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What are Cabbage Patch Kids®?

A few Cabbage Patch Kids rode in a 1985 space shuttle mission.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2014
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Cabbage Patch Kids® are the design of Xavier Roberts, who first created cloth dolls with uniquely dented faces for sale at craft shows and fairs. Toy manufacturer Coleco quickly noticed their appeal, and the toys underwent some slight changes before being sold to the general public in 1983. The principal change on Roberts’ design was to make the heads out of vinyl, while keeping the soft cloth for the bodies. Cabbage Patch Kids® were marketed as unique and adoptable, prompting a storm of demand for them especially in 1983.

Coleco made the dolls until 1989, and then the design for Cabbage Patch Kids® was picked up by other companies like Mattel. Each doll had its own clothing, an adoption certificate, and slight variations in facial structure so that each was essentially "unique." Cabbage Patch Kids® were also manufactured in the Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia. This remains a popular place for visitors who want to obtain a doll for their children, and to see some of the previous collections of dolls.

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Cabbage Patch Kids® had both boy and girl dolls, perhaps reflecting the trends in the 1980s of more unisex play items for children. For a while, they remained in high demand, but their popularity gradually faded. Since other companies picked up their manufacture after the bankruptcy of Coleco, the dolls have come in and out of style. What make them particularly appealing to children are their friendly faces, and the sense that the child has “adopted” the doll. They are often a great choice for kids who might have a new sibling on the way.

There have been some interesting urban legends associated with Cabbage Patch Kids® that are relatively amusing albeit morbid. One was that children who sent dolls back to the manufacturers received a death certificate. This did not occur and has never been verified.

The charm of Cabbage Patch Kids® remains. A few rode in a 1985 space shuttle mission. The dolls played mascots for the 1992 teams from the US participating in the Olympics, and they have been celebrated as a symbol of the 1980s, appearing on US stamps. A few times, the dolls have been lampooned, as was the case with Garbage Pail Kids cards used for trading. These were relatively grotesque imitations of Cabbage Patch Kids® produced in 1985, and remain somewhat popular as collectors’ items.

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anon160671
Post 4

I have a cabbage patch doll signed with Xavier Roberts name and says 25th which is an anniversary doll, i assume. I am interested in selling her if anyone is interested. Not original clothes or box or papers.

calabama71
Post 3

@momothree: I am also a collector of Cabbage Patch Kids. I have never sold any of mine but I know some of them are valuable.

Your 25th Anniversary doll may be worth a good bit of money. There are several websites that you can go to and determine the value of your doll. They are also worth more if you have the original boxes that they came in.

cmsmith10
Post 2

It really depends on which ones you own. If you happen to have any of the soft-head Cabbage Patch Kids made by Xavier Roberts, they are in high demand, especially the ones that were made in the early 80’s. I have seen some of those go for over $500. The ones by Mattel or Coleco are not worth as much. They usually go for under $30.

momothree
Post 1

When the cabbage patch kids first came out, I went crazy and bought a ton of them. I have Cabbage Patch newborns and I even have the Cabbage Patch 25th anniversary doll. I have considered selling my collection and was wondering if anyone knows how much they are worth now?

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