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
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
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
Little People could not be bought by a
customer but only by a prospective adoptive
Little People Babies are not manufactured but
"born" in a magical cabbage patch.
Each doll was unique, hand signed and issued in
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
In 1996 the videos The Club House and
The New Kid were released.
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
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