Will Seippel | June 12, 2023

“Jolie laide,” or “pretty-ugly,” is a French term that one might use to describe a person who is not conventionally attractive but possesses distinctive features that make them beautiful in their own way. While the concept of “jolie laide” might be subjective, some people might consider Cabbage Patch Kids to fall within this category. Their charm often lies in their “ugly-cute” aesthetic, and their unique features often contribute to the dolls’ overall value.

The Ever-Evolving Value of Cabbage Patch Kids

The Cabbage Patch is a whimsical realm where Cabbage Patch Kids come to life and flourish until the moment they find loving families for adoption. Through this visionary concept, creator Xavier Roberts set his dolls apart from other leading toys by creating an interactive experience for children. It was no longer just about buying a doll; instead, families embraced and adopted a one-of-a-kind companion. While the market struggled in the beginning, the popularity of the dolls skyrocketed in the 1980s. Over the years, numerous design changes have influenced various models’ value.

Although the dolls’ unique characteristics and varieties depend on their production year, edition, and whether they were limited releases, the core features of Cabbage Patch dolls remain constant. While collectors and enthusiasts often find value in tracking and collecting variations, several other factors can contribute to a higher value. Here are a few:

  1. Age: Cabbage Patch dolls, especially the original releases from the late 1970s and 1980s, tend to sell at a higher value. These dolls are distinguished by their soft sculptured faces and asymmetric features. For example, this 1978 Cabbage Patch doll sold for $8,308.09 on eBay in 2020.
  2. Rarity: Limited-edition or special-release Cabbage Patch dolls produced in smaller quantities tend to have a higher value. According to WorthPoint.com, this limited-edition porcelain Cabbage Patch doll sold for $1,000 in 2022.
  3. Condition: The condition of the doll dramatically influences its value. Cabbage Patch dolls in mint condition, especially in their original packaging, typically sell for higher prices.
  4. Originality: Cabbage Patch dolls that retain their original clothing and accessories are generally more valuable to collectors.
  5. Unique Characteristics: Dolls with distinct features, such as dimples, can enhance the doll’s overall appearance, charm, and price. This 1986 green-eyed Cabbage Patch Kid doll features a dimple on his chin, and it sold for $8,101 on eBay.
  6. Documentation and Provenance: Each Cabbage Patch Kid came with a birth certificate and adoption papers, and these original documents can enhance a doll’s value. Additionally, documentation of authenticity or provenance can add to a doll’s value.
  7. Nostalgia: Nostalgia is another driving force in the Cabbage Patch Kids market. Those who grew up with Cabbage Patch dolls during the height of their popularity seek to relive their childhood memories or acquire items with sentimental value.
Cabbage Patch Kids Helen Blue doll
Cabbage Patch dolls with multiple distinguishable features often command higher prices in the market. This rare example—a commissioned 1977 Helen Blue doll handmade by creator Xavier Roberts himself— has two spots on the right hand.
Image source: WorthPoint

Happy Hunting!

It is important to note that the value of Cabbage Patch dolls can fluctuate over time because of changing market trends and collectors’ preferences. Monitoring auction results, consulting price guides, and engaging with collectors can provide insights into the current market value of specific dolls. Enjoy the pursuit of your Cabbage Patch treasures!

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Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. An Inc. 500 Company, WorthPoint is used by individuals and organizations seeking credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.