Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cabbage Patch Kid Babyland Mini Dolls by Jakks Pacific

I found the most wonderful little toy at Toys R Us the other day!  It's a tiny little Cabbage Patch doll.   To me, this is the perfect miniature doll.  It has so many elements that I find irresistibly fun, it's almost like it was made for me.  

First of all, this doll costs under $5.00 ($3.99 at the moment), which is practically unheard of these days.  Most of the mini dolls on the market (Lalaloopsy, Cutie Pops, LPS Blythe) cost closer to $10.  Second of all, the gender of the doll is a secret.  I love surprises!  To me, waiting to learn the gender of a real child is one of life's greatest and most exciting secrets.  Any doll that can re-create even a tiny fraction of that anticipation is instantly appealing to me.  Third, this doll has a hidden name.  As a little girl, I named everything in sight, including all of my dolls and a massive collection of Breyer model horses.  I still love naming things and thinking about names and I am always excited to learn what friends and relatives (and even celebrities) name their babies.  

Full size Cabbage Patch Kids all come with a unique name (a first and a middle name), and I used to lurk in the toy aisles, trying to get a peek at what the names of all the Kids were without giving away what I was doing.  I still do that, actually.  Having a secret name for a doll is a brilliant marketing strategy, because I have to buy the doll in order to learn the name.  Luckily, for $3.99, this isn't a huge burden.  So...here's my cute baby who could be a boy OR a girl and who has a secret mystery name!  Eeee!  Are you excited?

Cabbage Patch mini doll: blonde hair, blue eyes.
The fourth thing that appeals to me about this tiny doll is simply that it's a Cabbage Patch Kid.  These dolls have a special place in my heart--not just because of their wonderful names, but because I remember my grandmother telling me about them when they were brand new.  In the early 80s, my grandma used to go to a local hobby store every month to look at the new dolls.  It was her special outing.  One time, she got to hold one of the very first porcelain Cabbage Patch Kids for a while and she almost bought it.  I vividly remember her trying to describe it to me when I came to visit.  I couldn't quite picture the squished face and I didn't understand the whole cabbage patch story, but there was something about the way she talked about this doll.  She was animated and excited about how different it was.  She held her hands out as though she could still feel the way it had fit into her arms.  I remember really wishing she'd bought that doll so that I could hold it, too.

This is one of my Cabbage Patch Kids (still in his box):

He has red hair that sticks up like my youngest son and blue eyes like my eldest:

He shares a middle name with one of my nephews and a birth month with one of my nieces.  He's just a special little guy.

Here is Darwin Louis next to my new mystery baby so that you can see how small the box is.  It's a tiny little replica of the traditional angled yellow Cabbage Patch box.  It's adorable in and of itself.

Here's the doll in my hand.  It's not ridiculously small, but definitely smaller than some of the earlier CPK mini dolls.

The box has everything written in English and in French.  

Tres bien.
There is printing on both edges of the box.  One side has a description/advertisement for Babyland and the other side has the Cabbage Patch story:

Xavier Roberts is a strange dude.
So, the idea with the concealed gender is that these dolls have a cloth diaper, and underneath the cloth diaper is a molded, painted diaper that is either pink or blue.  I tried and tried to sneak a peek at the diaper color and/or the name of this doll, but they're not giving anything away.  It is very well packaged: 

My husband took one look at it and declared it to be a boy because of the blue bottle.  It does kind-of look like a boy.  Maybe a boy named Simon? 

I can just barely see the top of a name written in there, but there's no way I can read what it says.  Excellent!  I hate it when a "secret" can be easily determined in the store.  That takes away all of the fun.

They're killing me with this!!

Est-ce que une fille ou un garcon??
Inside the colorful yellow box is a green polka dot cardboard insert with the doll attached.

This doll is so disarmingly adorable.  She has bright blue eyes and her irises look like tiny flowers: 

This was where one of my surprises ended, though, because you can see right through...HER cloth diaper.  It's a girl!

Maybe a cloth diaper that wasn't thin and white would have been a better concealer. 

Think pink.
As a bit of an aside, you'll see these dolls advertised on eBay and Toys R Us as being a specific gender.  For instance, one doll is titled "Caucasian Girl, Bald."  Did they open the box and check?  Did someone peek?  It still asks, "Is it a boy or a girl?" on the box, so I am confused.  I had to order a few more dolls to research this question.  I'll let you know what I discover.

In addition to the cloth diaper, this little girl comes with a removable plastic bib: 

And a greenish-blue plastic bottle that she can actually hold:

That face!  She is so cute:

She has a few small dark spots on her hair, but otherwise she is perfect.  I should mention that I bought this particular doll because all of the other babies at Toys R Us (there were 8 of them) had some kind of paint or box defect.  It might be best to buy these little ones in person.  

Amazingly, at just under 3 inches tall, she still has 5 points of articulation.  She can spin her head all of the way around and also has simple shoulder and hip joints.

Just like a real baby!

Look at this kid's profile:

Those cheeks!
So, there's another big question to be answered here...what is this little tyke's name?  I look at her and I think of cute names like "Maisie," "Piper" or "Tilly."  In fact, her name is...

The same as my middle name...and my mother-in-law's name!  How great is that?  Also, I happen to have been born in February, so it's perfect.

I don't have many baby dolls this size, so a couple of the girls were anxious to step in and test out their babysitting skills.  It turns out that Liv Hayden is a natural with babies:  

Catherine's big head and wide eyes fit well with Liv's proportions.

My Kurhn doll, Eloise, is very peaceful and quiet and has a wonderful calming effect on Catherine's energetic personality:

Other dolls were not quite as excited about a new baby in the house.  

Um...yeah.  You can have this thing back.

I asked myself what kind of doll Catherine would grow into if she could actually grow.  There are so many large-headed dolls on the market these days.  Cutie Pops?  Pullip?  Maybe even Lottie??  What do you guys think?

The best I could come up with is La Dee Da's Dots of Style Dee.  These two have the same sparkly eyes and large head:

La Dee Da Dee

Here are a few size comparisons.  Catherine is about the same size as a Lalaloopsy mini doll:

And she's a bit shorter than a Littlest Pet Shop Blythe doll, but that doesn't stop her from trying to make friends....

Hi!  My head has its own gravitational field, too!
Last, here she is with one of the new Lala Ooopsie plastic ponies, Cashew.  I love the curly vinyl mane and tail on this mismatched unicorn.

Bottom line?  Well, I totally adore Catherine.  She's the best $4 purchase I've made in a long time.  Her unknown gender and hidden name were completely irresistible to me in the toy store.   Even now that the excitement of revealing her secrets is over, I am still impressed and charmed by this endearing, articulated little doll.  The icing on the cake is that she comes with three usable accessories and is a size and scale that works really well with several of my 12" play dolls.  She'd make an excellent little treat for a young child, or just a guilt-free dolly pick-me-up for anyone who is young at heart.  I would have bought one of these cuties for my grandma in a heartbeat.  


  1. There's only one word to describe this doll and that is... cute with a capital C!
    I love the little name and gender suprises and the way Catherine matches with the other dolls! I had to laugh when I saw Meygana, she's not really into babies, lol xD
    Hayden and Catherine looked lovely together and you know I love Eloise! (That name fits her very well)
    I think Catherine would grow into a La Dee Da or a Cutie Pops. Both have very big heads and are very colorful and sweet!
    I also have to mention Cashew, that has to be the best plastic pony I've ever seen, what a colorful cutie!
    Thanks for this review Emily, I'd also like to congratulate you with your birthday in advance :D
    I'd love to send you some gifts but the doll I really want to give you is really hard to find. There's one for sale online, here in the Netherlands but when I contacted the buyer she asked waaaaaay to much money. So horrible when people do that when they know that's just unreasonable!

  2. Hey. I just discovered your blog/site and I love it!! I am an avid lover of dolls and can't get enough of them. Its nice to know there are other adults who love dolls just as much as I do.

    My collection consists of an array of porcelain dolls, and some collectors barbie dolls. However, my favorite is the Disney Parks Rapunzel doll I just received in the mail. I love her to death. I was wondering, if you could do a review on her. She would be the same as the Rapunzel doll you haven't deboxed yet aka the first doll sold in the Disney Store, with a little Pascal, a pink tipped paint brush, and the silver hair brush.

    I understand if you're not willing to open her up. I hesitated to do so with my Parks Rapunzel (but did so anyways as I couldn't resist), so there is absolutely no pressure.

  3. My girlfriend gave me one of these cuties at our last doll club meeting. She had four and they all turned out to be girls. I have the lil Asian girl. I don't remember her name at this moment. I can see me buying more of these as soon as I spot them. You can never have too many babies :O)

  4. That CPK is the cutest! thing I've seen in a looong time! I so need to keep an eye out for one of these.

  5. Oh how cute! I will certainly be keeping an eye out for these little ones. As you say, they are (almost) a guilt free purchase. I got a Cabbage Patch Doll one Christmas when I was a kid. I was so excited about receiving her but then I remember feeling so disappointed when she finally arrived. I didn't like her sandy coloured hair and you couldn't restyle it in any way because it was only rooted around the sides. I don't ever remember her name - poor little thing. I also had a couple of small plastic CP Dolls. One was called Ruth and I did love her. The re-release of the CP dolls makes me smile because they bring back so many childhood memories.

    I just love how you savour surprises. It must be a joy to watch you open presents :) I actually cannot cope with the excitement of surprises. I feel like I am going to burst. Therefore, I always wanted to know the gender of my own children at the first opportunity. There is no way I could wait until they were born. x

  6. Please do a review on the Lala-oopsies, especially the ponies and minis preferably!

  7. Hello from Spain: I want this baby cabbage for my Barbies. I love this baby. Currently in the shops of my country is not for sale. I'll look. Thanks for reporting. Keep in touch

  8. Just found your blog & I love it! Although I must say I am not a fan of CPK and find this little lass slightly terrifying. My mom bought me loads of CPKs back in the 80's and all I wanted were My Little Ponies, so there's some early childhood toy trauma going on there, lol!

    Your reviews are the best! Your enthusiasm and joy really shine through. Looking forward to more reviews, from one crazy doll lady to another! =)

  9. Just wanted to say...I LOVE your blog!

    (By the way, I would have to agree with an earlier comment: that photo of Meygana looking rather doubtfully at little Catherine is hilarious!)

  10. At first i actually felt the head was a bit creepy on the doll. yet after seeing your pictures of it with liv doll it really does fit well as a baby with her. Looks very cute in those pictures. I wonder if she'd look great with my fashionista that's sporting a moxie girls head.

  11. The surprises of the gender and name remind me of the Magic Nursery dolls.
    I loved your review and Cabbage Patch Kids hold a special place in my heart as well. Being born in the early 80s I received a Cabbage Patch for one of my earlier birthdays. Today I still have her and her little adoption certificate my parents mailed in for me. Thanks for the great review and a bit of reminiscing.

  12. i got one of these with brown hair and eyes and HER name was catalina. she is my little doll baby :)

  13. Aw, Catherine is super cute! I'm like you and find a mystery completely irresistible. Love names, too, and the CPK names is one of the best things about them. A couple of years ago, CPK had a very cute line of small baby dolls (bigger than these though, they were big enough to have cloth bodies) that came wearing a little frilly hat and sitting inside a cabbage leaf. You could see the eye color, but that's it. After you got the doll home, you found out the sex, the name, and the baby's hair (they had little tufts of hair, not painted on). Each one came with a mystery outfit as well. I purchased two and they were SO cute- I got an adorable redhead with curly hair and a brunette with yarn hair, both girls and with different outfits. Somehow they accidentally got donated to charity about a year ago, though, and I still miss them- isn't that ridiculous?!

    Here's a link to the ones I'm talking about, mine were not twins though. The price here is ridiculous, but you can see what I'm talking about! Bet you'd really enjoy one of these :) http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Cabbage-Patch-Kids-Surprise-Newborn-Twins-Blue-Eyes-/131128654663?pt=Pretend_Play_Preschool_US&hash=item1e87e07b47

  14. Where can you find the list of names on the Mini Cp dolls?

  15. I love these little dolls, Im trying to collect them all, but still have 3 left to collect. Do you know if they are still for sale in toy stores in USA??
    So far I have little girls named Jade, Rose, Autumn, Kaila, Alexandra, Phoebe, and 1 boy named Richard (he has blonde hair and brown eyes).

  16. Oh my, she is so cute! I think I have a couple of the older little ones stashed downstairs thinking my DGD would like them. Nope. Your wee one there is so much cuter and looks like baby. Mine look more like chubby Kelly dolls. I love little mini baby-babies! I also like the Kelly sized but I will be hunting for one of those. :)

  17. NEVER MIND how cute the dolls are; what about Toybox Emily?? I love the way you talk about your little treasures, you make me feel all warm and fuzzy,and you make me smile, like MY little treasures do, LOL! I wish you were my neighbor and best friend! Happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year!