Cabbage Patch Kids Turn 25

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Some of you may not even know what Cabbage Patch dolls are, but believe it or not, in the early to mid-1980's they were the must-have dolls in America, for everyone young and young at heart. This year, these weirdly cute looking dolls are celebrating their 25th anniversary.

The Cabbage Patch dolls story is actually older than 25 years. The first of these dolls or kids, as creator Xavier Roberts liked to call them, was 'born' in 1973. Known as Little People, these strange looking soft sculptures made from cloth, had round cherubic faces with closely set eyes, chubby arms and legs, and hair made from yarn. Each handcrafted doll was slightly different from the other, making them all unique.

Besides looking different, they were also marketed in a unique manner. Roberts did not sell the dolls - Instead he asked kids to 'adopt' the dolls and even made them sign adoption papers. He found that even at a steep price tag of $40 USD, the whole concept was very appealing to both parents and kids.

He then went one step further and converted a building in Cleveland, Georgia to resemble a hospital with a maternity ward. Dubbed 'Babyland General Hospital', the Little People, lay in baby wards and were attended to by nurses in uniform. Each 'baby' had a name and official adoption papers that the kids had to fill out and sign. Till today, Babyland General Hospital remains a popular tourist destination for Cabbage Patch Doll fans.

The concept became so popular that in 1982, Roberts sold the rights to mass-produce Little People to a toy company called Coleco. The new owners continued to follow the same marketing philosophy, manufacturing unique dolls, each with their own names and adoption papers. They even sent the dolls a birthday card every year.

By 1983, the dolls had become such a craze, that Coleco couldn't produce them fast enough. The holiday seasons were particularly bad, when parents lined up outside toy stores in the wee hours of the morning and than caused a stampede to get a coveted Little People doll. In fact things got so bad, that some stores had to call in the police to control the frenzy, while others held lotteries to avoid the situation. The demand peaked in 1985, when Coleco made a record $600 million USD off the sales of these dolls.

However, just like all fads, this one too died as rapidly as it had begun. By 1986 sales dropped to $250 million and a couple of years later, Coleco went out of business. Since then, there have been several companies that have tried to re-vitalize the dolls, including Hasbro, Mattel and Toys R Us - all with limited success. It was under Toys R Us that the dolls had a name change and started being called Cabbage Patch Dolls, twenty-five years ago.

However, they too sold it to Florida -based toy manufacturer, Play Along, who has managed to revive some of the cache of these dolls, particularly this year, when they are celebrating the 25th year with parties in various locations around the country. In addition to that, they have also teamed up with the original founder, Xavier Roberts, and are planning to release an unspecified number of one-of-a-kind, Cabbage Patch Dolls, made exactly the way Zavier used to make them when he started out. While Cabbage Patch Dolls may never be as popular as they used to be, with over 151 million of them adopted, we have a feeling we won't lose them completely anytime soon. To read more about the 25th year celebrations and other fun Cabbage Patch Doll news, check out their website at http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/

sources: About.com, Cabbagepatchkids.com

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62 Comments
  • kittylover111
    No thanks! My friend used to have these, they creep me out!
    • songunicorn17
      songunicorn17about 1 month
      They are not creepy I got one when I was 3 I still have her! And her name is... Big Girl Gracie... Weird huh well I WAS 3 AND I LOVE HER
    • kiki104
      kiki1043 months
      Those are kinda creepy...
      • kittylover111
        Totally agree with you, girl.
        • songunicorn17
          songunicorn17about 1 month
          THEY ARE NOT CREEPY
        • purple_peach744
          Yeah me too my grandma has some from when my mom and her sisters were little. They scare me
          • purple_peach744
            They sit on a self and have never moved for 25 or 30 years and me and my cousins with do everything to avoid them.
            • silverstream77
              silverstream77about 1 month
              That is so funny!
            • songunicorn17
              songunicorn17about 1 month
              Ok.. Now that is freaky sitting on a shelf forever and... But THEY AINT CREEPY
      • marypopcorn
        marypopcorn4 months
        Anyone else have Cabbage Patch Kids?
        • marypopcorn
          marypopcorn4 months
          Cabbage Patch Kids are so cute!!!!! I have three, two girls and a boy. The boy is dressed up like a rooster 🐓, and his name is Max. One of the girls is dressed up like a pig 🐖, and her name is Melissa, and the other girl is dressed up like a duck 🐥, and her name is Molly. SO CUTE!!!!!!!!
          • songunicorn17
            songunicorn17about 1 month
            SOO CUTE I HAVE 1 NAMED BIG GIRL GRACIE I was 3 yall
            • kittylover111
              Cute?!!!!!! I'm sorry, but I dissagree!
            • zaks
              zaksabout 1 year
              Those things are weird.
              • sokeefe_forever
                sokeefe_foreverabout 1 year
                My mom used to have one and at the homeschool co-op I babysit at, they have one of them there also.
                • bookfan2008
                  bookfan2008about 1 year
                  Cool!
                  • teagytornado101
                    teagytornado101about 1 year
                    Cool!
                    • sokeefe_forever
                      sokeefe_foreverabout 1 year
                      Well, late now, but I did comment with that on your b'day
                      • sokeefe_forever
                        sokeefe_foreverabout 1 year
                        I saw in another post, Happy birthday @teagytornado101!
                      • puppy lover 661over 2 years
                        i miss TOYRUS sooooo much
                        • wolfdog
                          wolfdogalmost 3 years
                          Too bad TOYSRUS went out of business too.