Some of us dreamed of picking out mouse ears at Disney World, while others couldn't stop fantasizing about visiting the infamous cabbage patch and finding a new friend. Cabbage Patch Kids were insanely popular in the 1980s-90s, and like most unique doll brands that took off, they're highly collectible today. In fact, the original Cabbage Patch Kids sell for thousands of dollars some 40 years later. Hopefully, you kept just one or two of these valuable must-have Christmas gifts.
1983 "Brat" Mold Dolls
It wasn't until 1982 that creator Xavier Roberts's signature soft-bodied toys were launched under an improved design and new name. They were an immediate success, so finding dolls still in the box from this year or right after can be hard to do, but if you can, it'll be incredibly lucrative.
In particular, you want to look for dolls with the "brat" face mold from the second production year. Look for dolls with a dimple in each cheek and a long nose. This mold wasn't used as much as others in this first production year, so they're pretty rare and can be worth about $100-$500 to the right collector. For example, one recently sold for around $450.
1985 Mickey Mantle Doll
Once the Coleco (now Hasbro) controlled company had taken America by storm, they expanded their catalog to include a ton of popular figures kids could connect to. One of these was the Cabbage Patch Kids' All Stars series. Of course, there's no bigger draw than legendary Yankees player, Mickey Mantle.
The doll itself can be worth a chunk of change, but if you can find one with the late ballplayer's signature, you're almost guaranteed a hammer price of about $500. One of these signed dolls sold for $630 in 2021.
1985 Cabbage Patch Twins
Per their box's tagline, "twins are twice as nice!" Yup, they can be also twice as nice for your bank account when they're unopened. These duo dolls can sell for upwards of $500 if they've been well cared for, like this boxed pair from 1985 that sold for $405 on eBay. These limited edition dolls had pairs of twins (so two for the price of one) and are a unique style you don't see that often from the vintage catalog.
1987 Megan Maryllis Doll
From a quick glance, the Megan Maryllis Cabbage Patch Kid from 1987 isn't particularly special. She's got a pair of bouncy curl pigtails and bright green eyes, but she's just like every other doll in their line-up. Except, she's completely boxed (meaning she's never been opened).
Fully boxed dolls from the 1980s are harder and harder to come by. This makes them worth far more than those that have been well-loved. Just like Care Bears and other toy collectibles, many of the most valuable ones come down to a single collector needing to fill an empty spot. For one collector, this one was worth spending $1,050.
1987 Signed Iddy Buds Doll
In 1987, the company released a limited edition Iddy Buds doll, which was a smaller version of one of their popular dolls swaddled in a cabbage leaf. What makes these vintage dolls valuable is that they were each numbered and came with Xavier Roberts's signature on the foot. Signed dolls are inherently worth a good bit, so you can look at values around $350-$600. One's currently on sale for $475.
1991 Splash 'n Tan Doll
Not every Cabbage Patch Kid was soft-bodied and meant to be perched on your juvenile bedding. By the 1990s, they'd expanded to include dolls with animatronics to help them better compete against the growing tech toy market.
One of these was the 1991 Splash 'n Tan doll. While it wouldn't go so far as to be able to move its arms and swim around, it was safe to get wet. This meant you could have a Cabbage Patch Kid for your inside and outside playtime. To the right collector, these dolls can sell for $500+, like this boxed one that sold for $780 on eBay.
1995 Mattel Cabbage Patch Dolls
In 1994, the famous toy manufacturer who brought playthings like Barbie and Hot Wheels to stores purchased the licensing rights to Cabbage Patch Kids. The first of their dolls to hit the shelves came out a year later, and for some collectors, these dolls are highly valuable.
In one way, it's because it marked a distinct shift in the company's history and slight changes to the dolls they were making. Prices vary wildly for the first edition Mattel dolls, but one first edition Black Cabbage Patch doll recently sold for $6,000 without a box, which is high even for Cabbage Patch doll standards.
1996 Special Olympic Edition Cabbage Patch Dolls
For America, 1996 was a major year because it marked the time they hosted the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Naturally, an American-based company like Cabbage Patch Kids economized on the frenzy and created their own special edition dolls in honor of some of the sports events.
Commemorative dolls like these have their own special appeal. While they're not the most valuable Cabbage Patch Kids you can sell, they still do pretty well. For example, one soccer-player doll is currently listed for $116 on Ruby Lane.
What Makes Vintage Cabbage Patch Dolls Valuable?
It's important to know that not every Cabbage Patch Kid is valuable. There's a reason you can find loads of them running loose throughout thrift stores everywhere. Yet, there are serious collectors trying to hunt down the last pieces for their collections, making some special dolls worth more than others.
If you're looking to find the most valuable Cabbage Patch dolls in the wild, keep a lookout for these characteristics:
- Look for 1978 "Little People" dolls. Only a few of these soft-headed precursors to Xavier Roberts's Cabbage Patch Kids were made, so they're worth a good bit.
- Find first edition dolls from various manufacturers. For example, the first dolls came out in 1982, and the first Mattel dolls came out in 1995.
- Always check for signatures. Dolls that were signed by creator Xavier Roberts are highly collectible.
- Look for rare molds and unusual designs. This can include mechanized toys that were recalled, like the Snacktime doll, or molds that fewer dolls were made out of.
- Gravitate towards unopened dolls. Cabbage Patch dolls that have never been opened are really what collectors are looking for.
The '80s Toys That've Aged Incredibly Well
Don't toss the iconic 1980s Cabbage Patch dolls that every kid begged their parents for into the trash just yet. A few of these vintage Cabbage Patch Kids have seriously appreciated in value - far beyond any of our wildest dreams. So, next time you see a boxed Cabbage Patch doll in a thrift store, take a second to flip to the back and see just what treasure you might have found.