My Cabbage Patch Doll plays a prominent role in many of my childhood memories. Her name was Alice and she was the curly, blond, haired variety. My memory of going to the toy store with my parents and sister and mobs of other people to buy a coveted Cabbage Patch are so clear it’s as though it was just yesterday. The doll was so wildly popular that Toys R Us didn’t even let us pick one out — they just gave you a ticket and you went home with whatever they handed you! We didn’t complain though – we just felt lucky that they had any for us to adopt!
This year marks Cabbage Patch Kids 30th Anniversary, yes 30th anniversary of these beautiful dolls and I was so excited to take my own daughter to a party celebrating the occasion. With over 130 million adoptions the Cabbage Patch Kids are part of American culture and to celebrate this milestone birthday JAKKS Pacific launched a line called The Cabbage Patch Celebration Kids. They come dressed in fun, playful looks (Lucia’s doll has pink cowgirl boots – adorable) and bright streaks in their hair – our brunette doll had pink streaks! They also have some fun accessories – the girls come with a cute cupcake comb and the boys are outfitted with a cool pair of glasses.
On our way to the party I told Lucia the story of my first Cabbage Patch doll and how special she was to me and when we got there she was able to pick out her very own doll, take the oath of adoption, pick a new name for the doll and learn how to care for her new baby. She told the helpers at the party that she already knew how to change a diaper because she has a new baby brother and it was fun to see her try to do it herself! She was really overwhelmed with everything to choose from and her eyes lit up when she gave her new doll a hug and said “mommy, she smells like a real baby!” These iconic dolls still have that yummy baby powder scent that I loved as a child and it took me right back to my kid-self hugging my own doll all day, every day. They even had the entire vintage collection of dolls for us to admire (including my Alice) and Lucia had fun taking a few of them for a stroll in the original Cabbage Patch baby carriage.
After stuffing ourselves with a delicious brunch, singing happy birthday, getting our hair done up with bows and blue hair chalk, and indulging in mulitple cupcakes, we went home. She cuddled that doll tight and even buckled her in the backseat of the taxi. I can’t wait to tell her this story when she’s a little bit older and I was so happy to share such an important part of my own childhood with my girl that day.
To learn more visit Cabbage Patch Kids.
Monica Shulman is a photographer and author of Ciao, Chessa! – a photography and lifestyle blog. She lives in New York City with her husband, toddler daughter, and infant son.