In 1982, Mattel released Baby Skates. This incredible 15″ doll actually skates on her own roller skates. The box states she is “The lovable little showoff who skates all by herself.” No batteries are required. This cute companion is a wind up doll with a crank on her back. Just turn the crank clockwise, set her legs in the proper position, hold her up, push in the crank handle and off she goes! Baby Skates moves her head from side to side. She glides on one foot, then the other – just like you! Mattel hit the mark with this doll.
Recommended for ages over 4 years old, Baby Skates comes with blonde, rooted hair, blue eyes, an awesomely perky face, plus:
- elbow pads
- knee pads
- roller skates with wheels that really roll
- sporty, Adidas-looking skate shoes
- a cute pink and yellow coordinated skating outfit
Baby Skates’ instructions are relatively detailed…and cute. The instruction booklet speaks to the child, in her own voice. Beginning with, “Hi! I’m Baby Skates. And I just love to roller skate. All I need is you to get me started. Then I can skate all by myself.” That’s cool. The instructions continue:
“Please, please follow the instructions carefully. It’s easy. And if you do just what the instructions say, you’ll see how well I can skate. I sometimes fall down, because after all, I’m still learning!”
Inside the instruction booklet, Mattel has organized the step-by-step procedures for everything from preparing Baby Skates to skate, to skating, to replacing a lost or broken crank handle. (See below)
Step 1 instructs you to slide Baby Skates’ elbow pads up onto her arms – safety first, you know.
Step 2 tells you how to get the legs into the proper skating position, and reminds you that Baby Skates never skates with her hands above her head. She always looks straight ahead because that’s the safest way to skate.
Step 3 is the wind up step. Just keep on winding till the crank stops turning. “The more you wind, the more I skate.”
Step 4 is hold, push and skate time.
Step 5 tells you where Baby Skates likes to skate – smooth surfaces. Never expect her to skate on rough or grooved surfaces, and certainly not on the carpet. “I’ll fall down,” she says.
Overall, the instructions are neat, concise and complete. They include a copy of the 90-day limited warranty.
Mattel anticipated this issue up front. They knew the original crank handle might become lost or broken. Therefore, every Baby Skates comes with a spare crank handle in a little plastic bag right in the box. There’s a little flap on the instruction booklet entitled, “A LOST OR BROKEN CRANK HANDLE CAN BE A PROBLEM”. A cool narrative with pictures shows you how to replace it.
Besides the crank handle’s inclination to break or fall out due to excessive wear, an issue arose with regard to the knee pads. The original knee pads that came with Baby Skates had a tendency to split and break. Of course, this caused them to fall off. Baby Skates would have found this to be totally unacceptable – safety first, you know.
Because of the splitting knee pad issue, Mattel made replacement knee pads available for order via mail. Mattel began placing a self-addressed return card into the Baby Skates boxes. The card made replacement knee pads available free of charge. You can still find replacement knee pads for your Baby Skates today. Just do a quick online search. Ebay is one of a few places you can find them.
Baby Skates. The lovable little showoff who skates all by herself. She’s amazing!
Special thanks to ebay members cdjer2911danielle and carmsadoll for the African American Baby Skates images