Last year I compiled a list of Ten Twisted Ad Mascots that I found disturbing. But this isn’t a new phenomenon, and I recently discovered a couple of creepy commercials from the ’60s and ’70s that certainly made me wonder if they were the inspiration for the sinister toys seen in Poltergeist, Child’s Play, Magic and any number of horror movies. Were those filmmakers inspired, and perhaps traumatized, by these weird and eerie ads for little girls’ dolls back in the day? The following two clips are examples of really unnerving television spots that were meant to promote pleasurable play time, but they probably freaked a lot of kids out instead.
BABY SECRET — Listen with the volume on YouTube at a normal level. It almost sounds like the baby is saying, “I want to kill you.” Was this the real-life counterpart to Talky Tina of Twilight Zone fame?
REMCO BABY LAUGH-A-LOT — This probably inspired any number of evil cinematic dolls, including Jigsaw’s puppet Billy in the SAW series. The recorded baby laughter will give you the heebie-jeebies; even the girls initially look scared, and the narrator sounds like he’s crazy.