Cabbage Patch Kids and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were two of the biggest selling toys of the 80s-
VH1 said it best, we love the ’80s. Even though most of us were too young to remember any first hand details, we still feel a bit of nostalgia for the decade that made neon colors, shoulder pads and puffy hair popular.
The 1980s introduced us to Molly Ringwald, Pop Rocks candy and Cyndi Lauper. The decade also saw the creation of some of the most popular toys of our generation including Care Bears, Space Invader arcade game, Rainbow Brite, Cabbage Patch Kids and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Cabbage Patch Kids were created in the late 1970s when creator Xavier Roberts hand stitched each doll and sold them himself. Soon demand had become too high for the dolls with round vinyl heads and soft fabric bodies and Roberts allowed the dolls to be mass produced in 1982.
In just over a year, Cabbage Patch mania had taken over the country. For several Christmases’ the dolls were the must-have item, forcing parents to stand out in long lines and battle with each other in efforts to get them.
Tana Drake had three young nieces in 1987, all of whom who had Cabbage Patch Kids on top of their Christmas wish list.
“Trying to get the dolls was crazy,” Drake said. “They would put an ad in the paper telling you when a new shipment was going to come in and then you would stand in line. When the doors opened you beat like hell and just grabbed any and all of the boxes you could, you didn’t even realize what you were getting, and it didn’t matter as long as you got one.”
Drake also recounts the hysteria surrounding the boxes the dolls came in.
“People warned you to never throw the boxes away, they said they were going to be worth so much,” she said. “It was exactly like the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990s.”