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The Great Comeback Of The Cabbage Patch Kid

2 June 2004

The Great Comeback Of The Cabbage Patch Kid

The biggest hit of the 80s is making a comeback.

The pudgy faces, stumpy arms and close-set eyes of the Cabbage Patch Kids made them the most sought-after doll in the world for years.

Now 21 years on, they’ve been given the key to the door and are about to launch themselves onto the world stage once more.

They’ll be born in New Zealand on 2 August 2004 and their Kiwi foster parents – toy distributor Planet Fun – is looking for thousands of youngsters to adopt a Cabbage
Patch Kid.

They’re also trying to find the mothers, fathers and grandparents who adopted a Cabbage Patch Kid two decades ago to talk about their beloved doll for a TV documentary.

“The thing about Cabbage Patch dolls that makes them so special is that every one is unique,” said Jeremy Kirk-Smith, director of Planet Fun.

“No two dolls are the same, so people really bond with Cabbage Patch Kids – a far cry from the mass-produced dolls of recent times.”

Mr Kirk-Smith said experts in the USA are currently monitoring the progress of the Mother Cabbage and she is expected to give birth to her new Cabbage Patch Kids on August 2nd.

“We’re sure there are many fun and interesting stories out there about the relationships people had with their Cabbage Patch Kids in the 80’s. That’s why we want Kiwis to tell us their treasured memories for a TV documentary.

Mr Kirk-Smith said people could register for the opportunity to talk in the documentary about their special friend by going to …/2

- 2 -

“Those who are featured will be given a Cabbage Patch Kid and first choice to personally pick out their doll before they go on sale.”

“Many of these people will now be parents of their own – and would love the chance to share their stories and adopt a new Cabbage Patch Kid for their own children.”

“As it’s a worldwide launch there will initially be limited numbers, so the opportunity is also being provided for people to register and be guaranteed a doll and the chance to personally select the new Cabbage Patch Kid for their child.”

Cabbage Patch Kids were the brainchild of Xavier Roberts, a sculptor and dollmaker living in Georgia, in 1979. He began "adopting" out his creations from Babyland General Hospital - hiring "doctors" and "nurses" to deliver dolls from the Cabbage Patch every few minutes. New “parents” received "official" birth certificates and adoption papers.

By 1982, his company, Original Appalachian Artworks, gained had a licensing deal and sales exploded.

The 40cm tall, soft-bodied Cabbage Patch dolls were in such high demand during the 1983 Christmas season that the US$25 Kids were "adopted" on the black market for as high as US$2,000.

Efforts to get hold of one saw fistfights break out between customers, stores holding lotteries to determine eligible purchasers and police being called to help quell near-riots. Once home, some “parents” even paid babysitters to watch their Kids when they went out.

In the first nine months, more than six million Cabbage Patch Kids were sold. By 1999, more than 95 million had been adopted worldwide.


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