Friday, November 7, 2008

Cabbage Patch Kids at 30--and 25

I suppose that I must frankly admit that my wife, not I, should really be writing this post. I was unaware of Cabbage Patch Kids on the occasion of their initial mass-production launch in 1983 (they were available only at one location in Georgia from 1978-1981) and I only gained that knowledge gradually and unwillingly--as a boy in the 1980s, if it wasn't G.I. Joe or Transformers, I didn't really want to play with it. 

But putting my childhood gender bias out of the way, I can say that these dolls have had a long and fruitful history, and they're now making something of a resurgence, partly because of the anniversary they're celebrating this year. I listed it as a dual anniversary because Xavier Roberts created the original cloth dolls in 1978, making them actually thirty years old, but the toy firm Coleco began their mass production in 1983; as far as the official festivities are concerned, that is the year that matters. To celebrate, the toy firm Play Along, which is a division of Jakks Pacific, has recreated the original line of dolls from their initial release. There's a commemorative line of clothing from Completely Independent Distribution, and other consumer items on offer. 

The dolls' wikipedia page has a good history of their production and reception. The official Cabbage Patch Kid website has a plethora of information as well, including dolls for sale and a page devoted to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the toys' marketing (which features several news stories about events and celebrations).

Finally, here is a video from CBS News about one collector feting the anniversary:

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