As a 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 passed down from his mother, Xavier creates his first soft-sculptures.
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.
Xavier wins a first place ribbon for sculpture with “Dexter” at the Osceola Art Show in Kissimmee, Florida. 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.
The growing success of Xavier’s hand made Little People Originals is documented by Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Weekly, and many others. There are reports that earlier editions are re-adopting for as much as 100 times their initial adoption fee.
By the end of the year almost 3 million of the Cabbage Patch Kids Toys have been adopted but demand has not been met. The Cabbage Patch Kids Toys go on record as the most successful new doll introduction in the history of the toy industry. In December, they are featured on the cover of Newsweek.
The Cabbage Patch Kids join the Young Astronaut Program and “Christopher Xavier” becomes the first Cabbage Patch Kid to journey into outer space as a passenger on the U.S. Space Shuttle.
The Cabbage Patch Kids are honored by being named the first official mascot of the U.S. Olympic Team. They travel with the athletes to Barcelona for the games and many stay behind as “Friends For Life” with patients of a local children’s hospital.
A nationwide public vote selects Cabbage Patch Kids as one of 15 stamps commemorating the 1980s in the U.S. Postal Service’s Celebrate The Century stamp program.
The Cabbage Patch Kids stamp goes on sale in January of 2000.
The National Roll Out for TRU ‘Kids is held on July 27th at the Toys ‘R Us in Alpharetta, Ga. Every Cabbage Patch Kid in the store is adopted in less than 15 minutes.
BabyLand General Hospital ends the year in third place in the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Toylands across the nation.
- BabyLand General Hospital celebrates 25 years of delivering babies.
- Collector enthusiasm heightens with the introduction of an exclusive Spring Event baby. Adopting for $325, one little ‘Kid was re-adopted a few months later on eBay for more than double her original fee.
- At the request of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Cabbage Patch Kids became little ambassadors at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Open House in Brussels, Belgium, which showcased a Holiday in the South. Logan Michael, wearing a cadet’s parade dress uniform, escorted his sister Lauren Grace to this event.
- Xavier Roberts closes the year serving as Grand Marshal of the Festival of Trees parade in Atlanta. He holds his first public Signing Party in 15 years in Georgia. The Cabbage Patch delivered a Festival of Trees Exclusive to help raise funds for the Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. The nine-day event drew 150,000 people.
- July – A new line of 16″ Cabbage Patch Kids reminiscent of those introduced in ’83 debuts in Australia in a reproduction of the “magical” Cabbage Patch. The Cabbage Patch Kids are welcomed into the open arms of thousands of kids and are very successful at retail.
- August 2 – The 16″ Cabbage Patch Kids, delivered by new licensee, Play Along Inc., are available throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. The ‘Kids are the same size and price as their predecessors introduced in ’83.
- The New Generation of Cabbage Patch Kids are an immediate hit at retail.
- August 18 – Crowds gather for the Cabbage Patch Kids Family Reunion at the largest mall in the country, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minn. Host Xavier Roberts greets thousands of new Cabbage Patch Kids parents.
- September – Word is out that there are one-of-a-kind Celebrity Cabbage Patch Kids being delivered by Play Along. The Ellen DeGeneres ‘Kid meets her namesake during the “Ellen DeGeneres Show”. The star puts her ‘Kid on eBay and raised more than $15,000 for the American Red Cross and Noah’s Wish.
- Matt, Katie, Al and Anne Celebrity Cabbage Patch Kids make their debut on the Today Show and Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson ‘Kids are seen in People Magazine.
- November – Adding a bit of levity to this year’s election campaign between George Bush and John Kerry, The Bush and Kerry Cabbage Patch Kids appear on Inside Edition with Deborah Norville. The pair are put on eBay and raise more than $2,000 for American Red Cross.
- The Bush Cabbage Patch Kid joins the Ellen DeGeneres Cabbage Patch Kid as a passenger aboard the Ansari X Prize Wild Fire spaceship.
- Cabbage Patch Kids make many of the major television stations lists as one of the hottest toy of the Holiday Season.
- Over 40 licensees have signed on to create Cabbage Patch Kids products.
- December – Demand grows as Cabbage Patch Kids hit all of the must have lists for the 2004 Holiday Season including Toy Wishes Magazine, National Retail Federation, KOL (Kids on Line, a division of AOL), Wal Mart, Yahoo, Toys ‘R Us and KB Toys Top Five Weekly Holiday Countdown List. Parenting Magazine adds their stamp of approval putting Cabbage Patch Kids in their Toy Hall of Fame.
- January – The Toy Industry Association (TIA) selected the Cabbage Patch Kids brand as a finalist in the 2005 Toy Of The Year (T.O.T.Y.) Award in the Property of the Year category. The 16-inch Cabbage Patch Kids manufactured by OAA licensee, Play Along Toys, division of JAKKS Pacific, Inc., was also a finalist in the Girl Toy of the Year category. T.O.T.Y. — The industry’s version of the Oscars — gives toy manufacturers the recognition they deserve for producing best selling product according to Tom Conley, President of the TI.
- Summer – Cabbage Patch Kids costumed characters go on tour with Radio Disney. They made 71 appearances throughout the United States. They also made appearances in the United Kingdom and Canada.
- Cabbage Patch Kids have been involved in more than 100 events and shows around the world in 2005.
- On Labor Day in September, licensee Play Along Inc. introduces Cabbage Patch Kids Babies. They are a hit in the United States as well as internationally.
- Cabbage Patch Kids first video game, Where’s My Pony, was first introduced with more to follow.
- “Who’s in the House” a production especially written for Cabbage Patch Kids begins touring this year.
- After the live performances, the costumed characters have Meet and Greets with the Audience.
- The Cabbage Patch Kids end the year teaming together with the Red Cross and raised almost $25,000 for the may Hurricane Victims of 2005.
- ‘Kids are on the move: The Cabbage Patch Kids join Radio Disney for another Feelin’ Groovy Tour across the United States.
- Newborns join the Play Along line of Cabbage Patch Kids. The twelve inch babies are heartily welcomed into the family.
- September – Plans to build a new home for the Cabbage Patch Kids are announced. The essence of the BabyLand experience will be captured and enhanced by the new facility, which will be built in the hometown of Cabbage Patch Kid creator, Xavier Roberts.
- Groundbreaking – On Thursday, May 3, creator of the Cabbage Patch Kids® Xavier Roberts reached a new milestone with the official groundbreaking for a new “BabyLand General® Hospital”, home of the world famous Cabbage Patch Kids.
Construction of a 70,000 square foot building on 96 acres will begin immediately with anticipated completion in time to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Cabbage Patch Kids licensing program in 2008.
The new structure will include retail space, offices, a historical archive of the Cabbage Patch Kids as well as the Southern Appalachian region, a meeting and conference facility, warehouse and offices as well as be recognized as the “home place” to 115 million Cabbage Patch Kids and their adoptive parents worldwide.
- A Star is Born … – Cabbage favorite Ben Winkler was adopted in the early 80s and was the “apple of his mother’s eye.”
Times got difficult as he grew older until he discovered Geico. He’s winning dance competitions and getting quite a fan following. Could there be more in store for him… Stay tuned.
- Heading into the Holiday Season, Cabbage Patch Kids Lil Sprouts are on Toys ‘R Us Top 12 Stocking Stuffer List.
- The 25th Anniversary Celebration Baby debuts on QVC. The baby, which licks an ice cream cone, is so popular that they are all adopted in record time.