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Remember When Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls were Hot Items as Gifts?

Updated on March 1, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Remember When?

Were you around to remember when the Cabbage Patch Kids were the hottest items around at Christmas-time 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.

Some of my niece's cabbage patch kids.
Some of my niece's cabbage patch kids. | Source
Some of my niece's collection of Cabbage Patch Kids atop some bookshelves in her bedroom back in the 1980's.
Some of my niece's collection of Cabbage Patch Kids atop some bookshelves in her bedroom back in the 1980's. | Source

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.

Collectible Dolls

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.

Song tells the story of the Cabbage Patch Kids

25th Anniversary Celebration

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 hub 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.

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.

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!

Did you have a Cabbage Patch Kid when you were young?

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© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcome.

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

      The Cabbage Patch Kids certainly were a craze for quite a few years. Now there are probably collectors of those vintage dolls. Nice that your daughter and her cousin both got to enjoy that one special doll. Thanksgiving was nice, thanks! Hope yours was as well. Sending angels your way also!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      O yes I do. We traveled to Cleveland GA to select our very own doll. My daughter was so excited. She cared for it and loved it for many years and then passed it on to a cousin.

      What a clever idea that was...the mas produced ones just are not as cute.

      Angels are on the way to you, my friend. Hoping your Thanksgiving was wonderful ps

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      My niece certainly had her share of the Cabbage Patch Dolls when she was young. As she got older she gave many of them away to a charity thrift shop to be sold. were a Beanie Baby collector! I never went in that direction. What I collected and loved were books. Still have loads of them. Thanks for your comment and vote.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I have a Cabbage Patch doll. You don't want to know how many Beanie Babies I have!!! Interesting hub voted up.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello beingwell,

      We both learned something new. I did not know that there were Cabbage Patch cartoons. I'll bet that they are cute. Thanks for your comment and the vote up.

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