Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids Teaser Shows "Dangerous" Obsession

A teaser for the new documentary Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids looks back at the frenzy in the '80s around getting one of these dolls.

By Elyse Dupre Nov 22, 2023 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Billion Dollar Babies: ‘Cabbage Patch Chaos’ - EXCLUSIVE!

When it came to getting one of these toys, these shoppers weren't playing around. 

A teaser for the new documentary Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids shows just how far people would go to purchase one of these dolls.

The sneak peek shows throwback footage from 1983 of consumers waiting hours in line in the cold to be among the first to rush inside a store and scoop up the highly coveted item. 

"I want a Cabbage Patch Kid," a parent tells a reporter before being asked if the doll is for her or her child and replying, "Both of us." 

But once the door opens, one person in the film recalls, "everybody just snaps." And as crowds of people flood in and make a mad dash to find a Cabbage Patch Kid, one woman notes the chaos is getting "dangerous" to her health.

As a doll owner remembers, "They're at the store pushing and shoving and throwing people to the ground to get one of these gifts." Another shopper adds, "They wait four hours outside a department store and they crash in like cattle." And a third expresses how she was "scared to death" to be among the shopping frenzy.

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According to Cabbage Patch Kids' website, almost three million of the beloved toys were purchased by the end of 1983 but demand was still not met.

"The Cabbage Patch Kids Toys go on record as the most successful new doll introduction in the history of the toy industry," the website continues. "In December, they are featured on the cover of Newsweek."

Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids takes a deep dive into the dolls' history—including, per the film's website, "the fundamental dispute over who originated the idea." 

"From the marketing genius of the 'hospital' in an idyllic North Georgian town where children 'adopted' the dolls and solemnly pledged to love and care for them, to the subsequent business deal that gave rise to utter retail pandemonium," the documentary's description continues, "the film takes viewers on the wild ride through the Cabbage Patch Kids' highs, lows and undeniable legacy."

The film is narrated and executive produced by Neil Patrick Harris and directed by Andrew Jenks. Presented by Abramorama, NBCUniversal Syndication Studios and Believe Entertainment Group, the documentary hits theaters this Black Friday—Nov. 24. 

(E! and NBCUniversal Syndication Studios are both part of the NBCUniversal family).

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