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Dolls

Cabbage Patch Kids - Popular children's doll created by Xavier Roberts in 1978 that quickly forced parents to push and shove at toy stores to get their hands on this highly-prized Christmas present.

Cabbage Patch Kids Record

In the winter of 1988 in West Virginia five thousand shoppers rioted in late November because the demand for Cabbage Patch Dolls exceeded supply on hand. Similar scenes were repeated across America as people trampled and assaulted other toy shoppers leaving a trail of broken arms and hospitalized customers.

Even the employees at Coleco toys who manufactured the doll had to take security measures when carrying their products to personal appearances.

Esquire magazine called the success of the doll "the greatest success story in the long history of dolls."

The Cabbage Patch Dolls (originally called "The Little People") were marketed under a special set of rules.

  • Little People are not dolls.
  • Little People could NOT be bought, but could be adopted from an Official Adoption or Placement Center.
  • Little People could not be bought by a customer but only by a prospective adoptive parent.
  • Little People Babies are not manufactured but "born" in a magical cabbage patch.

Each doll was unique, hand signed and issued in limited editions.

Cabbage Patch Kids Postage Stamp

Roberts then created the Babyland General Hospital in the town of Cleveland, Georgia modeled after a maternity ward.

By August 1976, his company (now called Original Appalachian Artworks) had employees dress in white medical uniforms as doctors and nurse to reinforce the idea that the dolls were more that just a soft sculpture polyester-filled doll with pudgy cloth faces and beady, close-set eyes.

By 1983 Cabbage Patch Kid Dolls were being manufactured by Coleco (which ultimately went bankrupt). Mattel Toys continued producing the dolls.

In 1996 the videos The Club House and The New Kid were released.

TRIVIA NOTE: The movie Jingle All the Way (1996) recreated a Cabbage Patch-like toy frenzy with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger battling other shoppers for a Christmas toy called Turbo Man.

 The same year the "Tickle Me Elmo" doll by Tyco became the craze with anxious parents paying hundreds of dollars for the vibrating little critter. The Furby doll was the big item in Christmas of 1998.


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