November 26, 2008

5th Anniversary of the Cabbage Patch Kids Consumer Stampede

On Black Friday 1983, hundreds of thousands of Americans stood in seemingly unending lines braving potential riots at retail stores to secure a Cabbage Patch Kid for the holiday season. News stations around the world featured footage of the so-called "riots," and newspapers splashed accounts of the Cabbage Patch Kids across their headlines. With Black Friday 2008 (November 27) marking the 25th anniversary of this remarkable day in history, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) and Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. (OAA) are commemorating the event with a special release of the original 'Kids' that started the Cabbage Patch craze 25 years ago, exclusively available from Play Along®, a division of JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ: JAKK).
"It is amazing how people took to the Cabbage Patch Kids when they were first released back in 1983," said Xavier Roberts, creator of the iconic brand. "Twenty-five years ago we would have never imagined that over 118 million 'Kids' would be 'adopted' or that we'd experience the opportunity to celebrate this milestone."

"From a historical perspective, the economy in 1983 was a year of challenge with hopes of recovery for a lot of families," said Margaret McLean, director of corporate communications for Original Appalachian Artworks, the parent company of Cabbage Patch Kids. "For parents, securing a Cabbage Patch Kid for the holidays was an accomplishment enjoyed, admired and recounted by children to this day."

Now available at retail, the Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch Kids® are exact replicas of the original 'Kids' that caused the unprecedented frenzy 25 years ago. They are returning to store shelves for the first time since the early '80s with the same lovable faces, beautiful clothing and adorable names for fans to fall in love with all over again. The 'Kids' resurgence is sure to bring a swell of nostalgic emotions and memories, which can be shared with other Cabbage Patch Kids fans at a special interactive online Memory Wall.

Cabbage Patch Kids History and Milestones
  • 1976 - As a 21-year-old art student, Xavier Roberts discovers the old German technique of fabric sculpture, which dates back to the early 1800s.
  • The resulting "babies" are a combination of his interest in sculpture and the quilting skills passed down for generations in the Appalachian Mountains.
  • 1977 - Xavier Roberts develops the marketing concept of adoptable Little People® with birth certificates. The artist dresses the babies in used clothing purchased at yard sales. He gives each original a single namechosen from a 1937 baby book.
  • 1978 - Xavier Roberts and his friends renovate the Neal Clinic and open the now famous BabyLand General® Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia.
  • 1982 - The name of the Little People changes to Cabbage Patch Kids®, which can be registered and protected in all future product categories.
  • 1983 - Black Friday ushers in famous "Cabbage Patch Kids Riots" and the 'Kids go on record as the most successful new doll in the history of the toy industry.
  • 1985 - On Oct. 10, a Cabbage Patch Kid, Christopher Xavier boards the space shuttle and enters into space. His permanent home is at the Smithsonian.
  • 1992 - Cabbage Patch Kids are named official Mascots of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team, making "Friends For Life" with patients at children's hospitals.
  • 1999 - The nation votes and puts the Cabbage Patch Kids on one of 15 commemorative stamps representing the '80s decade.
  • 2007 - On Thursday, May 3, creator of the Cabbage Patch Kids Xavier Roberts officially breaks ground on a new "BabyLand General Hospital," home of the world famous Cabbage Patch Kids.
  • 2008 - Now firmly established as one of the best-known and best-loved toy brands worldwide, Cabbage Patch Kids have a fantastic 25th Birthday Party at Toys "R" Us Times Square. Celebrity Chef Duff Goldman from Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" presents a special cake to the 'Kids and artist Xavier Roberts. Understanding tough times ahead, the 'Kids' join eBay® to raise money for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots and Operation Smile. The one- of-a-kind look alike U.S. Presidential candidates, Barack Obama, John McCain, and Vice Presidential candidates Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin raise almost $40,000 to help make these holidays just a little brighter


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