Travel Tips

Visit The Cabbage Patch Fantasy Land Museum

If you like unusual roadside stops, Cabbage Patch Kids or both then-”Hello, Dolly”--have we got a place for you.  It’s called Donna’s Cabbage Patch FantasyLand Museum.  This museum, dedicated to the Cabbage Patch Kids, is (located at 69868 590th Street) in Griswold, Iowa in the U.S. But first, for those of you readers who were not born in a cabbage patch and are unfamiliar with the Cabbage Patch Kids, don’t worry.  Be happy.  Here is a bit of background on the Kids in question:

Background

Cabbage Patch Kids are toys; specifically, they are a series of “soft sculptured dolls” complete with chubby cheeks and gimme-a-hug arms created by Xavier Roberts.  Roberts registered them with the U.S. copyright office in 1978.  They first hit the toy store shelves in 1982. Some sources consider them to have been the first toy to start store stampedes and even fistfights among Cabbage patch Kid-crazed shoppers.  They were more than a fad. They were a major part of 1980s pop culture history. Roadside America and other sources confirm that Cabbage Patch Kids were almost everywhere.

Evolution

In 1985 on of them went into orbit on the Space Shuttle.  They inspired a rip-off Philippines import known as Taro Kids. In 1986 they helped to launch the Young Astronaut Kids.  They were also the official mascot of both the 1992 and the 1996 U.S. Olympic teams.  Three years later they were even voted onto an official United States postage stamp. !996 also saw the release of the voracious Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids.  They were a hot item too.  Unfortunately, they were voluntarily recalled due to the fact that the dolls not only ate fake food but the children's fingers and hair. While the craze eventually died down, Donna Brown hit the flea markets and thrift stores slowly acquiring perhaps the largest collections of Cabbage Patch Kids to date.  Her house became a safe drop location for unwanted Kids.  Eventually, the dolls not only took up her house but a pair of trailer homes a well.

The Museum

So it was that in 2006 Brown and her spouse Clyde erected the Cabbage Patch Fantasy Land Museum. It officially opened three years later.  It is 2,500 square feet of Cabbage Patch Kids, accessories and as close to “all things cabbage Patch” as one will find anywhere. It even features a baby incubator full of rare "Cabbage Patch Pox" Kids which--rumor has it--is actually an accidental mutation of dolls with measles-like markings caused by too much baby powder being mixed in with the vinyl in the Kids' heads. Having been licensed through several companies, the C.P. Kids franchise has spawned a number of different related items including (but not limited to) bassinets, blankets, board games, books, cereal, desktop phones, diapers, desktop phones, fabric bolts, lunch boxes, sing-along cassette tapes, and watches.  Brown, who has been amassing this museum’s contents for over three decades has been forced to pull back on the collecting reins now that she is retired and on a fixed income.  Still, she has thus far refused to sell anything in the museum (except the official souvenir t-shirts). The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. although they will set appointments as well.  It is closed in the winter.  Admission is free.  Donations, however, are appreciated.  

(All images are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated.)

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