Sunday, December 25, 2022

Sunday Surprise: A Cabbage Patch Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  I couldn't resist the urge to post another Sunday Surprise on this particular day, which tends to be full of its own fun surprises.  I'm sure there are fun things in store at my house, but right now the only surprise I've gotten is that my youngest's flight from the West Coast got delayed and delayed...and then canceled.  The cold weather is certainly bungling things up for people all over the country.  I hope all of you are safe and warm and have gotten where you need to go.  If not, maybe you need a few little surprises to hold you over.

As you might remember, I love Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, mostly because they tend to come with surprise names.  These hidden names have tantalized me since I was a little kid.  I don't know what it is about a mystery name that I find so appealing--maybe it's just that I love names and I love surprises, so putting the two together is double the fun?  

In any case, one of my Patreon friends knows how much I enjoy Cabbage Patch Kids and their names, so she wrote to me in September to alert me to the fact that there are some newly-released Newborn Surprise babies available, and these have mystery names--and also mystery eye colors!

Cabbage Patch Kid Tiny Newborn Surprise by Jazwares, $24.99.

I listed the suggested price for these dolls up above, but you can find them at various stores for less (I paid $16.97).

The Cabbage Patch Kid merchandise has switched companies so many times, it's hard to keep up.  I think the last time I reviewed one of these dolls, they were under the Jakks Pacific name, and before that they were owned by Coleco, Hasbro, Toys R Us, Mattel, and Play Along Toys.  Currently, the CPK licensee is Jazwares, which is the owner of Wicked Cool Toys.

So in addition to being curious about this doll's name and eye color, I was also interested to see how she compares to dolls like the Jakks Pacific Surprise Newborn Twins that I reviewed in 2016.  

At nine inches tall, this baby is about the same size as those earlier Newborn Twins.  She came mounted on a compact cardboard base with an open front.  She and all of her accessories were secured with twine: 

There are only two dolls in this release, one with light skin and one with dark skin.  Both have the eye color reveal feature:

The mystery eyes are concealed behind skin-colored paint, in a similar way to what we saw with the Bratz Li'l Angels dolls:

I love the efficient, plastic-free packaging, but it's so sparse that at first I worried there wasn't room for a birth certificate to be stashed anywhere.

However, I needn't have worried!  On the upper right hand side of the box, tucked in behind the doll's head, there was a birth certificate peeking out!

The back of the box is bright and cheery, with a large photograph of a girl holding the doll:

The text at the top describes how to use a wet cloth to reveal the eye color.  It also says that this is a drink-and-wet doll, which is fun:

There are smaller photos at the bottom of the box that show two versions of the doll with their eye colors revealed:

I'm confused about those photos, though.  It looks like there's one doll with a medium complexion (and blue eyes) and then a darker doll with brown eyes.  But from everything I've looked at, there are only two dolls in this series: a blond-haired girl and the girl in this review.  Here are the catalogue pictures:

There's no mention anywhere of a third baby.

Curious to figure out what was going on, I went to the official Cabbage Patch Kids website and found the dolls there.  Here's the blond girl:

And sure enough, the only other option is the doll I have:

And she's shown with dark blue eyes that have yellow-ish accents:

But if you go back and look more closely, you'll see that even though the eye color surprise feature is clearly advertised, the description only lists a single eye color for each doll.

Blue eyes for the blond girl:

And hazel eyes for the brunette:

I was so confused at this point.  And I think I also ruined the eye color surprise.  Except it's not a surprise if all of the dolls have the same eye color, is it?  Sheesh.  That's a real cop-out, if you ask me.

But do you know what wasn't ruined?  The name surprise!  So I was still feeling very happy about the whole situation.

Let's put all of that confusion behind us and take a closer look at the doll.  She comes with a pacifier, a bottle, and her birth certificate:

I'm not very good at delayed gratification, so I went straight for the birth certificate!  Please let there be a name inside...

The certificate is folded like a greeting card, and the back side looks like an actual birth certificate--complete with finger and footprints!

It's cute how Xavier Roberts (the man who invented Cabbage Patch Kids) is listed as the baby's long as you don't think too hard about how many Cabbage Patch Kids there are in the world.

The certificate opened up...

And inside...

I found a name!

Angela Haley!  What a great name.  I love it.  My first dog was named Hailey.

Angela came swaddled in a hooded pink fleece blanket, so her whole body was a mystery to me.  Although since she's a drink-and-wet doll, I knew she wasn't going to have a cloth body:

The swaddle has velcro on one corner to hold everything in place, and the velcro can attach anywhere on the outside of the blanket:

I like the flexibility of the velcro closure because it's very easy to re-swaddle Angela, and it would even be a do-able task for a young child.

The swaddle opened up to reveal...

An all-vinyl body with a belly button and a white diaper:

Angela's arms and legs can move, so she can sit up on her own:

She's really cute, and I like all of the little wrinkles and folds in her molded body!

From the side, you can see her simplified ears and her cute little bun hairstyle:

Here she is from the back:

You'll notice that she has drainage holes in her arms (and also on her feet) so that her body doesn't stay filled with water.

She has a lot of factory marks on her back, including the Jazwares 2021 copyright, and the fact that she was made in Vietnam:

Angela only has four points of articulation.  Her neck is stationary.  But she can lift her arms up and down:

And her legs spin all of the way around, too:

She can even run, with the help of a stand!

This doll has such a funny mix of features.  She's called a newborn, and her body looks like that of a newborn, but she also has a ton of hair...and teeth! 

The teeth are formed from a block of vinyl inside the lower lip, with (lopsided) white squares printed only on the front surface.  I think the teeth look odd and I wish they'd been left out.

Angela's mouth is open, with a large space that can accommodate the pacifier.  There's also a smaller hole at the back for the insertion of the bottle:

Here she is with her pacifier:

That's a really big pacifier.
And with her bottle:

That's a really small bottle.
Both the pacifier and the bottle fit securely into Angela's mouth.

I didn't test out the drink-and-wet feature because I didn't want to fill Angela's body with water.  And also, even though she comes with a diaper, there's no way that this thin layer of fleece is going to absorb enough:

Angela would make a really fun bath toy for a little kid, though.  Then she could drink and pee to her heart's content!

Alright, even though I'm expecting to find hazel eyes, let's see how this eye reveal surprise goes.  

The painted eyelids look sort-of creepy to me, anyway, so I was anxious to get rid of them:

I wiped the eyes with a damp cloth, and at first that only worked to remove the eyelashes:

With a bit more effort, the paint began to clump up and come off:

And when I'd washed most of the paint away...I found brown eyes!

They're not really hazel, and they're definitely not like the picture on the Cabbage Patch Kids website.  So I guess they were a surprise after all!  That's cool, but I still wouldn't count on any of the medium-skinned dolls looking any different from Angela.  My guess is that all of the dolls in each variety have the exact same eye color.  Boo.

I was not able to completely remove the eyelid paint, either.  Notice how there are still tan rings around Angela's eyes:

Like dainty spectacles.
I suspect these rings will eventually wear off, but it was frustrating to not be able to get the face completely clean.

Angela is a great size.  She's substantial enough that a child could cradle her in their arms, but she's also small enough to be easily toted around by someone as young as two or three years old.  It's hard to get across her size in the photos, so here she is with my nurturing assistant, Lina, for some more perspective:

Cabbage Patch Tiny Newborn (left) with Barbie Signature Looks Lina.
Overall, I think Cabbage Patch Kids are adorable, and Angela is no exception.  However, I don't think that the eye color surprise (which maybe isn't even a surprise) makes her any more interesting than a lot of the other Tiny Newborn options that are on the market right now.  

For example, look at this lineup that I grabbed from a small promotional video:

I'll take the fellow in the back on the left, please.
Those are all so cute.  I love the different mouth shapes, too, and find all of them more attractive than Angela's strange blocky teeth.  And I bet they all come with mystery names!  So tempting.

I think for the price, I'd recommend choosing one of the regular Tiny Newborns instead of the mystery eye dolls.  There's better variety, better clothing, and a better chance to pick just the right character for you.

Sorry, Angela.
While I'm on a Cabbage Patch Kid theme, I have a few more little items I want to show you.  

Do you remember the Babyland Mini review I did way back in 2013?  I love those little dolls, and still have the ones I reviewed.  I like them so much, in fact, that every few years I do an internet search to see if new ones were made or if any old ones have shown up on the secondary market.

A few months ago when I did one of these searches, I found some special edition Babyland Minis!  I was so excited.  They came out in 2013, but somehow I completely missed them.  I'm delighted to have discovered them nearly a decade later!  

Several of the dolls I found have a Christmas theme, so I've been waiting for this day to open them up and share them with you.  The first one I got is this little Santa:

Look at that face!
His box is just like the ones from my 2013 review, with the story of the Cabbage Patch Kids on one side:

Details about the Babyland General Hospital (which is still open) on the other side:

And some company details on the back:

These little ones are from the Jakks Pacific era.

The box can be opened from either side:

And the baby slides out, attached to decorative cardboard...with the name certificate hiding at the back!

The doll was held in place with a molded plastic shell, and you can start to make out the name by looking through it...

His name is Cason!  I like it.  I don't think I've ever heard that name before:

And Cason himself is freakin' adorable:

I really love his face mold, with that lopsided (toothless) smile.

He has bright green eyes, a Santa hat (that does not come off), a red vinyl tee shirt, and green pajama bottoms:

Or rather his legs are painted green.
The tee shirt is actually removable, and has a peg-and-hole closure at the back:

It's fairly easy to get the pegs unfastened:

Here's the little vinyl shirt on its own:

And here's Cason without the shirt:

The green legs are a weird decision.  I think a painted green diaper and regular legs would have looked much better.

The factory marks on Cason's back are also quite obvious--especially the numbers and letters on his green bottom:

But otherwise, Cason is fantastic.  He has five points of articulation (neck, shoulders, and hips) so he can sit up, lay down, and even do the splits!

For anyone not familiar with these little dolls, they're super-tiny at only three inches tall.  So even though Angela is pretty small for a baby doll, Cason is much smaller:

He's about the same size as Marigold, my Barbie Babysitters Inc. baby:

Cabbage Patch Kid Babyland Mini (left) and Barbie Babysitters Inc. baby (right).
I wish that the Barbie babies came with secret names!

That was fun, right?  Let's do it again!

This time, I have a mini angel character to de-box:

She comes mounted against the same snowflake backdrop that Cason had:

And her name is also obscured by the plastic!  Can anybody make it out yet?

Her name is...

Phoebe!  I love the name Phoebe.

And Phoebe is just as cute as can be-be:

She has tiny holes on each of her nostrils, though, which is weird.  Probably just a molding defect.

She comes in a little white and pink lacy dress, with big white wings attached at the back!

Her outfit also opens with a peg-and-hole seam:

And the outfit is quite impressive, even on its own:

The wings looked like they might be removable, but they're actually glued in place:

Without her dress and wings, Phoebe is left with a simple painted pink diaper:

She has bright blue eyes and cute little molded ponytails that stick out from her head:

And she has a lot of factory marks on her back, but they're camouflaged better than Cason's marks:

I got one more of these little dolls, and both Cason and Phoebe were very anxious to meet her!

This one is a fairy:

She looks themed for Halloween, but the box says "Fashion Play!"

She came mounted against an orange backdrop with spider web decorations:

Definitely a Halloween doll.
And her name was quite obvious right from the start!

Meet little Rosalie:

Rosalie is even cuter than Phoebe, I think.  She has the same molded outfit and wings, but the colors are much more vibrant:

Her dress is pink with green accents, and her wings are green with glitter:

Here she is from the back:

And here's the outfit on its own:

You can see that the shape and design are the same as Phoebe's outfit:

In fact, Phoebe and Rosalie are nearly identical, too.  The only difference is that Rosalie's diaper is a darker shade of pink:

And Rosalie doesn't have holes in her nose.
Here are all three of the Babyland imps together:

They make me so happy, and would even look great on a Christmas tree or hiding in a wreath: 

Bottom line?  I remember that the Babyland dolls originally cost about $4, which was an amazing deal.  Now, of course, they're more expensive on the secondary market.  They're not technically worth what I paid (around $20 each), but for nostalgia's sake, it was worth it to go back in time and remember how much fun these minis can be.  I love all three of them, but I have to say that Cason, with his green eyes and adorable smile, is my favorite.  I only wish his legs weren't green.

So for me, Cabbage Patch Kids haven't lost their appeal over the years.  It seems that no matter which company is making them, I end up being charmed.  And I doubt I'll ever get over the simple thrill of those secret names.  I hope Jazwares considers releasing a new round of three-inch minis in the future.  I will certainly be in line to buy them.

That's it for now.  I need to go snuggle dogs and maybe make some cookies.  I wish all of you a joyful holiday season, however you celebrate, and may all of your surprises be good ones.


  1. Merry Christmas Emily. I hope you're able to have a family Christmas soon, and may your Christmas cookies be delicious.

    1. Thank you so much, Bitty. I hope things work out for you, too! Merry Christmas. :)

  2. Carson would look good with little elf boots.

  3. Replies
    1. Oh, gosh, yes! Elf boots with skin-colored legs and a green diaper? Classic. And I kept calling him Carson while typing this review, too. ;)

  4. As an Oregonian I can certainly vouch for the messiness here on the west coast :) we couldn’t leave our house for two days!! Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and you family.

  5. Merry Christmas to Emily and all the rest! May you have a wonderful (and safe!) time.

  6. I have that little fairy baby. I found her at Target around Halloween many years ago. I currently just have one Cabbage Patch Kid. My grandma got her for me back in '84, which was the year before she passed from cancer. She has red yarn hair and blue eyes and her name is Corinne. I don't remember her middle name since I got her when I was two, but I knew her first name because of my mom. Besides her, I used to have tons of little pose-able mini Cabbage Patch dolls that were like 3 or 4 inches. They were really cute and I loved playing with them.

  7. I love how Lena has been a consistent presence for so long.

  8. Merry Christmas, Emily. Thank you so much for keeping the blog active. It really is the highlight of my day whenever you update :)

  9. I'm sorry about your son's flight! Hopefully you are able to celebrate together soon. Wishing you a wonderful holiday nonetheless.

    Lena is such a dedicated assistant! Between Angela and the minis she looks like she would be right at home on the set of Honey I Blew Up the Kid.

    1. Also, just wanted to share with you the JC Toys Chloe by Berenguer doll. I stumbled across her on sale on Amazon and she seemed up your alley.

  10. I remember your review of the Babyland Mini Dolls like it was yesterday. Oh, how time goes by fast! I'm glad to see that the current manufacturer still captures that fun of older Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, even if some things, like the eye paint, could use improvement.

    I wish you a (very late) Merry Christmas Emily, and a Happy New Year in advance!

  11. Why don't you go to a name generator on the Internet and give yourself surprise names for the Barbies babies?