TNB Night Owl – Baby Secret

The Twilight Zone TV introduction. Image by CBS Television

Let’s establish a timeline. In 1959, Rod Serling was one of the most influential writers for television. He’d had a few bombshell scripts including Requiem for a Heavyweight, which was produced live in 1956 on Playhouse 90. Recognizing the potential value of great writing, he was offered his own television show. He brought some of the best fantastic fiction short-storyists on board to share screenwriting duties and created the Twilight Zone. The anthology show, featuring independent stories with no direct connection to each other save the narrator, developed a following which continues to this day.

In 1963, the series ran an episode called “Living Doll” which featured Telly Savalas as an abusive father who runs afoul of a toy doll which pledges to kill him.

It’s possible that there is no relation whatsoever between this episode and the release two years later of Baby Secret by Mattel. But when the development and production time is factored in, work on the doll likely began some time shortly after the show’s airing.

I suspect some toymaker really didn’t like kids, and was inspired.

Baby Secret wasn’t necessarily designed to murder parents, but it was an undeniably creepy toy marketed to young children. It looked like a normal little girl doll, but when a string was pulled the mouth would move and it would whisper to the child.

It had seven different phrases it would whisper: “I like to sleep with you”, “I like to whisper in the dark”, “Is anyone else awake?”, “I know a secret. Do you?”, “I want to tell you something.”, “Hold me close and whisper”, “Listen, let’s talk.” The traditional “I love you”, a standard for talking dolls, was left out of the mix.

The doll appeared in 1965… and was cancelled in 1965 due to poor sales. On the plus side, it probably made therapists in the 1970s quite a bit of money from children who slept beside dolls which, with an accidental pull in the middle of the night, could wake them up with, “Is anyone else awake?”

Question of the night: What childhood toy or game did you least enjoy?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.