1978: The first CPK are made
by a man named Xavier Roberts (with the help of
four women), who had discovered an old
cloth-sculpting technique and used it to create
his dolls. The first 'Kids were called
"Little People" and were made entirely
of cloth, head included. These dolls were very
popular, and Xavier created the company Original
Appalachian Artworks, Inc. (OAA)They were very
popular, and even Newsweek (also The Wall Strreet
Journal and Atlanta Weekly) published articles
about their popularity in 1981.
1982: OAA hired a licensing
company to rebrand their "Little
People", which were then renamed Caabbage
Patch Kids. A story was created to explain how
Xavier Roberts (presented as a child of ten)
discovered the Cabbage Patch Kids and the world
they lived in.
Patch Kids are first mass produced, given vinyl
heads, and introduced at the International Toy
Fair in New York. They were massively, insanely
popular, even without the publicity they got from
the likes of Newsweek, and there was a marked
shortage of the dolls, especially come Christmas.
Some parents would do anything to get one for
their kids, and there were often riots in the
stores, with people getting hurt, people stealing
dolls from kids and adults both, and other sorts
dad worked at Montgomery Ward and was able to get
me one during this popular era, and he told us
that since the CPK were not selling well
overseas, in the UK, that the company was
shipping the dolls from over there to the U.S. to
help suply the demand. People bought large
numbers of dolls to resell them at stupidly
inflated prices. The first headmolds were 1
Preemies line is produced. These dolls were 14
inches instead of the more normal 16, though the
headmolds were the same size. These Preemies are
marketed as needing "extra love"
because they were so small. At this oint it
seemed like CPK were still being treated as
babies, rather than the older 'Kids they looked
to be. Later, they introduced babies and
toddlers, reinforcing the idea that the regular
'Kids were suposed to be older...despite the
diapers they were sold with.
cereal is sold (and I seem to remember it was
really good, too--I even remember the
commercials) and a record is cut for Parker
Brothers' Music. Third Edition is produced, and
headmolds 5-9 come out. (There is no #7). There
were several specialty lines that came out, which
were regular 'Kids in different, themed outfits,
with accompanying accessories. There were Western
'Kids, Twins (fraternal and identical), World
Travelers, and Show Ponies...to go with the
Western 'Kids, one supposes.
Hands 'Kids, the ones with a thumb that has a
clip iside, are sold. Headmolds through 16 (minus
13) are also produced. More specialty lines come
out: Astronauts, All-Stars, and Circus 'Kids. A
new line with nylon hair instead of yarn are
called Cornsilk 'Kids. Babies were also
introduced, CPK dolls with a bean-bag butt, a
much smaller body, and usually with footie
were ads for Preemie twins, but they never came
1987: Talkin' 'Kids and
Splashin' 'Kids (all vinyl, usually in a bathrobe
or (possibly) a swimsuit) come out. Headmolds 17
and 18 appear, too.
1988: Toddlers come out this
year...my favorite CPK line. Grow Hair 'Kids are
also introduced. This is the year that Coleco
files for bankruptcy...OAA buys back the brand
frmo the licinsing company, and the first huge
milestone in the 'Kids' history goes into
action... (Also headmolds 19 and 20.)
1989: Coleco turns over
production to Hasbro. Early on, there were a lot
of "Transitional 'Kids", which were
dolls with leftover Coleco molds, but with Hasbro
bodies. I have one such with a poseable Hasbro
body and a #5 Coleco headmold.
Designer Line came out, and headmolds 30, 36, 44,
and 45 come out. Babyland and Sippin' Babies came
out, as well as an Asian 'Kid type. CK
"Friend" Sets sold--a regular 'Kid and
a Toddler packaged together.
1990: Poseable 'Kids come
out. Before, if you wanted to pose a cloth 'Kid,
you had to buy the poseable long underwear, which
was a jumpsuit with thick wire inside. The
Poseable 'Kids had the wires inside their bodies.
Their arms and legs tend to be noticeably thicker
than regular 'Kids because of this.
also continued the (bean butt) Babies line.
after this is incomplete and sketchy. But I shall
do my best!
1991: Pretty Crimp and Curl
CPK are sold--their hair is wiry and holds its
form. Iffy on the year for this one, but the one
I have has 1991 on its tag. Later on,
"Easy" Crimp 'n' Curl 'Kids are
sold--10" dolls meant for smaller hands.
'Kids, which are 12" dolls like the Toddler
'Kids, also came out, as well as My Own Baby.
'N' Curl Ponies and Splash 'N' Tan'Kids come out.
(I love the Splash 'N' Tans.) Also Olympic
'Kids...official Olympics mascots.
Mae, a special edition CPK is released for the
tenth anniversary. Ruff 'N' Tuff 'Kids, and
all-boy line, also came out.
takes over CPK