All About Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage patch kid doll
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Do you remember Cabbage Patch Kids? Maybe you adopted one of your own as a child or were among the parents who spent hours in line trying to buy one in the 80s. They were certainly a hit, but do they have any value to the doll collector?

As popular as these huggable dolls were, Cabbage Patch Kids are not the most valuable dolls on the market. Only rare dolls have any real value to the collector. As they are introduced to a new generation, though, we may see that change.

Invention and Timeline

The Cabbage Patch dolls (also known widely as 'Cabbage Patch Kids') were created by Xavier Roberts. He began to produce the dolls through his Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia in 1979. The dolls were displayed in a hospital-like setting and were "up for adoption." Cabbage Patch Kids were an almost instant hit.

In 1982, Coleco bought the rights to mass market the dolls and Cabbage Patch Kids came to define the word "fad" in the 1980s. Every child wanted one. It seemed that every mom and dad in the United States spent frantic days searching for Cabbage Patch Kids to put under the Christmas tree. The dolls clicked with the general public because they were so ugly they were cute. They were also huggable and the adoption aspect of the dolls was something new that added to their appeal.

What goes up must come down, however, and after the boom came the bust. Cabbage Patch Kids became yesterday's news by the late 1980s. Coleco filed for bankruptcy in 1988 and in 1994, Hasbro (Mattel) took over the brand. The dolls started to get gimmicky and strayed too far from their original concept of being sweet, huggable, and adoptable.

In 2004, Play Along Toys and 4Kids Entertainment re-introduced a line of dolls that tried to return to the original concept. The re-release of the Cabbage Patch dolls was quite successful. A new generation of children begged for the dolls under their Christmas trees and Gen-Xers with fond childhood memories also bought the new Kids. Only time will tell if they will again be a lasting and influential presence on the doll scene.

Size, Materials, and Characteristics

Standard Cabbage Patch dolls run 15-16" in size. Variations of the dolls have been made in many sizes, but Cabbage Patch Kids have not changed much over the years and they are easy to recognize:

  • The dolls generally have decal features and yarn hair. They have chubby faces, arms, and legs.
  • The Cabbage Patch Kids, in their classic vintage Coleco form, had soft cloth bodies and vinyl heads.
  • The Xavier Roberts Babyland General Cabbage Patch Kids were all cloth, with cloth-sculpted faces.
  • Several all-vinyl versions were made by Hasbro and Mattel.
  • The 2004 incarnation reintroduced the classic soft cloth bodies with vinyl heads.
  • A few collector Cabbage Patch Kids have been made in porcelain.

Prices and Secondary Market

Prices for vintage Cabbage Patch Kids are generally low because so many were made by Coleco. There is, however, a huge secondary market as a quick search for Cabbage Patch Dolls on eBay will show.

  • Certain dolls, such as some "Baldies," "Red Fuzzies" (rare red yarn-like fuzzy hair), and some of the other very early Coleco dolls bring over $100.
  • Pre-Cabbage Patch Xavier Roberts dolls can bring over $1,000.
  • Most dolls sell for $10 to $30 and have not changed much from the original retail price.