Remembering When Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls were Hot Items as Gifts
Were you around to remember when the Cabbage Patch Kids were the hottest items around at Christmastime as well as other times of the year?
Every kid especially girls wanted one or more for Christmas in the early 1980s. For quite some time these were the most sought after gift for birthdays, Christmas and any other suitable gift giving occasion.
There was an absolute frenzy in the stores when new arrivals would be placed on the shelves. Tug of war fights even broke out among frazzled parents trying to get just that right Cabbage Patch Kid doll for their little one that year.
My niece and almost every one of her friends back in the 1980s became Cabbage Patch collectors of those hot items and one did not suffice. Oh no! Each one of my niece's little friends would bring armfuls of the custom dolls to each others houses and play with them.
"How many did you get for Christmas this year?" was often heard. Notes between the children would be compared and every parent, aunt and uncle, grandparent or other person giving gifts knew without a doubt what was on top of the desired wish list in those days.
Fortunately as the years passed fights would no longer break out in retail stores as the supply of those special dolls increased.
The originators of the Cabbage Patch Kids were not only creative but had sheer marketing genius! Originally called "Little People" the dolls were made of cloth and had distinctive puckered faces that were sold in craft shows.
Roger Schlaifer and his wife Susanne got the world wide distributing rights to the dolls and renamed them Cabbage Patch Kids. A story was attached to each doll. Each one was supposedly rescued from a cabbage patch and good homes had to be acquired for them just as if they were being truly adopted.
A birth certificate accompanied each Cabbage Patch Kid and production was generated in larger volume from "Babyland General Hospital" in Cleveland, Georgia to accompany the ever increasing demand.
Great marketing strategy!
While there have been different manufacturers and ownership of the Cabbage Patch Kids throughout the years including entities like Coleco, Hasbro and Mattel, the ingenious marketing continued and evolved.
Cabbage Patch Kids Accessories
Not only did my niece and other little girls want the Cabbage Patch dolls, but they also wanted to be able to change their clothes and thus a large line of Cabbage Patch Kids accessories was born.
Boy Cabbage Patch Kids were created along with girl dolls and baby dolls. My niece even had a Cabbage Patch horse that had been given to her by her daddy as a gift.
In 1983 prior to Christmas these handcrafted dolls made the front cover of Newsweek Magazine. The rush was on to get these specially made dolls for everyone's Christmas list that year!
Amazingly in all this time since those early days the toy makers have continuously been making Cabbage Patch Kids although in different mediums and sizes. I did not know when I started this post if they were still popular with youngsters today.
From those first cloth dolls to some being made of plastic and even some porcelain ones, these Cabbage Patch Kids continue to entice children into wanting them.
Older collectors who might or might not have had them when they were children also collect them for the value that grows over time.
25th Anniversary Celebration
- The fact that the 1992 U.S. Olympic team had the Cabbage Patch Kids as their official mascot did not hurt their popularity!
- Nor did the fact of a U.S. commemorative stamp being issued in 1999 hurt publicity. It helped keep these dolls in people's minds and hearts.
Song tells the story of the Cabbage Patch Kids
Are Cabbage Patch Kids on your Christmas list this year? These little darlings have provided one of the longest running successful doll franchises in American history.
While they might not have quite the hype that they did in the heyday of the 1980s when adults literally pushed and shoved their way into stores to acquire the latest and most sought after Cabbage Patch Kid, ones you purchase today just might become a hot item for collectors of the future.
Who would have thought that this craze would have lasted this long? They may now be just warm instead of red hot but they are still around and desired by your little ones and/or collectors of these iconic dolls.
Did you have a Cabbage Patch Kid when you were young?
© 2010 Peggy Woods