Little Miss Echo
Here is some research that my sister has done on Little Miss Echo:
My sister had told me that she would like to find a reasonably priced Little Miss Echo some day. They usually go for a fair amount of money on eBay and typically don't work. I happened to be looking on eBay and saw one that wasn't much money and included the original box and original clothes. The doll still worked but was missing a finger. I shared the listing with my sister and about 2 minutes later received a message saying that my sister hoped I could replace the finger because the doll was shipping and would arrive by the end of the week! I was present when my sister opened the package. We were disappointed that the finger was indeed missing as well as the socks. The seller also noted that the recording mechanism was only working intermittently. The doll had a bit of a rattle to her.
The inside of the battery compartment was in good shape - no signs of battery corrosion. We opened the back of the doll to look at the recorder. When I did this the missing finger fell out of the doll! The seller, or previous owner, must have put the broken finger in the battery compartment to keep it safe. When the doll was moved the finger worked its way through a hole in the case and into the interior of the doll.
The recording system looked to be in perfect shape except that the magnetic tape was a little loose and the recording head appeared to be dirty. There was also some grease on the surface of a tensioning roller. I used cleaning swabs and isopropyl alcohol to clean the recording heads and wiped off the grease as best as I could. We put fresh batteries in the doll and followed the instructions. We turned the chest knob counterclockwise until we heard the beep. At that point we started talking until the beep sounded again. We turned the knob back to center. To listen to the playback, we turned the knob clockwise. The playback was fairly garbled and the tape motion was jerky. We tried to rewind the tape and take up the slack but were unsuccessful in getting the proper degree of tautness. My suspicion is that the tape got stretched over the years and would to be respliced to take up the slack. Rather than risk damaging the tape, we put the doll back together.
I used a little crazy glue to reattach the finger (I forgot to take before and after pictures of this repair). My sister cleaned the exterior surfaces. The hair was done up in a braid and tied off with rubber bands. My sister removed the rubber bands and will need to shampoo and style the hair.
I failed to find a specific patent for this doll that would allow me to figure out the problem with the tape recorder. What I did discover is that a legal battle was fought over the recording system. This link discusses the case (http://ny.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19660511_0000023.ENY.htm/qx)