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Cabbage Patch Kids Turn 25!
Girl Power: Jay Cochran - 2007.06.19
It’s hard to believe that nearly 25-years ago the cute and cuddly Cabbage Patch Kids® emerged onto the retail scene and captured the hearts and imaginations of mothers and children worldwide. Now, with well over 112 million ‘Kids™ adopted to date, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) along with Property Owner Original Appalachian Artworks Inc. (OAA) and Master Toy Licensee, Play Along®, a division of JAKKS Pacific™ (NASDAQ: JAKK), are celebrating the magic and wonder of the Cabbage Patch Kids by unveiling plans for an unforgettable 25th birthday celebration that is as unique as the ‘Kids themselves!

To gear up for the 25th anniversary celebration in 2008, 4Kids Entertainment -- the licensing and marketing agent behind the Cabbage Patch Kids (as well as the company behind such sensations as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!) -- is embarking on a number of major marketing and promotional initiatives to help further fuel the frenzy and continue to attract a whole new generation of youngsters – and their parents – for years to come.

“We are very excited to celebrate 25 years of the Cabbage Patch Kids with an A-list roster of licensing, promotional and retail partners, who will help us usher in another successful 25 years for the brand,” said Al Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “For over two decades, Cabbage Patch Kids has stood as one of the most nationally recognized toy brands. We look forward to toasting the property’s success with a licensing program that reflects the wholesome charm of the Cabbage Patch Kids whom we know and love.”

Getting the Patch party started is Carvel Ice Cream. Celebration Foods and the Carvel® brand have teamed up with the Cabbage Patch Kids and master toy partner Play Along for the year-long 25th birthday celebration. Launching this spring and continuing through fall 2008, Play Along will introduce exclusive celebration-themed merchandise. Year-long cross promotions will include TV/Print ads, online promos and in-pack sweepstakes.

In addition, the Cabbage Patch Kids will add “television star” to their growing résumé when the ever-adorable ‘Kids star in a new GEICO® television spot, scheduled to begin airing this summer.

As the Holiday 2007 season draws near, the birthday celebration will continue through a partnership with leading home shopping network QVC, the official venue of the 25th anniversary, which will feature exclusive one-of-a-kind merchandise created by Play Along and special events.

Additionally, 4Kids Entertainment is expected to announce details later this year of a national QSR promotion taking place in spring 2008 with a major fast food chain.

Other exciting initiatives for the brand include:

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE CPK FAMILY

This fall, the Cabbage Patch Kids family will get smaller…in size, that is. Play Along’s new Cabbage Patch Kids® Lil’ Sprouts™ bring the adorable uniqueness of Cabbage Patch Kids to a new small doll size! Standing proudly at about 5” tall, each CPK Lil’ Sprout comes with long lustrous hair, trendy fashions and fun matching accessories. And, just like the big ‘Kids, each Lil’ Sprouts is one-of-a-kind with their very own name and birth date. This lil’ addition -- expected to debut this fall at retail -- will also have its own boutique at Toys ‘R Us Times Square in September.

ALL-NEW ENTERTAINMENT

Brandissimo! – the Emmy nominated family entertainment company known for building connections between brands and young consumers through story, character and play – is expected to release a new set of videos and books designed to capture and celebrate the unique connection between Cabbage Patch Kids and young children. The product will include inspiring stories and developmentally engaging activities and play, through which young children can learn valuable life lessons as they care for their Cabbage Patch Kids. Brandissimo product is scheduled to hit retail in late 2008.

BRAND NEW FAMILY DESTINATION

The “birthplace” of the Cabbage Patch Kids, BabyLand General® Hospital in Cleveland, GA -- designated as one of the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Toylands -- is a major tourist attraction in a quaint mountain community and a noted family destination in Georgia for decades.

And now the Cabbage Patch Kids are getting a brand new home. Construction began last month on a new 70,000 square foot building. Parent company OAA anticipates completion in time to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Cabbage Patch Kids licensing program in 2008. Located on 96 acres and surrounded by a panoramic view of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, the new structure will include retail space, offices, a historical archive of the Cabbage Patch Kids and the Southern Appalachian region, a meeting and conference facility, warehouse and offices. The site will also be recognized as the “home place” to 112 million Cabbage Patch Kids and their adoptive parents worldwide.

Cabbage Patch Kids creator, Xavier Roberts, said, “It is my dream that people of all ages can enjoy the BabyLand General experience, but most of all I hope they can take home some of the inspiration and motivation this area has given me.”

In addition to all of the exciting initiatives currently planned for the Cabbage Patch Kids property, 4Kids will also look to expand the brand with new apparel and accessories deals in 2008.


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