Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Surprise: Cabbage Patch Kids Surprise Newborn Twins!

I have a long-standing fixation on toys with surprises or mysteries.  Things like Kinder Surprise eggs, for example, send me into fits of glee.  I love blind bag toys, vending machines and grab bag specials, too.  If a doll has a secret accessory or gift displayed in its box, odds are good that I'm going to want it.  Because of this obsession, I've decided to introduce a new feature to the blog.  It'll be called "Sunday Surprise" and will include short reviews of surprise-themed toys...on Sundays.  I might not be able to come up with one of these every single Sunday, but that'll be part of the surprise!  I already have a bunch of amazing toys that I can't wait to share with you.  This whole idea is beyond exciting for me, so I really hope you'll enjoy it, too!

My favorite kind of toy surprise is probably the mystery name of a doll.  You might remember how thrilling I thought the Cabbage Patch Babyland Mini dolls were with their little hidden birth certificates.  I can't believe that those cuties were on the shelves for such a short period of time.  I decided that the perfect toy to start this series would be another Cabbage Patch Kid mystery item: the Surprise Newborn Twins!

Cabbage Patch Kids Surprise Newborn Twins (discontinued) by Jakks Pacific.
These sets are from 2012 and are only available on the secondary market.  A mint-in-box pair sells for anywhere between $50 and about $100.  I bought the cheapest set I could find because I didn't have any preference for eye color of facial expression.  I got a pair of brown-eyed babies with little half-smiles on their faces.  They're ridiculously adorable.

The greatest thing about these babies is that eye color and facial expression are the only things that you can know before you adopt them.  There are a bunch of surprises to discover:
1. The genders!
2. The names.  For me, this is the best part.  I love baby names.
3. The hair colors and styles
4. The belly button shapes (although I don't find this part especially thrilling).

This picture does a nice job of demonstrating some of the variability:

A boy and a girl?  Two girls?  Two boys?
Ok, now I want a little boy with that face.  That is too cute.  I didn't come across that mouth variation in any of my internet searches, though.  I also love the little girl's huge smile and curly red hair!  How awesome is that??

The box really plays up the mystery of the gender...which is driving me crazy with anticipation:

I don't know yet!  Stop asking!!
At the top of the box there's a list of the contents:

I don't like the sound of a "surprise diaper."
The back of the box repeats several of the images from the front:

The Cabbage Snuggler outfit keeps the baby warm...and keeps all of the surprise features safely concealed:

The Snuggler sounds like a Batman villain.
The Snuggler is also a really cute little piece of clothing that references the bizarre story of rescuing these babies from a patch of cabbages.

There are two coordinating t-shirts included so that the babies can wear real clothing after they've been adopted:

This is my favorite picture--I love it:

It seems like the photographer captured a very real moment here.  That little girl looks like she's giggling herself silly over her new doll!  Her happiness is contagious.

Ok, are you ready to look at my little twins?  I am so far beyond ready!

Here they are with the outer box removed:

I love how the twin on the right is tipped slightly to the side.  So coy.
Each baby has his or her birth certificate mounted next to them--with the name cleverly hidden:

The babies were born on October 8th.  There are two special October birthdays in my family, so this is a nice detail.

Let's look at the baby on the left of the box first:

The back of her Snuggler reminds me of the Rubens Barn Moss doll:

This baby has a single dimple on its left cheek:

Here's a closer look:

These dolls are smaller than the traditional Cabbage Patch Kids.  They measure about 9 inches long. They'd be a wonderful size for a smaller child (and are safety approved for anyone over 18 months). 

Here's the first baby with My Twinn Annie so you can get a sense of scale.  Their heads are roughly the same size:

Does it seem like I'm procrastinating?  Sorry!  I always stall out a little bit just before revealing a surprise.  Once I peek at the name and gender of this baby, the surprise is over.  It's such a strange battle of emotions to be at once over-eager to reveal the mystery but also reluctant to get started.  The nice thing about twins, though, is that we get to have all of the fun twice!

The Snugglers are held securely in place with long plastic ties over each shoulder:

I snipped the tie on the left shoulder and the Snuggler slipped down a little bit...

It's like a cabbage strip tease.
...but there was no hint of a diaper yet.  So, I snipped the right plastic tie:

And actually the Snuggler still stayed in place really well!

Come on, Emily!  They all want to know if I'm a boy or a girl! it goes...

She's a GIRL!
I had strong boy vibes with this one, but that's an undeniably pink diaper.

So, you'll notice that I didn't pull the Snuggler all of the way off in that last picture.  I saved the hair color and style surprise:

She looks cute with the Snuggler as a hat.
I pulled off the hood and she has...

NO hair!
As much as I would have loved that curly red hair, bald babies are also completely adorable.  Some of my favorite real-life babies are bald.

So, there are still two more surprises left with this little one: her name and the type of belly button that she has.  The belly button is concealed by the diaper.

The diaper is attached on each side with velcro:

The diaper's edges are unfinished, but there's some elastic in the back of the waistband to ensure a tight fit:

No extra surprises here, thank goodness.
And underneath the diaper...

A belly button!
I think that's an "outie" belly button?  I'm not sure.  They can be innies or outies.  It looks pretty much like a donut to me:

Or...does anyone else see a pig's snout?
Sorry, I couldn't resist:

This baby also has a cute little wrinkled bottom with Xavier Roberts' signature on the right side:

I was eager to get this little girl dressed in one of the t-shirts, so I tried to remove them from the box.  They were sewn against the backdrop with lots of tight white thread and were really hard to get out.  I was tugging on them so much that I was worried that I was going to rip a hole in one of them.

I was also feeling extra-impatient.  I mean, I still didn't know this baby's name!

The shirts slowed me down.
The two shirts I got are purple and yellow.  Each has trim in the color of the other shirt.  I love this coordination-without-matching approach for twin babies.  I chose the purple shirt for this girl:

If possible, she looks even cuter now.
Ok, I saved the best for last.  It's time to find out the baby's name!  Eeee!!  I love this part!

So many possibilities!!
Some of the Cabbage Patch Kid names are strange, and some are absolutely brilliant.  It really doesn't matter to me.  I just love the mystery!

It's coming...what could it be?
Ok: the second name is "Myles."

Huh.  This threw me for a minute because I'm used to hearing the name Miles (spelled like that) for a boy.  Did the diaper make a mistake?  Is this baby really a boy??   I had to go look it up.  As usual, I turned to my favorite baby name source, The Baby Name Wizard, for guidance.  I love this website and use it all of the time for random things--not the least of which is naming dolls.  Also, the woman who started the site is a fantastic person.

The Wizard lists this only as a boy's name, but it can be spelled "Miles" or "Myles."  Fair enough.  Girls are taking over a lot of boy names lately, though, don't you think?  James is a prime example.  Maybe it's just in the celebrity world that this is happening.  Frankly, I don't really like the trend, but maybe that's because I named two boys and feel protective of boy names.  It feels like there's a bigger variety of girl names already, so why do girls need the guy names, too?  It's not like it works in the other direction (although don't ask me why--maybe it's similar to why boys don't usually wear dresses in our culture?).  Name trends are constantly evolving, though, and always have been.  I probably just need to keep up with the times.

Huge tangent.  Sorry.  As it turns out, there's no mistake!  This baby is a girl and her name is...

Pearl Myles.
Pearl is a lovely (if outdated) name.  It's like Ruby or Olive.  It reached the peak of its popularity in the 1890s.  A lot of these older names are making a comeback.  Pearl hasn't rebounded very much yet (again--according to The Baby Name Wizard) but it could.  It has what it takes.

I thought it was interesting to read that Pearl was also used as a boy's name in the 1880s.  It was never as popular as it was as a girl's name, but still.  I never would have guessed that.

A common nickname for Pearl is "Pea."  I find that unbearably cute for this doll.

Sweet pea.
I actually like looking at the name Pearl Myles--especially in the fancy birth certificate font.  I suspect these names are generated randomly, but this one ended up with a nice flow.  The "l" sounds roll off the tongue pretty well.  And it's a fun mix of old (Pearl) and new (girl stealing boy's name).

Ok!  Whew!  So many surprises!  Now, let's turn our attention to Pearl's sibling and do it all over again!

He or she has the exact same face as Pearl:

It's the Harrison Ford smirk in miniature.
There's even a single dimple on the left cheek:

Apparently these two are identical twins, which is really fun as a concept...but maybe not as fun with dolls.  I don't usually buy two identical dolls.  It would have been slightly better if one of the twins had been given a different face mold--just to make the two distinguishable.  Even identical twins make different faces every now and then.

Of course identical twins have to be the same gender, too.  This kind of twin is formed by a single fertilized egg splitting in two, so all of the DNA in the resulting babies is exactly the same--right down to the sex chromosomes.

I decided to reveal this baby's head first, since I could already feel through the Snuggler hood that (she) has no hair:

Not a huge surprise at this point.
But when I lowered the hood, the Snuggler slipped down a bit and...

This one is a boy!

Now THAT was a surprise.
Despite the scientific impossibility of identical twins with different genders, I love baby boys and was thrilled to see this.  The Cabbage Patch Kids brand has always done a wonderful job of offering a great variety of baby boys.

This baby does have one difference from his sister.  His belly button:

That must be an outie.
So I guess Pearl has an innie belly button?   Here are the two together for comparison:

Pearl's innie piggy button and the mystery boy's outie.

I also remembered to check the copyright mark on this baby and was a little surprised to see a 2004 Play Along stamp on the back of the head (this set is a Jakks Pacific release):

Play Along owned the master license for Cabbage Patch Kids before Jakks Pacific did.  And actually Jakks doesn't own the license anymore, either.  It just switched hands to Wicked Cool Toys last year.  I haven't noticed a difference in the dolls during my browsing, but it might be a good time to take a closer look!

I dressed the little boy in the yellow tee shirt to get him ready for his big name reveal:

You know you want to hug me.
Pearl was also very curious to see what her brother's name is!

One of my favorite features of the Baby Name Wizard site is that you can look up popular sibling names for any name that you're interested in.  I used this tool to see what a likely sibling name for Pearl might be and found the following list:
Riess (?)

So, let's see if any of those are this baby's name!  My favorites from the list are Albert and Porter--at least in terms of how well they go with Pearl.  

Apparently none of those are this doll's middle name, though, because it ends with "-win."  Edwin?  Elwin?  Darwin?  Finwin? (Ok, probably not Finwin).

Elwin is looking more likely...

Oh--maybe not!

The middle name is Edwin!  

That first name ends with "-rd."  So maybe Richard Edwin?  Richard was on the list!  

At this point... was starting to look like Edward Edwin.  That would be a pretty funny mix since the names are so similar.

I was wrong again, though.  It's not Edward Edwin....

It's Howard Edwin!

I actually think Howard goes very well with Pearl.  That name peaked in popularity just a few decades after Pearl did.  Now, if Howard had a more modern-sounding middle name, the pair would be perfect.  Maybe Howard Porter?  Porter is surging in popularity right now.

In any case, here's little Howie Edwin:

And here are Howie and Pearl together!  

The world's first identical fraternal twins.
As you can imagine, my studio is overrun with My Twinn dolls right now.  And, understandably, they all wanted to be a part of this surprise.  Audrey is the most baby-crazy of the bunch, and she insisted that she be allowed to hold one of the twins for a picture.  She struggled to hold Howie the correct way at first (he's a big boy!):

But she quickly got the hang of it.

Bottom line?  Well, it was addictively fun to reveal the surprises that these babies were hiding.  I want to do it over and over again.  

Because of the secondary market price hike, I'd say that the value of these sets is now directly related to how much you love surprises.  For anyone just looking for a cute doll set, the $50-100 price range is ridiculous.  You can get new-looking de-boxed Surprise Newborns on eBay for $20.  And $20 is probably a fair price for these dolls (equivalent to two of the current Rainforest or Farm Cutie Cabbage Patch Kid dolls).

If you're nuts about surprises like I am, though, these dolls pack a lot of surprise into one box and might be worth the extra money.  All together there were a delightful eight hidden details to discover (hair, gender, belly button and names...all times two!).  The extra cost was definitely worth it to me--especially because I got to share the experience with you.

The only moment of disappointment here was realizing that these dolls are basically identical.  They have different belly buttons, but that's it.  I wish they'd had different hair or different faces like the dolls in the advertisement photo.

Still, with all of the fun I had de-boxing Pearl and Howie, it's hard to complain.  And as identical as those little faces are, they're still awfully cute:

Bye guys!


  1. Wow Emily! I like the idea of a surprise sunday! I love surprised too and have bought a couple my little pony blind bags (even though I haven't seen the show and haven't touched a mlp since I was a child) and they got me so excited just to see what I got! There are so many cute blind bags out there, but I love the Cabbage patch surprise dolls even more I think. Great review Emily!

    1. Also I just wanted to let you (and anyone else who reads this) that this morning I was on the tonnes website and saw that Maudlynn Macabre was only 30 bucks. It did mention the vinyl might be stained on the dolls but I thought it was a good deal for her! I think it was almost half off.

  2. Awww. I love Cabbage Patch Kids. My mother made me one when I was a little girl. It had long red hair in braids, and blue eyes, just like myself when I was little. I cherish it to this day.

  3. Aww they are so cute! :) I also scanned the QR code on the box and the little commercial was adorable! Surprise Sundsy is a great idea, have you tried blind boxes like Mini Mixie Q's or Twozies? Both sets are adorable and I have a modest collection of both lines. I loved the review. :)

  4. You had me cracked up at 'surprise diaper'...

    Wonderfully thorough post as always. I really shared your exitement, although I myself am not so much into surprises - that's what I like about your blog: I enjoy without regrets. :) Thank you!

  5. I recently found this blog and am really enjoying reading all your reviews. Love this one showing the Cabbage Patch Surprise Twins...Cabbage Patch are some of my favorite dolls!

  6. Well, Pearl's one of the Monster High Hydra sisters, so the name is still around in some parts. Although it has more significance in that case due to the dual gemstone/hair color theme naming of the two.

  7. How fantastic! I'm so excited for more Surprise Sundays!! :) <3 Can't wait! Pearl and Howie are too cute! <3

  8. Aww, so cute! I love the pictures of Audrey with Howard.

  9. Emily I m so glad you are back. And I love your new concept of this blog. Cant wait to see more and more.

  10. Cute! I was surprised to see how tiny the bodies are compared to the My Twinns - from the photos on their own I was imagining they would be the same size as the old CPK Preemie line.

  11. What will they think of next? This is a pretty cool idea.

  12. Having a twin, I say be glad they are not identical! It's always more fun to be you than a mirror! I know siblings who share the same face structure who are very tough to tell apart in baby photos and twins that look nothing alike so, I can't fault the CPKs too much for what seems like a failure in twinness. C'est la vie!

  13. I love Surprise Sundays! Your twins are too cute.

  14. Aieee, those are some cute babies! I was never a huge fan of Cabbage Patch dolls (only had a couple as a kid), but I'm extremely tempted now. Silly as it sounds, my heart actually starting pounding while I was reading the review--the suspense was killing me!

    (Yeah, I'm not great with surprises. :-P)

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Adorable! It's funny but the shirts make them look more different than you would think since they have the same face mold. I think the colors bring out or highlight different facial features.

    Great review! Love these dolls. The concept is great! I have 4 Cabbage Patch Kids They are so sweet. Your twins are just perfect. I love how you showcase them in the arms of the other two dolls.

  16. When I was a kid, I had a Magic Nursery Baby. To find out the sex, you took the little top and soaked it in water until it dissolved. Inside was a plastic pouch with outfit and birth certificate, and then the hair under the top, and innie/outie belly button. Some of the dolls came with mail-in certificates for a twin sibling! Mine was a girl with an outie belly button and no twin.

    "Of course identical twins have to be the same gender, too."

    WRONG! This is actually wrong. Monozygotic twins (the ones from one egg) can be fertilized with a Y-sperm, resulting in boys. BUT! But one of them can drop the Y, resulting in an XY-boy, and a single-X-girl. A single-X-girl has Turner syndrome. As you can imagine, this is exceptionally rare, with fewer than ten cases known worldwide.

    Also identical twins are more often referred to as monozygotic these days: one zygote/egg. The reason for this is "identical" twins aren't always identical in appearance or other things. Twins from the same egg can be polar/mirror twins (I went to school with twin sisters who are mirror images of each other, even on being a righty and the other a lefty), one can get a genetic medical condition that the other doesn't (a friend of mine has "identical" twin girls, and one has a form of dwarfism while the other does not, and they're known to be the same egg because of the type of fertility assistance they had), etc.

    Just some little-known info. :)

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. I must admit that Cabbage Patch Kids creep me out a little... But I had a lot of fun reading (and watching) the review :) The name Pearl reminds me of a Steven Universe character - I won't be surprised if we get flooded with gem-named children in a few years judging by the cartoon's popularity :O
    Surprise Sunday sounds like an awesome idea! Can't wait to see the new issue!

  19. I -adore- the idea of Sunday Surprise. You might also enjoy a pregnant Susy doll, it's a surprise what genders her baby (or babies, there's also sets with twins) turn out to be!

  20. I really loved this review! Its so detailed that I had the feeling I was opening the dolls!
    The information about the names were especially interesting, (Now I understand why I only found the name Ruby and Olive in older books like Anne of Green Gables)