Monday, March 9, 2009

Random Monday Memories

Okay - I admit it! I did have "a Cabbage Patch Moment" (or two) during the early 1980s. I stood in line to buy these "so ugly they're cute" dolls. But only once and it was a short line!

A little history ~ Cabbage Patch Kids were designed by Xavier Roberts back in 1979. They were originally handmade, soft-sculpture dolls. In 1982 Roberts sold mass-production rights to Coleco Toy. The Coleco dolls had soft bodies but vinyl heads.

"Each Cabbage Patch Kid came with its own unique name and birthday, adoption papers, and a birth certificate. And...due to random computer generation, each doll was, due to some small variation, a "one of a kind." Children loved the process of "adoption" for the dolls, where they would send the adoption papers to Coleco to adopt the dolls. Then, on the first birthday of the doll, they received a birthday card from Coleco!"
"For the first few years, Coleco couldn't produce the dolls fast enough. The marketing gimmick and television coverage combined to make sales explode starting in 1983. The doll was in short supply, and Christmases in the early 1980s saw parents scrambling to find dolls for gifts..."

In 1984, three year old Katie wanted a CPK for Christmas and we found one fairly easily. Then I decided it wouldn't be right to give one to Katie and not to Amanda ~ she was 1 1/2 ~ would she have really cared if she didn't get one!!? I thought she would...I also thought she needed the preemie style CPK. Of course that style was harder to find than the regular one ~ so the hunt began.
It took several weeks of phone calls, "We're getting a shipment in tomorrow. We'll start giving out numbers at 6am". There was no way I was doing that ~ I could wait. But as Christmas got closer 6am sounded more reasonable. But, finally, about a week before Christmas a friend of mine called and said she heard the toy store just got a shipment, I headed to the store, got in a line of about a dozen people and hoped there would be a doll for me. You didn't get to choose anything except "boy or girl". I chose a girl and I was so happy to receive a little preemie named Mimi Crupella.
Christmas morning came and Katie was very excited about her new CPK and I was right! Amanda did care - she LOVED that little preemie. She's packed away but ASAP I'll dig it out and show you all a picture of her!

This picture is from Christmas 1985! CPKs were still tough to find, but we happened upon a store full of them and each of my children received one from their Grandpa & Grandma that year! Kevin was a bit of a computer geek back then and loved the CPK with glasses. Rough & tumble Joe got a football player, it was Katie's turn to receive a little preemie and Amanda got a "big girl" doll.

Then came the patterns and Mom got to sewing outfits for these new family members!

The success of CPKs started something ~ soon you could make your own with these doll heads.
For Christmas gifts in 1986, I made 12 of these dolls. I have pictures of most of them somewhere. I'll have to track them down someday!


Shelley said...

Hi Marie,I remember those days very well. We could only afford to buy our girls the handmade ones,and that was at a big price, for each. They still have their dolls to this day......
have a blessed week...Shelley

our shabby cottage said...

I loved Cabbage Patch Dolls too - I have two of them and they are in my boys room. One is a preemie "Anika Karen" and the other an african american one "Weeja Jenni-anne". They all had such great names too! I still have the original outfits and certificates (somewhere). My Mum made matching outfits for me and Anika!