The Horrors Of Cannibal Cabbage Patch Kids

You would think that baby dolls known
for sprouting from the grounds of a magical forest would only have
characteristics of the cute and innocent. But, there was once a dark side to the
Cabbage Patch bunch: a side so terrifying that it actually had the power to
literally swallow the hair clean off a child’s head. We’re diving deeper into
the story of these cannibal Cabbage Patch and redefining “Snack Time” on this
week’s episode of Cool Stuff Strange Things. The story of the Cabbage Patch Kid tells
of a young boy named Xavier Roberts who was led by a Bunnybee through a waterfall, down a long tunnel and out into a magical land where a Cabbage Patch grew little children. In the story, Roberts agreed to find loving homes for every
single one of these little sprouts and, Believe It or Not! the real-life inventor
of the Cabbage Patch Kids is in fact Xavier Roberts. Well, there’s a bit of a
discrepancy surrounding where the idea of the dolls actually came from. Apparently Roberts stole the design from Kentucky artist,
Martha Nelson Thomas. Unfortunately Thomas never protected her art and
Roberts snatched up the idea, printed his name right on the tush of every
Cabbage Patch, and led him to a multi-billion dollar franchise. Martha
never saw a penny. As business boomed stores struggled to keep Cabbage Patch
on the shelves. Shortages of the dolls even led to many riots in toy stores
across the country. Eventually Roberts was unable to produce
the toy, as a result of its high demand. the manufacturer ownership passed from
Coleco to Hasbro and officially landed with Mattel. Over the next few decades
came many variants of the doll. Some had teeth, others had tongues, and some had
full heads of yarn hair. Every model was equally as popular as the last and in
1995 Mattel was eager to innovate the brand even further. Cabbage Patch were
seen on local television ads swimming, getting their hair cut, and eating! Yes,
the Snacktime Kid was a huge hit. The whole draw with the Snacktime Kid is
that I could truly eat. A child would place plastic foods near the dolls lips
and open mouth, and thanks to a battery-powered motor, the Cabbage Patch would begin to move its mouth and jaw as it chewed and sucked the food into an
empty abdomen cavity. Kids could empty this cavity and reuse whatever food was
fed to their doll. Unfortunately, the jaws of the Snacktime Kid were a bit too
powerful to be a children’s toy. Constructed of small motors, unable to
reverse or stop, the rollers inside continued to go and go until the object
entered and exited successfully. So yes, Mattel basically marketed a children’s
toy that could totally chomp up your child…sort of. To no surprise kids begin feeding their dollies with pencils, paper,
shoelaces, and, unwittingly, their hair! The screaming concerned parent calls began
rolling in shortly after the release of the Snacktime Kid. One mother had to
chop up all the hair of her daughter as a result of it being swallowed
continuously by her Cabbage Patch. After receiving hundreds of complaints
about the dolls, Mattel offered $40 refunds to the 500,000 people who
purchased the doll, and removed 200,000 unsold dolls from the stores stopping
the potential cannibal Cabbage Patch in their tracks for good. If you’re lucky
enough to have a Snacktime Kid in your attic or basement, consider it a true
collector’s item. Mattel, or any other toy company for that matter, has never tried
to duplicate the actions of the Snacktime Kid and it seems like that’s
probably in everyone’s best interest. I’m Steph Distasio and we’ll see you
next week on Cool Stuff Strange Things.

2 Responses

  1. Tina Gallagher says:

    I remember the advertising for these and the RAPID recall.

  2. White Van Man says:

    I wanted a cabbage patch kid when I was young but my mum didn't like them so I wasn't allowed one.

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