Hasbro Baby Alive was one of the dolls I was given in the big bag of dolls I wrote about recently. As I was cleaning her up I thought it would be interesting to look at this doll and some of her predecessors as Baby Alive has been around for quite a while.
Baby Alive was orginally produced by Kenner who released the first one in 1973. She was a sixteen inch, vinyl battery operated “eat, drink and wet” doll. Baby Alive had a moveable mouth, she came with special food which had to be mixed before being fed to her with a special spoon, then followed by a drink. After her meal Baby Alive wet herself and needed a nappy change. All the succeeding Baby Alive’s performed these and other functions.
Here is a link to a video of a Baby Alive being de-boxed.
In 1991 Kenner was taken over and became part of the Hasbro group.
In 1992 the first talking Baby Alive was produced. These dolls would say “I want to go potty.” after being fed however they were discontinued after a short time and a non speaking Baby Alive was produced while Hasbro redesigned the doll. Over time Baby Alive became more sophisticated and interactive and today’s dolls perform a range of different functions, speaking, eating, drinking, moving their arms and going to the toilet.
The doll has changed a lot in appearance over the years. I have two in my collection which I haven’t positively identified yet.
I have to admit that the Baby Alive dolls are not favourite dolls. I don’t really like their painted eyes. In fact the first one who came in a bag of other dolls has white hair and in my house that is cause enough for eviction. I bought a second one which I liked a bit better. She does not have her battery box cover so I thought another collector might not want her. I thought I should keep the white-haired doll to keep her company. Later I knitted each doll an outfit and after that I found I liked them a bit more. I guess we bonded over the knitting.
I don’t think I’m likely to bond with Hasbro Baby Alive though. She does have sleep eyes but they are overly large. I’m not attracted to the large eyes and large head that many modern dolls have. Come to think of it I’m not a fan of Hasbro dolls in general. I didn’t like Hasbro Sindy or the Jem and the Holograms dolls either. I do however like their Fur Real pets and some of the other great toys they have produced like Spirograph.
I had Baby Alive sitting in my living room for some time until I could get some Oxy 10 to try to clean the ink off her face. I was quite relieved when she was finished as I really did not enjoy looking at her. I was pleased with the Oxy 10 treatment though. I hadn’t used it on a doll before. I put it on her on Wednesday before I went to Adelaide and wiped it off when I came back the following Monday. There was still a faint mark so I re-applied it for a few more days. I can still see it very faintly, one more application would probably do the trick but she’s good enough to go back to the Op Shop now I think. I have cleaned the worst of the mess inside her battery compartment but she is still not working so I would probably have to do a bit more work to get that working again as it is quite corroded.