By Will Lee
Updated August 07, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

When the Ronettes sang the immortal words ”Baby, I love you,” were they talking about a certain boogeying computer-animated toddler? Shoulda been, because Baby Cha Cha, the sashaying imp who made a splash on Ally McBeal last winter, has gone from virtual tyke to veritable tycoon in less than a year, with merchandise spreading like diaper rash. Here’s a tally of Baby’s boom. — Will Lee

— Number of times Baby Cha Cha has appeared on Ally McBeal: 4

— Number of hits on Baby’s official website after its first appearance (in January 1998): 911,210

— Number of talk-show appearances made by Baby: 1 (The Rosie O’Donnell Show)

— Number of talk-show appearances made by McBeal’s Calista Flockhart: 2

— Number of Dancing Baby maxi singles (”Hooked on a Feeling”) sold in four weeks: nearly 300,000 (also available on the CD Dancing Baby: Rock Candy)

— Number of desktop Baby Cha Cha figures ordered by toy stores so far: 200,000 plus

— Number of Baby figures expected to be sold in ’98: 1 million

— Number of real dancing babies represented by the Screen Actors Guild: 0

— Number of Baby-themed products to be released in time for Christmas 1998: 100 plus

— Number of Ally McBeal stars who have publicly expressed irritation toward Baby Cha Cha: 1 (Peter MacNicol)

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