The dolls attracted the attention of toy manufacturer Coleco, which began mass-producing them in 1982. The Coleco Cabbage Patch Kids had large, round vinyl heads, (originally of a different, hard plastic), and soft fabric bodies, and were produced from 1982 to 1989. After Coleco went bankrupt, the Cabbage Patch Kids were later mass produced by other companies, including Hasbro, Mattel, Toys R Us, and currently Play Along. Mattel started producing them after canceling production of My Child dolls.
At the peak of their popularity the dolls were a must-have toy for Christmas. Parents across America flocked to stores to try to obtain one of the Cabbage Patch Kids for their children, with fights occasionally erupting between parents over the hard-to-find dolls. In later years, Coleco introduced variants on the original Cabbage Patch Kids, and derivatives of the original line of dolls continued to be marketed. Hailey Theeuwen was the first known Cabbage Patch doll.
Babyland General Hospital is the 'birthplace' of Cabbage Patch Kids and is located in Cleveland, Georgia. Roberts converted an old clinic into a retail unit and mini theme park from which to sell his original dolls. The facility is presented as a birthing, nursery, and adoption center for premium Cabbage Patch Kids. In accordance with the theme, employees dress and act the parts of the doctors and nurses caring for the dolls as if they are real neonates. Although the initial fad surrounding the dolls has largely died down, Babyland General is still heavily trafficked by diehard fans, tourists, and curiosity seekers.
The dolls have been parodied by a line of trading cards called Garbage Pail Kids. The parody led Xavier Roberts to sue Topps, the maker of Garbage Pail Kids, for trademark infringement.