I Wuz Just Thinking: The Original Cabbage Patch Kid

 Cabbage Patch Kids, in fact, have become one of the longest-running and most successful doll franchises in the United States.

Cabbage Patch Kids, “I wuz just thinking,” as I lifted the cloth doll with the vinyl head from its box from the closet.  This large-headed doll was given to my granddaughter by my sister.  It bore the year of 2001.

Cabbage Patch Kids were a line of one-of-a-kind cloth dolls, originally made with plastic heads in 1982 and produced by Coleco Industries.  They were inspired by soft sculptured dolls sold by Xavier Roberts – registered in 1978 as “The Little People.”  Then brand was renamed Cabbage Patch Kid by Roger L. Schlaifer when he acquired the license in 1982.

Betty Mahurin Baker

Roberts had stated his kids (dolls) were not for sale but could be adopted at a greater sum of money than what the normal child’s toy was being sold in the stores.

Schlaifer came up with the story of the birth of these dolls in the cabbage patch.  He included other characters to go along with the story.  For several years, stores with jam-packed with customers trying to get one of these dolls.  There were almost rioting in the aisles to grab one of the dolls to purchase.

I recently came across an old Kilgore News Herald article where Gwen Palmer had made the statement in 1983 that she believed the Cabbage Patch Kids would be just a fad but the Barbie Doll would stay on the shelves for many years to come.  Mrs. Palmer enjoyed making and crocheting doll clothes for the Barbie size dolls, which she sold from her store, Palmers, in downtown Kilgore.

Even though Barbie has remained a major seller through the years, the Cabbage Patch Kid has made a run of it’s own.  Cabbage Patch Kids, in fact, have become one of the longest-running doll franchises in the United States.

At one Christmas party, a family reunion, we played the game of Chinese Christmas.  Each person brought a wrapped gift, and we took turns trading our gift to another or “stealing” their gifts.

That year, I had a card attached to the gift as “the Original Cabbage Patch kid.”  Enclosed was a real head of cabbage with yarn hair, with details of a face, and wrapped in a baby blanket.

My cousin, Liz, won the gift and she, along with everyone watching, just laughed and laughed when they saw that original fresh head of cabbage that was made to imitate an actual Cabbage Patch Kid.

Later, my cousin told me she thought it was so cute that she carried this gift on to the next party she attended. She heard the winner had taken “the original” on to yet another Christmas party.

I have wondered just how many parties that head of cabbage made before it began to wilt!

I’m looking at this funny faced chubby Cabbage Patch Kid, as I’m typing, as I wuz just thinking.

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