After watching the entire “I Love Toys” countdown on VH1, I was inspired to write about Cabbage Patch Kids. The toys were so popular but pretty damn strange if you think about it. I used to get a CPK every year on Easter and maybe another during the year on my birthday or at Christmas. Definitely on Easter though. I don’t know why.
I liked the ones with the comb-able hair, not the yarn heads. They were such great dolls because you could always find a CPK that looked like YOU. They had different hair, skin and eye colors. Straight hair, curly hair. Cute outfits. Boys and girls. Freckles, dimples, whatever! They even came with little birth certificates that told you their birthdate and name. The fact that the dolls came with a “history” made them seem like individuals. I’m not sure how many were made with the same name but it sure did feel like you had a one of a kind baby. You didn’t just buy a CPK, you adopted him/her.
There’s a CPK legend:
One day, a young boy named Xavier Roberts wandered into a magic cabbage patch hidden behind a beautiful waterfall. He discovered busy little Bunnybees sprinkling cabbages with magical crystals. Suddenly, all different kinds of kids and babies peeked out of the cabbages! Each one had his or her own special look, personality, name and birthday. “I’ll call you Cabbage Patch Kids!” he said as everyone cheered.
In the real world Xavier Roberts, an art student used “needle molding” (a German technique for fabric sculpture) to create soft sculpture dolls we now know as CPKs.
I don’t know about this whole babies coming from cabbages junk. Cabbages sprinkled dust from some strange bunny-bee mutant? That’s worse than the stork story. Real talk, my kids gotta know about where babies really come from. I can’t even fix my mouth to say some of that crazy crap.
Then they want you to adopt the babies. I thought that was so cute when I was a kid but now? WTF? There are mad kids who really need adopting. How come adopting is fun and unique when you’re 7 but as adults people turn their noses up at it? You’d think if the CPKs were teaching anything, they’d teach us about how important it is that every kid have a home to go to.
Finally, what was up with the Preemie dolls? CPK Preemies look kind of cute, ya know. Basically they’re the same as other CPKs, they’re just smaller and bald. I have a big problem with that. Look, premature babies can come with all kinds of problems: low birthweight, cardio-pulmonary problems, and risk for infection. With premature births being a significant medical issue, I don’t think they should be toys. We dont’ have HIV Barbie getting her daily meds or Diabetes Joe checking insulin levels, right?
Another thing I didn’t think about as a girl, but find really creepy now is how Xavier Roberts’ name is tatted on each kids’ butt. Like, okay, so according to legend, Xavier found them in the magical cabbage patch, right? So what did he do next? Did he harvest the babies and brand their asses or was he more humane and took a sharpie to their sensitive baby bottoms? Freaky, right?
Still, you know I’m going to cop some CPKs for my kids and if they don’t want ’em, I’ll play with them myself! This is a toy that I feel will never go out of style. I don’t know why, but I just know that those little CPKs with their funny lil butts and individuality will go on and on. Just not with the preemies, though, I hope.