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Monday, 17 December 2012

Wow how strange is this, Make your own "Little People "Pal" Kit?

here's another strange item, I had no idea even existed until I found it a week or so ago  during my customary trawl around Ebay, this time I was on a quest for Cabbage Patch Kids, and the search results threw up this little item; all the images are of course taken from the listing:

At first, looking at the box and seeing how the "Cabbage Patch Kids" turned out I assumed it was a make yourself clone type kit, but no....

This kit is a vintage item, produced sometime in the late 1970's  Early 1980's or even I guess at the height of the Cabbage patch Kids hysteria, and licensed to none other than Xavier Roberts... That's him on the cover!

You know who he is right?  Well in case it's slipped your minds, he's the guy whose signature appears on all the Cabbage Patch kid's bottoms and acts as a kind of "evidence of their authenticity"!

Once you've used your kit; the finished articles are called "Little People "Pal" but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what well known toy they were based on, Right?  Well, you may just be surprised!

They are made from the pre-cut fabric pieces included in the box, then stitched and stuffed according to the instructions included.


The front of the box has load of information on it, such as:

"Little People "Pal" with complete Directions for Assembly in Your Choice of Six Hair Styles"

Kit Includes: "Pre-cut, Pre-Blushed Body Panels and Preformed Head Ball" - it goes onto state "See side panel for all contents".

It is worth mentioning here that this Head Ball is soft, unlike "Cabbage Patch Dolls".

"1 Soft Sculptured Doll Kit" - "Estimated time For Completion: 4 Hours"

"EASY STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDED"

"Little People Pals Are All Naked But Are Very Content With A Small Blanket At Home And Regular Clothes (0-6 mo.) In Public."

DISTRIBUTED BY:

PLAID ENTERPRISES INC.       
NORCROSS. GA 30091
With Parental Guidance by
Xavier Roberts and
Original Appalachian Artworks INC.
Cleveland. GA 30528

It is worth noting that the distribution company is also the very same one that distributes "Cabbage Patch Kids" and their spin off products.


Under the picture it reads: "You Can Arrange My Hair In Your Choice Of Six Styles. I Wear Regular Clothes (0-6 mo.)"


Full instructions are included on how to Sculpt the Face and Paint the Eyes, as above.


Also included is a Certificate of Authenticity. Once section "Designer" is already signed by Xavier Roberts, with a space left for you to sign your own name above the word "Artist".


The kit includes all the stuffing you'll need and paints to complete your "Little People "Pal" Doll".
Each of the paints are numbered, with gesso and sealer included.
There is also a large ball of  "red" yarn this is for you to make her hair with. Each box I presume has a different colour which corresponds with the "I am a Red Head #9502" heart shape label on the front of the box.


Here are some of the pre-cut body parts, you can see from some of them the colour of the "pre-blushed" parts.

I'm still undecided how I feel about this item, on one side, I really like the idea, and would most likely buy one if I saw another one going cheap somewhere, but would I use it?

Probably not, in fact most likely not! I would have to keep it in unused condition, as I think it's a great item and quite a cool piece of cabbage patch History!

Although being a massive sneak, and not being able to resist using the kit, I would have to make patterns from the pre-cut pieces and make my own version, that would be cool especially if a "funky patterned" fabric was used all over, you could make Alien versions or something, but ahem, I digress!

I find it odd how, although this isn't a cheap knock-off make your own clone type kit, (as I previously thought it was before reading the listing and looking at the pictures that is!) the kit allows you to have a finished article which is most "definitely a clone" right?

So why make a clone at all?

I'm sure not many "Cabbage Patch obsessed begging children, would be fooled by it, unless they were very young!



So why didn't Xavier Roberts put his name to perhaps a cheaper, smaller Cabbage Patch Doll instead?

I have managed to find absolutely no information about this product on the Official Cabbage patch Kids Website, so you would be forgiven in assuming that the company behind the site, know nothing of them or at least had nothing to do with "Little People Dolls", but you'd be wrong....Very Wrong.

 You would also be very wrong in assuming that this item is a Clone Doll, but don't worry I'll clear up that confusion with a short history lesson!

Perhaps the weirdest thing about this item, is while it looks like a "make it yourself clone" it is in fact a Pre-Cabbage Patch - Cabbage Patch Doll or as they were called back in 1976, a "Little People" Doll, when Xavier Roberts invented the first one.

In 1978, the first "Little People Doll" made by Xavier Roberts, won first prize at a Florida Art Show, and from that came the birth of the Original Appalachian Artworks INC Company... within 4 years, these "Little People" had become the must-have toy of the decade, and by 1982 Xavier sold the  Marketing Rights  of his "Little People" to a Company Called Caleco, who made two small changes to them; they replaced the heads with a vinyl version and gave them a new name "Cabbage Patch Kids" and of course all of us who grew up in the 1980s know what happened next!

Just in case I've whetted your appetite and you'd like to stare at some very cute little Cabbage Patch Kids; here's the link to the official Website: http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/

Enjoy,



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

are you selling this?

Herbie Hopkins said...

Hello Anon,
I don't own this kit I discovered it on Ebay a few years ago and had to blog it as I was so intrigued by it.

Anonymous said...

What's the value of this kit?

Herbie Hopkins said...

Hi Anonymous,
I have no idea, I discovered it's existence quite by accident 4 years ago while I was wandering around Ebay, you may get lucky if you google search it though. All I know about this kit I wrote on this blog post. Sorry I cannot be of more help to you.