Xavier Roberts first peddled his famous yarn-haired dolls at craft fairs in the late '70s, until Coleco bought the brand in 1982 and spawned the toy craze of the '80s. Instead of selling just another mass-produced doll in a box, Coleco turned little girls into adoptive mothers by treating each doll as a one-of-a-kind "delivery," complete with adoption papers and individual names. Different outfits and facial features added to the illusion of uniqueness.

By 1983, demand for Cabbage Patch Kids was high enough to incite riots among eager parents trying to fulfill Christmas wish lists. While the dolls cost $25, many were resold for $100 or more.

Not surprisingly, many of these were bought by collectors looking to cash in later. However, they won't find much of a return if they waited until now to sell. Toys 'R' Us was recently offering updated versions of the dolls on sale for $25. If you want a vintage doll in original packaging, they're sitting on eBay for as little as $27. Used dolls from the early '80s are being offered for as little as $1.

--Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post,, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.

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