The new electronic "talking" dolls love to "talk," but--like their youthful owners--they don't always "say" the right thing.
Take Worlds of Wonder's Julie. The $119 doll is supposed to "recognize" certain words, like hungry, play and sing. During a demonstration at the firm's Fremont headquarters, the doll repeatedly said she was tired when asked if she was hungry. Somewhat flustered, product manager Patty Brennan explained that this particular Julie was just a worn-out "demo" used to demonstrate the toy to retailers.
Coleco's Talking Cabbage Patch gets confused sometimes, too. The $125 doll is supposed to laugh when tickled, but when spokeswoman Helen Boehm tickled her doll's stomach, it responded, "I like standing on my head."
Boehm says the Talking Cabbage Patch dolls have special sensors that allow them to "talk" to each other. But, Boehm admits, television sets and fluorescent lights can interfere with the radio signals the dolls use to "communicate."