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Cabbage Patch Kids


The Cabbage Patch Kids

The Cabbage Patch Kids are little babies grown in a cabbage patch. Yet in the 80s they inspired grown men and women to fight like depraved animals - they started full-fledged riots - and had store employees defending themselves with whatever was handy. So what is there story? And where are they now?

Cabbage Patch Kids are little people born in a cabbage patch. Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were created in 1978 by Xavier Roberts and Debbie Morehead. The first dolls were "born" at Babyland General, a hospital (clinic) that was re-fashioned to produce the toy dolls. Babyland General is still located to this day in Cleveland, Georgia.

Cabbage Patch Kids weren't even originally called Cabbage Patch Kids - they were first called Little People. They were all cloth dolls and sold at craft shows - an inauspicious start for what would become a certified craze. Schlaifer Nance & Company negotiated a licensing agreement with Coleco and the two created an entire brand - a logo, name, backstory and everything else needed to help turn the Cabbage Patch Kids into a virtual juggernaut of the 1980s. After Coleco launched its dolls, with beautiful packaging, individualized names, and birth certificates, little girls simply could not get enough of the dolls. Who wouldn't want to adopt a doll? They were irresistible!

What was not to love? First of all, you didn't "buy" a Cabbage Patch Kid. You adopted one. The dolls were not all the same little Barbie rolled off an assembly line - each one was unique. There were dozens of color, hair and clothing combinations. They all had individual names and came with birth certificates. Little girls would then mail in a card to Coleco to officially adopt the child, and even change the name if the "proud parent" wanted to. It was a little girl dream come true.

Cabbage Patch Kids DollsHow popular did Cabbage Patch Kids get during the 1980s? During Christmastime in 1983, one of the most memorable events in shopping history occurred - Coleco did not have enough dolls to satisfy Christmas demand. The toy stores had a limited supply, Christmas was fast approaching, and up for grabs was the most popular toy in the Western world.

Unlike modern heightened demand for videogame systems like the Wii, where kids hope they'll get a system for Christmas - the situation in 1983 was much more serious. Little girls wanted and needed their dolly for Christmas and they were going to be heartbroken if they didn't get it. It's hard today to put this into perspective. If the Wii isn't in stock, you just say "hey kids, we're going to have to wait a week or two on the Nintendo". You couldn't say that in 1983 about the Cabbage Patch Kids. Your entire status as a "good parent" could be called into question if you couldn't provide your daughter with one of those cute little dolls. Little girls wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christmas more than anything else in the whole world - period. Parents were put under tremendous pressure. The strain was unbearable, shops were barren and when new stock came in - there was absolute madness. Normal, well-behaved housewives were battling it out in the toy section of K-Mart. Dads, somewhat bewildered, entered the fray. Elbows and fists were flying. People were arrested. It was crazy, but this was all normal for Christmas 1983 and the Coleco Cabbage Patch Kids. No other toy in history generated the type of frenzy that the Cabbage Patch Kids did in 1983.

The Kids are still popular today. Cabbage Patch Kids dolls are still being made, and there are TV shows, videogames and a plethora of CPK goodies available to the collector and fan. So go ahead - adopt a kid today!

Trivia: Coleco would send a birthday card to you every year after you registered your adoption with them. Also, there are two videogames for the ColecoVision based on the Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park and the educational title Picture Show.

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