Originally created in 1978, the Cabbage Patch Kids and the mania that surrounded them didn't fully kick in until 1982 when the cute or spooky (depending on your perspective) looking, needle-molded fabric "Little People" (their original name) were made widely commercially available across North America. They consequently caused consumer mayhem like in the above video clip from 1983 when a riot at Zayre's department store in Wilkes-Barre, PA broke out in which shoppers had limbs broken and teeth knocked out-- all in an effort to get to these "adoptable" lil creatures. The above video (c/o of CBC's news archives) also briefly traces the history of the dolls that were created by Xavier Roberts and you can see from it how they earned the name "cabbage patch" at the "hospitals" they arrived from.
Cabbage Patch Kids became the biggest toy phenomenon of the eighties and anyone reading this most likely remembers them and the whole hysteria about them, either fondly or with disgust. Personally, I find the level of consumer mania that the manufacturer's marketing department created over these butt ugly items mind-boggling. But then, this is the USA -- home of consumerism, where people buy into the hype of fiending to be the first on the block to have something, be it Cabbage Patch Kids or Xbox or iPhone etc. etc. Of course, the fact that the Cabbage Patch Kids were marketed as being "adoptable" was a very shrewd move on the part of the manufacturers.
And remember the later fun but deliberately evil-looking spin-off of the Cabbage Patch Kids: the Garbage Pail Kids bubble gum cards? You might remember that they didn't last forever in their original design since the makers of the Cabbage Patch Kids sued them and as a result the Garbage Pail Kids had to be toned down and graphically altered so as not to resemble the "kids" anymore.
Interestingly, the Cabbage Patch Kids, which I assumed were long gone from existence, are actually still available. You can find them at Babies R Us. And you can find the original hand-stitched designs online but at a pretty expensive price -- EG, the doll below (Abbegail Erika --one of many available for "adoption") is priced at $285 + S&H. The official line is that the "Adoption Agents administer a special Oath of Adoption ceremony for adoptive parents," with "adoption fees for Originals ranging from $170 to $375 plus tax."
SHORT POPPY PIG