I'm pretty sure that toy companies, screenwriters, and TV execs have had at least a few new ideas since I was a kid, but you'd never know it: The Smurfs are coming back (in 3D, of course); the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine hasn't changed in 30 years; and now the same team that's currently producing a revamped, live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is trying to bring Cabbage Patch Kids back into the public consciousness via an animated TV special. Huh? Why???
Make no mistake, I love old-school retro toys and movies and all, but the Cabbage Patch Kids on TV? I can only assume this is a desperate attempt by the manufacturers to add retail value to the warehouses full of Cabbage Patch Kids that are still being produced (even though nobody really wants them anymore). The funny part is, I remember when Cabbage Patch Kids first came on the scene, and nobody really wanted them then, either ... until suddenly, inexplicably, everybody did.
If you'll permit me to take you on a little stroll down memory lane, I can give you a firsthand account of the CPK frenzy. The first time I saw the dolls anywhere, I was around 7 or 8, trailing behind my mother at the store when I spotted a display of the chubby-cheeked, yarn-haired poppets.
"Those are the ugliest dolls I've ever seen," I said to my mother.
"Yeah, they're pretty hideous," she agreed.
Except that in two weeks time, that didn't matter, because everybody else in my class had one. I needed one too!
"I thought you hated those dolls?" My mother was confused.
I did hate them, but that wasn't the point. Unfortunately there wasn't a single CPK to be found, not at that original store or any other store on the planet. It was like Beatlemania, except with dolls. Finally, after days and days of searching, our local toy shop got a shipment of Cabbage Patch Kids ... the new Cabbage Patch Kids "Preemies," which were smaller and didn't have the yarn hair. I'd really wanted one with hair, but beggars can't be choosers, and my friend's Cabbage Patch Kid-themed birthday party was just a couple of days away!
So, I had my CPK at last, but I never truly bonded with her (Helena Grace, according to the "birth certificate" in her box). All that wanting and wishing, and, as is the case with most flash fads, once I had it, I didn't really want it.
I highly doubt Cabbage Patch Kids are going to catch on again, especially with competition like Wii and iPads around ... what do you think?
Image via Amazon