About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

C is for Cabbage Patch Dolls

My younger daughter was born in 1980 and by the time she was 4 years old, the Cabbage Patch dolls were the Biggest Thing Ever!  There were riots in stores as mothers tried to purchase them for their kids and I remember trying to find two of them at Christmas in 1984 - one for her and one for her 7 year old sister.  I was finally successful and they absolutely adored those dolls, who came with names and adoption papers.  My older daughter still has hers which is named Annette and I still have the minis they produced in later years.  Younger daughter's doll was named Becky.  Here's the background to these dolls, which I never knew about.
Cabbage Patch Kids were one of the most popular toys of the 80s. Over the course of the decade, the dolls reportedly generated about $2 billion in sales.
The dolls were originally invented by a Kentucky artist named Martha Nelson Thomas. Martha first started making them in the early 70s and would "adopt" them out to family and friends.
The dolls eventually caught the eye of Xavier Roberts, a Georgia man who ran a gift shop. After Martha denied him permission to sell her dolls, he stole the design and began making his own versions.

Xavier's dolls, which each had his signature printed on the ass, became wildly successful over the next few years. Their popularity reached its peak in 1983, when shortages of the dolls over the Christmas period led to mini-riots in toy stores across the country. Martha Nelson didn't make a single penny from her creation.

In my opinion, Martha's dolls were pretty ugly, and I don't think they'd have been successful with little girls or boys.  However, Roberts had a great design and merchandising team as their dolls were so cute and simply adorable.  These are the ones from 1983:
The second on the left is the most like older daughter's and the blonde in purple beside her is most like the one I gave younger daughter. 

Currently, Jakks Pacific, the California-based toy maker that owns the Cabbage Patch Kids brand, announced a licensing agreement with footwear company Skechers, which will see the dolls wearing miniature versions of Skechers’ Twinkle Toes light up shoes, as well as backpacks and other apparel.
Here is a photo I found on Google:
They're just as cute as the ones I gave my daughters and I'd love to get one of the new ones for my granddaughter Eden.  Her 8th birthday is coming up March 3rd and they only cost $35.00 at Target.  However, older daughter just told me she doesn't like dolls!  Drat!

Tell me about your experiences with Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Consummate thanks to the captivating Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the charming Roger, our administrator.  Also, thanks go to the capable team of caring assistants who come a'visiting all the contributors to ABCW.  If you'd like to join the team, just give Roger a call (email.)


Reader Wil said...

Well I wished I had the chance to buy such dolls. They are very lovely.
Thanks for your visit. Fortunately I came home last week Monday. My neighbours do the shopping and I have a help to va cuumcleane the house and other things I am not allowed to do..
My wrist has lost its cast and my L shaped wound has to be dressed twice a day.
Well all in all it's getting better.
Wil, ABCW Team

Melody said...

Wow, indeed they were, you fetch memories back into my head ;-)
My daughter was born in 85 and she had one too ...

Thank you Leslie, see you next week round i hope
Take care

♫ M e l ☺ dy ♫

Hildred said...

I remember them well - have granddaughters who cherished them....a great marketing adventure.

Photo Cache said...

They are so adorable. When I was little I was walking dolls were my thing.


photowannabe said...

Yup, our family was in on the craze too. I didn't get crazy but each son wanted one too. They picked out their own boy dolls...who knows where they have gone to now.
I have 2 of my own that sit in our guest room. One's a baby and the other a cute yellow haired doll my sweet Hubby gave me.
The Granddaughters took the diaper off so many times from the baby that she now suffers from Droopy Drawers.

carol l mckenna said...

They were the rage and so cute ~ Great post and photos for C ~

Glad your daughters still have them ~ Never knew the history ~ sad for the woman who came up with the idea first ~ way it goes many times.

Wishing you the best in each day. ~ ^_^

ellen b. said...

Oh how I remember the crazy days of trying to buy a Cabbage Patch Doll. Each of our kids have one. I didn't know all the back information. Fun choice for the letter C!

Roger Owen Green said...

I never "GOT" CP kids. Interesting info nonetheless.


Shooting Parrots said...

I remember the hue and cry there was to get them as children's Christmas presents because they were in such high demand.

EG CameraGirl said...

Fascinating history! Too bad your granddaughter doesn't like dolls!

Janis said...

Oh yes, we were in on the Cabbage Patch madness of the 1980s too!
My Mother-in-law still has her CP doll, little Donnie David.
There is an authorized Doll adoption center in the next county over near Knott's Berry Farm where we used to take our daughter and her friends when they were little. They would bring all their CP dolls and get them "Check-ups" at the Doll Hospital, tour the shop and often buy something new for their little darlings, smart marketing and a fun day out!

Joy said...

I seem to remember them as being more squishy looking.

Carin said...

I was born in the 70's and I could not understand the younger ones and their cabbage patch dolls. :)

Indrani said...

They look incredibly cute. Great choice as gifts for kids.
Happy ABCW!

Ann said...

My 41 year old daughter still has her cabbage dolls. She has 6 or 7 of them stored in a large plastic tote. I can remember one Christmas standing in lines for hours for one!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh I remember people standing in lines for these dolls! Then I was a poor student who couldn't buy them for my kids. So, when my daughter had a daughter, she immediately bought one for her:):)

Powell River Books said...

I remember when they were all the craze and people couldn't get them at Christmas time. - Margy

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

I remember when the Cabbage Dolls were the rage, but I was still in college and had no children. However, my wife and I did get each of our girls one in the early to mid 90's, but it wasn't an issue getting one by then. The only time I had a hard time finding a Christmas gift for one of my daughters, is when the Easy Bake Oven was re-released in the 1990's. My oldest daughter wanted one badly, and I had to drive to 3-4 stores in the DFW area before I could get ahold of one. The first stores were sold out, but luckily I didn't have to tackle anyone down to purchase the one I got. It was an ordeal at the time, but both my girls enjoyed that oven for several years, and they learned to love baking. They're both real good at it. Happy bleated ABC Wednesday and Blessings!

Suzy said...

My daughter had a cabbage patch doll too but I thought they were extremely ugly. Agree, very smart marketing.

Ira said...

Never was into dolls but they do look different... You bring life to such past...