Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls, with their distinctive round faces, pudgy cheeks, soft dimpled limbs and yarn-like hair, have captured the hearts of children and collectors alike since their introduction in the 1980s.
The creator of these iconic dolls, Xavier Roberts, imagined them being born in a cabbage patch and then adopted by loving families. The adoption idea deeply resonated with a wide range of people, and was reinforced by the ingenious tactic of issuing personalized birth certificates from Babyland General Hospital in Georgia. That, along with limited-release characters, made way for one of the most memorable toy crazes of the decade.
Cabbage Patch Kids were one of the hottest toys available (not available?) for the 1983 holiday season. By some estimates, by New Year’s Day, they had sold 3 million of them in a buying frenzy that also included pandemonium, hysteria and even riots. While many adults behaved badly in their efforts to buy them, Cabbage Patch Kids became cherished companions for millions of children and established a lasting place in popular culture.
Maybe it’s because they were so valuable at the time, or because of their perceived individuality and sentimental value, people seem to hold onto them. We see a lot of these in the homes of our downsizing clients, but what are they worth today?
What's It Worth: Cabbage Patch Kids
As with most of the dolls we find in estate clear outs and downsizing projects, the value of Cabbage Patch dolls can vary significantly depending on several factors, including their rarity, condition, age, and specific features. In general, the vast majority of the dolls offered for sale these days are valued at about $30 each.
However, certain versions of Cabbage Patch Kids have gained substantial worth in the collectors’ market. Original Cabbage Patch Kids from the 1980s, especially those in pristine condition with their original packaging and accessories, can command prices ranging from several hundred to even thousands of dollars.
Limited editions, foreign editions, and dolls associated with special events or collaborations also tend to hold higher value due to their exclusivity. And of course, the preferences of active doll collectors will affect both the popularity and value of certain styles.
As with any collectible, some Cabbage Patch Kids are worth more than others. Factors that contribute to a higher value, include:
- Rarity – One of a kind, handmade dolls are valued higher due to their uniqueness. Additionally, special features can increase the value; for example, red-haired dolls are more rare and tend to bring in a higher price.
- Condition – The most valuable pieces are those that are in mint condition, with no stains, rips, or other signs of wear. Older pieces that have been displayed or handled extensively may not be worth as much as those that have been kept in their original packaging.
- Packaging – Dolls that are still in their original packaging are typically in better condition than those that have been played with, and having a sealed box sweetens the deal. All authentic Cabbage Patch Kids come with a birth certificate and an adoption certificate, and having these documents in good condition can bring in a better price.
- Age – These dolls tend to appreciate over time as they become more difficult to find in good condition.
- Authenticity – As with any collectible of this caliber, there are sure to be copycats looking to make a quick buck. If you can prove the authenticity of your doll it increases the likelihood you’ll be able to sell it to a serious buyer.
- Popularity – High demand tends to mean a higher price, and this is no exception in the world of Cabbage Patch Kids.
Over the years, certain versions of Cabbage Patch Dolls have become highly sought-after by collectors, making them valuable additions to any collection. Here are a few notable examples:
- Little People – Some of the most valuable of these dolls aren’t actually Cabbage Patch Kids! Prior to launching the commercially available dolls with Coleco Industries , creator Xavier Roberts had a precursory line of handmade dolls called “Little People” that he sold in Georgia throughout the 1970s.
- Original Cabbage Patch Kids – The first generation of Cabbage Patch Dolls from the 1980s remains highly coveted by collectors. These dolls had vinyl heads, fabric bodies, and the distinctive Xavier Roberts’ signature on their bottoms. Depending on factors such as condition, rarity, and accessories, original Cabbage Patch Kids can fetch high prices in the collectors’ market.
- Foreign Editions – Cabbage Patch Dolls released in different countries with unique designs or costumes have become particularly valuable to collectors. Examples include the “Pac-Man” editions in Japan, the “Hula Hair” dolls in Hawaii, or the “British Royal Edition” dolls released to commemorate special events.
- Limited Editions – Cabbage Patch Dolls released as limited editions or in exclusive collections often command higher prices among collectors. These special editions can feature unique outfits, accessories, or commemorative themes. Limited editions such as the “Cabbage Patch Kids 30th Anniversary” dolls or those created in collaboration with popular brands like Disney or NASCAR are highly sought-after.
2023 Prices from Online Sales and Auctions
- A 1979 Little People “C Burgundy” soft-bodied doll in excellent vintage condition with original birth certificate and adoption papers, hand-signed by Roberts sold for $3,077.00
- A different 1979 Little People (name unknown) soft-bodied doll in excellent vintage condition without original papers, hand-signed by Roberts sold for $950.00
- A 1985 Jesmar series “Valeria Liliana” vinyl and cloth doll in used condition with original packaging from Spain sold for $760.00
- A 1998 Sweet Treats series “Teresa Jo” vinyl and cloth doll in new condition with sealed original packaging sold for $725.00
- A 1980s Lili Ledy series (name unknown) vinyl and cloth doll in new condition with original packaging from Mexico sold for $700.00
- A 1979 Little People (name unknown) soft-bodied doll in excellent vintage condition without original papers, hand-signed by Roberts sold for $668.00
- A 2004 Limited Edition Sleep Over Collection “Elvira Colleen” vinyl and cloth doll in new condition with original packaging and signed box sold for $599.95
Advice for Sellers
If you’re considering selling Cabbage Patch Dolls or have some in your possession and are wondering about their potential value, here’s some valuable advice to keep in mind:
- Research and Understand the Market: Before listing your Cabbage Patch Kids for sale, take the time to research the current market trends and prices. Factors such as rarity, condition, age, and specific editions can significantly influence the value of the dolls. Look for recent sales of similar dolls on reputable auction sites or collectibles marketplaces to gauge their worth accurately.
- Highlight Rarity and Unique Features: If you have limited editions, foreign editions, or dolls with distinctive characteristics, make sure to highlight these aspects in your listing. Emphasize any special features, accessories, or commemorative themes that might attract collectors’ attention. The more unique and exclusive the doll, the higher its potential value!
- Preserve and Document Authenticity: Keeping your dolls in excellent condition is crucial for maximizing their value. Store them carefully in a clean and dry environment, preferably in their original packaging, if available. Additionally, if you have any original paperwork, such as birth certificates and adoption certificates, ensure they are well-preserved and included with the doll. Documenting the authenticity of your dolls with photographs and any supporting information can add credibility and confidence for potential buyers.
- Consider Professional Appraisal: If you own what you believe to be a particularly valuable or rare Cabbage Patch Kid, consider getting a professional appraisal. An expert in collectibles can provide an accurate estimation of the doll’s worth and help you set a competitive price when selling.
If you have one of these rare, perfect condition still-in-the-original-box versions of Cabbage Patch Kids, you may be able to sell them online or at auction. For anything else, we recommend that you drop your Cabbage Patch Kids at your local donation center so that they may have new life with a young owner who will never know what your parents went through to buy it in the first place.
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