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Remember Cabbage Patch Kids? If You Still Have One, It Could Be Worth Up To $3000

The key giveaways that yours is valuable

In the ’80s, Cabbage Patch Kids were the most coveted toys on the market. With their round plastic heads, floppy cloth bodies and winsome, folksy styling, Cabbage Patch Kids are instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up during that time or raised kids back in the day.

Millions of the dolls were sold, and they were so popular that in 1983, there were “Cabbage Patch Kid Riots” as parents fought to get their hands on the coveted dolls at toy stores and department stores. Some parents even paid well above the sticker price to ensure they could get the toys for their little ones.

Decades later, you can still buy Cabbage Patch Kids. While their popularity as playthings has waned since their ’80s heyday, there’s still a market for Cabbage Patch Kids as collectors’ items. If you have a classic Cabbage Patch Kid sitting in the back of your closet, you may want to consider selling it. Here’s what you should know.

Drew Barrymore with a Cabbage Patch Kid in Firestarter (1984)
A young Drew Barrymore cuddles up with a Cabbage Patch Kid in the 1984 movie FirestarterDe Laurentiis/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Where did Cabbage Patch Kids come from?

The dolls that would eventually become known as Cabbage Patch Kids were initially conceptualized by Xavier Roberts in the late ’70s. Roberts’ dolls were originally called “Little People Originals,” and he first sold them at arts and crafts shows. By 1981, the Little People Originals, which already looked just like the iconic Cabbage Patch Kids, began receiving media coverage, and they were soon renamed.

In 1983, Newsweek featured a cover story on “The Cabbage Patch Craze,” and the demand for the dolls was sky-high. The fact that the dolls came with adoption papers and birth certificates created a sense of personal connection — more than just dolls, many girls felt like the Cabbage Patch Kids were their babies, and they treasured them as such.

The craze for these whimsical toys spawned merchandise, TV specials and even crude parodies (remember Garbage Pail Kids?) and Cabbage Patch mania continued throughout the ’80s.

Cabbage Patch controversy

Cabbage Patch Kids may look wholesome, but you might be surprised to learn these dolls have caused some controversy. While Roberts is credited as their creator, the folk artist Martha Nelson Thomas alleged that he copied her designs after they met at an art fair in 1976 and she declined to work with him. Thomas filed a lawsuit against Roberts, which was settled for an undisclosed amount.

Are Cabbage Patch Kids valuable?

The extreme popularity of Cabbage Patch Kids meant they had a high resale value from the beginning. In fact, reports in the early ’80s said that the dolls were “re-adopted” for up to 100 times their original price. The inclusion of adoption papers and birth certificates was a particularly savvy move that made them feel one-of-a-kind and extra valuable, even if they were mass-produced.

The Cabbage Patch Kids also sported signatures from Xavier Roberts on their backsides, which further enhanced the sense that they were more valuable than your average doll. If you’re looking to sell a Cabbage Patch Kid, the signature provides the added benefit of identifying the year of manufacture, as different colors were used in different years, and the signature sometimes had the year listed next to it. 

As with any collectible, it helps to have the original packaging. The official Cabbage Patch Kids website notes that while “There are literally hundreds of thousands of different Cabbage Patch Kids that have been delivered in the past 30 plus years making it impossible for us to monitor individual values,” potential sellers should know that “In order to request maximum value for your Cabbage Patch Kid from a collector, you should be able to provide the baby’s original adoption papers and original clothing.”

The Cabbage Patch Kids site features a Collector’s Club, which puts you in touch with others who are looking to buy and sell the dolls. Annual membership in the Collector’s Club costs $35, but you don’t necessarily have to pay for a membership to sell your dolls. There’s a large selection of the dolls on eBay, and as the Cabbage Patch Kids site says, “The true value of an individual Cabbage Patch Kid or Little Person is the re-adoption fee a third party might be willing to give you for your specific Kid or Baby.” 

9-year-old Ebony Creed poses with her grandmother's collection of 133 Cabbage Patch Kids in 2012
9-year-old Ebony Creed poses with her grandmother’s collection of 133 Cabbage Patch Kids in 2012Shutterstock

How much have Cabbage Patch Kids sold for?

The most valuable Cabbage Patch Kids are the ones produced by Coleco from the ’80s. Coleco went out of business in 1988, and the popularity of the dolls began to wane. In the years that followed, the Cabbage Patch Kids had short stints with a variety of different producers, among them Hasbro, Mattel and Toys “R” Us, but they never quite replicated their ’80s heights, as new toy crazes like Beanie Babies and Tickle Me Elmo eventually took over. However, the nostalgia for all things ’80s means that Cabbage Patch Kids often sell for hundreds (or, in rare cases, thousands!) today. 

A look at eBay’s sale history reveals that one early Cabbage Patch Kid sold for $3,000. Other early dolls with their original papers have fetched $2,500. There are many more Cabbage Patch Kids that have sold for three figures, and the dolls have inspired bidding wars. One overall-clad doll from 1983 sold for $545, with 47 total bids, while another doll, with a pacifier and hair bow, from 1984, sold for $710, with 35 total bids. Not all Cabbage Patch Kids will be worth quite this much, but many have sold for at least $100.

Because Cabbage Patch Kids are mass-produced toys, many show signs of wear or are missing clothes, accessories or papers. These dolls won’t be worth as much, but if you have an original Cabbage Patch Kid in good condition with all its accouterments intact, you just might be able to sell that squishy little baby for a pretty penny.

Read on for more childhood collectibles:

Remember Polly Pocket Toys? Check Your Attic: They’re Now Selling for $1000s

Barbie’s Fabulous 64-Year History + Discover What *Your* Vintage Barbie Is Worth

Little Golden Books Value: Your Childhood Storybooks Could Be Worth $100s!

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