As a 21 year old art student, Xavier Roberts rediscovers “needle molding” a German technique for fabric sculpture from the early 1800s. Combining his interest in sculpture with the quilting skills passed down from his mother, Xavier creates his first soft-sculptures.
Dexter wins a first place ribbon for sculpture at the Osceola Art Show. Xavier begins delivering his hand made Little People Originals and exhibiting them at arts and crafts shows in the southeast. He finds that many parents are happy to pay the $40.00 “adoption fee” for one of his hand signed Little People Originals.
Xavier wins a first place ribbon for sculpture with “Dexter” at the Osceola Art Show in Kissimmee, Florida. Returning home to Georgia, he organizes five school friends and incorporates Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. Xavier and his friends renovate the L.G. Neal Clinic, a turn of the century medical facility in Cleveland, Georgia, opening “BabyLand General® Hospital” to the public.
The growing success of Xavier’s hand made Little People Originals is documented by Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Weekly, and many others. There are reports that earlier editions are re-adopting for as much as 100 times their initial adoption fee.
By the end of the year almost 3 million of the Cabbage Patch Kids Toys have been adopted but demand has not been met. The Cabbage Patch Kids Toys go on record as the most successful new doll introduction in the history of the toy industry. In December, they are featured on the cover of Newsweek.
The Cabbage Patch Kids join the Young Astronaut Program and “Christopher Xavier” becomes the first Cabbage Patch Kid to journey into outer space as a passenger on the U.S. Space Shuttle.
The Cabbage Patch Kids are honored by being named the first official mascot of the U.S. Olympic Team. They travel with the athletes to Barcelona for the games and many stay behind as “Friends For Life” with patients of a local children’s hospital.
The Cabbage Patch Kids stamp goes on sale in January of 2000.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) selected the Cabbage Patch Kids brand as a finalist in the 2005 Toy Of The Year (T.O.T.Y.) Award in the Property of the Year category. The 16-inch Cabbage Patch Kids manufactured by OAA licensee, Play Along Toys, division of JAKKS Pacific, Inc., was also a finalist in the Girl Toy of the Year category. T.O.T.Y. — The industry’s version of the Oscars — gives toy manufacturers the recognition they deserve for producing best selling product according to Tom Conley, President of the TI.
On Thursday, May 3, creator of the Cabbage Patch Kids® Xavier Roberts reached a new milestone with the official groundbreaking for a new “BabyLand General® Hospital”, home of the world famous Cabbage Patch Kids. Construction of a 70,000 square foot building on 96 acres will begin immediately with anticipated completion in time to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Cabbage Patch Kids licensing program in 2008. The new structure will include retail space, offices, a historical archive of the Cabbage Patch Kids as well as the Southern Appalachian region, a meeting and conference facility, warehouse and offices as well as be recognized as the “home place” to 115 million Cabbage Patch Kids and their adoptive parents worldwide.
The Little People and Cabbage Patch Kids celebrate 40 years of adoptions in Cleveland, Georgia.
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