellers. However, for a small soft cover book it is great to show the basic types of Chatty Cathys and accessories. It stopped short of the authors' true potential. I believe it could have been far more comprehensive given the authors extensive knowledge and expertise.

I only recommend this book now because there is nothing else out there for the new collector except hours of web surfing to research and a few good dot com owners to help.

I also agree it is a "fun" book. I disagree with one reviewer about the condition of the dolls depicted. Many of the dolls are quite mint considering the type of doll and age. This was a doll that was toted everywhere and it's usability and appeal for children was quite high. I must add that the word "mint" is highly subjective.

All in all it's still a very good handbook or "guide" for the beginning collector as long as they know it's not a "Bible" or the last word on this topic. It is outdated yet still very useful. It's definitely worth having on your bookshelf or nightstand.
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on August 5, 1999
This is not a complete reference book, but it is excellent for those who are beginning their collection. It will help identify various editions of Chatty Cathy, outfits that were available for Chatty Cathy and her family, a few of the variations in some outfit pieces and what pieces came with each outfits. It also shows many odd pieces to look for: jewelry, patterns, tray table, furnishings, etc. There are even a couple of examples of Canadian Chatty Cathy dolls. My collecting has advanced beyond most of the scope of this book, but it still goes with me to every doll show, flea market and yard sale.
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on August 29, 1999
I have one of the largest Chatty collections known and I have to say that this book does indeed depict the correct complete outfits on the dolls and the only ones I found who's hair was trimmed were shown for their "oddness/rarity" such as eyes, fullness of hair, etc. A real collector knows that hair styles and lengths were extremely varied. The nude/played with dolls shown in this book were to ID year-by-year only. The captions explain that quite clearly. This book was printed in 1994 when the "Chatty craze" was in its infancy. As with any collectible, once it becomes popular many variations seem to appear from the deep unknown. I truly believe this book is worth the money. Unlike ALL other price guides, this one was written with an uplifting style which makes it fun to read as well as informative. A true PLUS to have with your Chatty collection.
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on September 17, 1999
I purchased the Don and Kathy Lewis book in 1994, and have used it many times over to answer my questions, look up outfits and doll variations. This was the first comprehensive Chatty Cathy doll book, and though others have been written, this one remains the most innovative and educational. No, the dolls are not all perfect, nor should they be expected to be; after all, they were intended for play, and most were.
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on September 4, 1999
I have to disagree with a previous evaluator who commented on the "cut hair" and 2 minute thought process in which he/she thought this book was written. It is refreshing to see a price guide that shows dolls in their MINT condition as well as played with. Since most dolls found today are not mint having them pictured with their respective prices makes evaluating those found that much easier. This book is enjoyable to read as it is written with humor and a very personal touch. Most guides are written with a cut-and-dry format whereas I have to found Chatty Cathy Dolls to be entertaining and extremely thorough. There is only one Chatty book I recommend and this one is it!
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on August 31, 2011
I had thought that I might get into collecting Chatty Cathy dolls, and really wanted to study the subject.
I learned quite alot. This little book is a great reference book, and a good starting point for any beginner. At the least, you will know what to look for, if purchasing these rather expensive collector dolls in the future.
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on December 18, 2007
I agree and disagree with the other reviews. I have been collecting chattys for over 15 years and have not found a better book with half as much information as this one has. It is a real price guide as it has pictures of the way the dolls will be found. Unlike some other guides, this one is not for the coffee table and full of the beautiful dolls, but rather, this book has the real thing in it. The pictures and descriptions are very easy to understand. It is concise and really quite an enjoyable book to cuddle up with in front of the fireplace. I feel this book is a strong 5 star. All of the information available at the time of printing is in there. I know. I had been a member of the chatty club and have seen most of the chatty line. Naturally, after a book is published and an item becomes popular other pieces in that line are 'discovered'. I use this word because some dolls have been manufactured from odd dolls and made into 'rare' finds. Naturally not EVERYTHING of the chatty dolls could have been put in this book since many things had not been discovered yet. Once the dolls became popular people pulled their things out of the closet and then the knowledge of their existence was made. This book covers the real thing. It is obvious that a lot of time went into this book and many collectors owe their collections to this very good book. Not to mention the fact that it went into a second printing and is no longer available except on the secondary market. I also highly recommend their other book, "Talking Toys of the 20th Century". Thank you for reading my opinion.
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on May 29, 2013
This guide was very helpful. Get the book before you purchase the doll. It has all the Chatty Cathy Dolls and the boxs that the doll came in . IDs all the dolls and markings of the different types and styles for the years they were issued. Very glad I purchased the guide.
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on July 10, 2002
The book did not address issues that I have found to be a common thread with serious collectors: rarities; care for the dolls; different dresses and what they originally came with, etc..
This may be good for a very new collector to get their feet wet in the Chatty collecting realm.
I did return the book to Amazon (thanks for the easy return).
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