The Biggest Toy Crazes

When we were kids, friendships were often created or abandoned because of what toys we were playing with. Boys gathered around playing with Bakugan or Transformers, while girls were usually seen playing with Cabbage Patch Kids or American Girl Dolls. The toy industry tended to focus on gendered toys, but occasionally they’ll strike it rich with something that every kid can enjoy.

Here are a few of the biggest toy crazes from the last 30 years. Do you recognize anything that was a playground must have when you were in school? Some of these fads are still going strong today!

Cabbage Patch Dolls

Cabbage Patch Dolls were marketed under the brand name Cabbage Patch Kids and included a number of soft, huggable dolls that were patented in 1978. The selling point of these dolls was that they couldn’t actually be sold. Instead, children went to their local toy store or the flagship Babyland General Hospital and “adopted” their chosen doll – for a $39.99 fee, of course. The doll was given a name and a birth certificate before going home with its new parent.

Clearly, it was the personal touch that made these dolls stand out from their competitors. There was even a special G-rated origin story that was told to children about where their Cabbage Patch Kid came from.

William McKeehan