What I learned about vintage soft toys part 2 cabbage patch kids

I have been over come with the love for vintage toys and the fascinating story’s of them. I was to old for the cabbage patch kids doll in the 80s but would have loved one all the same. People went crazy for them fighting in the shops to get hold of one Madness. So here’s the tale of how it began….

*Cabbage patch kids

Where do babies come from? If you answered, “a magical animatronic tree in Cleveland, Georgia,” you’ve likely been to BabyLand General Hospital, the toyshop, museum, and maternity ward for Cabbage Patch Kids, the dolls that swept American playgrounds in the 1980s. Now have celebrated forty years and had a birthday party at its north Georgia headquarters—complete with the giveaway of a special fortieth-anniversary doll, handmade by the company’s creator himself, Xavier Roberts. 2018

But how did it all begin !

What they call the soft culptured dolls handmade in the beginning then later manufactured  in the thousands.

The dolls were originally invented by a Kentucky artist named Martha Nelson Thomas. Martha first started making them in the early 70s, and would “adopt” them out to family and friends. The dolls eventually caught the eye of Xavier Roberts, a Georgia man who ran a gift shop. He bought some of  marthas dolls and sold them for more money.she was just a lovely crafty lady and didn’t want her dolls she called little babies sold for high prices so she stopped selling them to him. Xavier Roberts was a quilter artist in his own right decided to make his own dolls and the cabbage patch kid was born.

After reading this story I came across these dolls two original dolls made by Martha  Nelson  Thomas  so bought them Need some tlc but love them.

Martha nelsonThomas little people dolls 1984

xalia Roberts 1976

As the story gos 21 year old art student, Xavier Roberts rediscovers “needle molding” a German technique for fabric sculpture from the early 1800s. Combining his interest in sculpture with the quilting skills and so created the little people to be adopted then went on to call them cabbage patch kids.

heres one of his first designs

Xavia Roberts first cabbage patch little people

Dexter wins a first place ribbon for sculpture in 1978 at the Osceola Art Show. Xavier begins delivering his hand made Little People Originals and exhibiting them at arts and crafts shows in the southeast. He finds that many parents are happy to pay the $40.00 “adoption fee” for one of his hand signed Little People Originals.
Returning home to Georgia, he organizes five school friends and incorporates Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. Xavier and his friends renovate the L.G. Neal Clinic, a turn of the century medical facility in Cleveland, Georgia, opening “BabyLand General® Hospital” to the public.

Cabbage patch kids growing in the garden

Xavier’s dolls, which each had his signature printed on the bottom became wildly successful over the next few years. Their popularity reached its peak in 1983, when shortages of the dolls over the Christmas period led to mini-riots in toy stores across the country. Martha Nelson didn’t make a single penny from her creation

For those of you who were alive and breathing with any form of cognitive thought in the 1980s remember the Cabbage Patch Kids — especially the craze of 1983. Cabbage Patch Kids was a staple to the American childhood during the 1980s. It was a Black Friday sale, but instead of great prices on a 50-inch flat screen, you’re getting a vinyl face and soft-bodied toy for the full retail price Couldn’t see that happening today.

1983 craze for cabbage patch dolls

Cabbage patch dolls have now been made by different company’s over the years. Still with the xavia Roberts signature. Who wouldn’t want to visit baby land and own a unique cabbage patch kid me please. Even now I know the history I would still want one. I relate to Martha being a maker my self she didn’t want her creations to be exsploted they was special unique to her she went on making them till she died.

Martha and her babies

Fascinating story and cabbage patch kids live on now even doing the soft sculptured ones again.

Vintage cabbage patch kids

I have adopted a few including Martha’s creations to renovate bring  back to new. Harder than that sounds as more based in America items for dolls are rare here and postage is high but I will keep trying maybe visit one day😊

Thanks for reading Julie

cabbage patch taking a bubble bath 😊💕

Cabbage patch kid 1985

See this  video

I love Dolls so take a look at my collection of pictures over on Pinterest

I have just started selling vintage toys so visit my Etsy shop