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Talky Tina - Twilight Zone Prop Replica
Bif Bang Pow

Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow


I've been a huge fan of Twilight Zone my entire life. As a child of the 60's, I was too young to watch when the series originally aired from 1959 to 1964, but this was a show that was heavily syndicated in the later 60's and early 70's. My love for science fiction and fantasy can be traced back to my early viewings of this classic program, and I still believe it is one of the finest series ever to air on television.

A couple years ago, Bif Bang Pow produced the 'Mystic Seer' bobble head, and I whined back then that I'd love to have more full sized prop replicas from the show, fewer bobble heads. My prayers have been answered, and Bif Bang Pow has just released the Talky Tina doll from the 1963 episode Living Doll, and they have an actual full sized working version of the aforementioned Mystic Seer coming soon.

The big star of this episode - although not the big star yet that he would become - was Telly Savalas, but you could argue he wasn't the most important. Talky Tina was Chucky's predecessor, a doll with an attitude who knew how to back it up, and she was the real star, voiced by the great voice actress June Foray. Ms. Foray has worked on over 200 films and television shows going back to the early days of the Looney Tunes, where she is best known as Granny and Witch Hazel. Perhaps her best known role was as Rocky the Squirrel in Rock and Bullwinkle, but with credits on shows like The Simpsons, Scooby-Doo, The Chipmunks, The Smurfs, and many others, you'd be hard pressed to find a cartoon show or series in the last 60 years she hasn't touched. She was even Cindy Lou Who in the original Grinch!  She's still working at the age of 93, providing the voice of Granny in the new Looney Tunes show.

Interesting tidbit - not only did Ms. Foray do the voice of Talky Tina, but she was the voice for Mattel's Chatty Cathy doll. Chatty Cathy came first, and is cited as the inspiration for Talky Tina.
Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow
Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow
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Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow
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Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow
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Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow
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Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow
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Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow
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Packaging - ***1/2
The doll on the show came in a very plain, large box - nothing exciting there. Instead of going the screen accurate route, Bif Bang Pow wisely gave us a spiffed up box that shows the doll off well, including plenty of marketing info. It's collector friendly too, as you'd expect with something like this, and you can take Tina out for display and put her back later, no damage. The cardboard is very, very heavy high quality stuff as well, sure to stand up to shelf or storage wear.

Sculpting - ****
There's plenty of source material for them to base this doll upon - she was clearly seen through the entire episode, and there's even some very good stills of her right on the box. Putting the actual character or prop right on the box is always a gamble for the company, because it allows you to directly compare their final product.

It was a good move here, because the comparison is very favorable. The sculpted head of the doll, including the truly creepy smile and dimpled cheeks, is dead on accurate. The arms and legs are solid pieces, just as they were on the show, and the elbows have just the right bend to them. Even the hand poses are a good approximation of the screen version.

She sports rooted hair of course, and it is very well done, tight to the head and thick, properly styled with two pig tails and ribbons.

The large eyes look great, and the moving eyelids have long, high quality eyelashes.

She's a full sized 18" doll too - this isn't Barbie, this is more American Girl. The underlying body is stuffed, not sculpted, but has about the right amount of stuffing.

Paint - ****
Keep in mind that this was a black and white episode, of course, which means that exact colors can be a bit tricky to discern. In some stills Tina's hair looks dark, almost black, while in others it looks closer to brown or even red. I went back and watched the episode again, and it looks like the hair should be very dark brown.

Bif Bang Pow decided to avoid any issue around what the actual color was of the hair, eyes or dress - they did everything in grayscale to match the appearance on your black and white television at home. None of my photos of the doll are done in black and white - that's the actual colors you're seeing.

It's a little weird seeing the gray hair on a doll where you expect brown, but once I understood the look they were going for, I appreciated it a lot more.

What little actual paint work that's here is done very well, including the arched eyebrows, extra painted eyelashes, and even the small freckles.

Articulation - ***
For a true doll, she has more articulation than I was expecting. The neck has a cut joint at the top, where the head attaches, and both arms can turn at the sleeves. She also has the cool moving eyes, activated by gravity. Just like the other dolls of the 60's and 70's, Tina's eyes open and close as you lay her down or pick her up. The function works pretty well, and adds to the creep-factor. And if she winks at you...

Something that the doll did do on the show that this one does not is move her head and arms on her own. There are two keys on the back, as there were on the prop. When you wound the one key up, she talked AND her head turned side to side while her arms moved up and down. Obviously, having that feature would have made this doll perfect, but at the price point I'm not too surprised that they didn't include it.

A big surprise to me is that she can actually stand on her own, even with the soft body. What she doesn't do well is sit - the stuffing is so stiff that it's difficult to keep her bent at the waist.

Accessories - Bupkis
I won't be deducting from my overall due to the lack of accessories - I didn't expect any, since this is a prop replica and not a toy. But I thought it was worth noting in case your expectations were different.

Outfit - ***
For the most part, Tina's dress is a screen accurate duplicate. The lacy white collar, the checker patterned dress, the socks and shoes, and the various bows are matches for the original.

There's no lacy underwear though, which is actually something we see pretty clearly in the show on a couple occasions, most notable when Eric first throws her against the wall.

The back of the dress where the two keys are is slightly different as well - they didn't have velcro closures on doll clothes back then, so they had to design around the keys a bit differently.

These are pretty minor nits though, and when it comes to prop replicas, this is about as close as they normally get.

Sound Feature - ***1/2
Tina says five classic lines from her appearance on the show:

"My name is Talky Tina, and I love you very much"
"My name is Talky Tina, and I don't think I like you"
"My name is Talky Tina, and you better be nice to me"
"My name is Talky Tina, and you'll be sorry"
"My name is Talky Tina, and I'm going to kill you"

As I mentioned earlier, there are two keys on her back - one black, one silver. These are also clearly present on the doll in the show, although what the black key was for is never made clear. They turned the silver key to wind her up, but with all our fancy e-lec-tronics these days, turning the silver key to the side switches her on. Then you simple press her belly and she repeats one of the five sayings randomly.

She said far more than 5 things on the show, having a couple conversations with the poor Eric. These are the best single lines though, and make the most sense out of context of other conversations. There's one more line that might have been good - "I can take it if you can" - but even that doesn't have the same spine tingling effect when heard by itself.

These lines are all clearly right from the show's recording. You can even hear some of the other background noises on a couple of them, but it doesn't detract from their quality. They are clear and sharp, and the volume is appropriate.

Fun Factor - **
No, this isn't a toy. In fact, it creeps my wife out just to be in the same room with it. Then again, that's what it's supposed to do!

Value - **1/2
Any decent prop replica is going to run you north of $100, and Tina is no exception. Her current retail is $140, but considering that she is a full 18" doll with all the trimmings and a voice mechanism, that seems to be about right to me.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm really digging this doll - it's one of the coolest prop replicas I've seen this year, and Bif Bang Pow captured the general look appeal of the original about as well as you could expect. Sure, you could have had a couple more lines from the show, and had they gone all out (and greatly increased the price tag), you could have had moving arms and legs. But I'm very, very pleased with where they decided to draw the line.

And have no fear - I have the Mystic Seer pre-ordered as well, and I'll be reviewing that bad boy once he hits!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Bupkis
Outfit - ***
Sound Feature - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Entertainment Earth is the place to pick her up right now (she's an exclusive), where she is $140. And don't forget to order your Mystic Seer working replica while you're at it!  You can search ebay looking for a bargain as well.


Related Links -
This isn't the first Twilight Zone merchandise:

- I already mentioned the bobble head Mystic Seer.

- I checked out a great custom Rod Serling head sculpt awhile back.

- Back in 1960, the episode that aired right after Nick of Time was Eye of the Beholder, which produced some great action figures by Sideshow.

- Sideshow also did the Kanamit, the Invader, and the Gremlin from Shatner's other TZ episode.

- there's also some great stuff from Outer Limits, including the Zanti Misfits, Ikar and Ikar's Soldier, Gwyllm, the Ebonite Interogator, Andro and the Helosian.

Discussion:
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Talky Tina Twilight Zone Prop Replica by Bif Bang Pow


This product was purchased for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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