This is an old Mattel See’n’Say TV toy I bought at a thrift store to turn into an art piece. I tried to find more information, but before I took this photo there was only one other image of it online. How is this possible?

Internet searching provided no information, so I reached out to Mattel. The only thing I knew was it was from 1978. This morning I received a response:

After an extensive search by myself and my support team, we could not find any other information that is product was unique design of See n’ Say that was only produced in  1978’s [sic] and did not make into the 80’s. We didn’t make the change from the chatty pull string system to the pull lever system until 1989, so this model would have only come in the chatty pull string version.  Regrettably our cataloging of product information only goes back so far, so I could not find out what music and fun phrases it had as that information is no longer available. 

How is this possible? Does anyone remember this toy? Isn’t this how horror movies start? Person finds vintage item, no one has any memory of it, and it comes to life? 

Looks like a trip to the library is in order to try to find it in a toy collector catalog. I will be making it pretty unrecognizable, but it feels important for me to learn about this toy’s history before I start. Seems like this wild goose chase is leading up to something, I just have to figure out what.