Cabbage Patch Kids get a digital-age makeover
The iconic doll is making a comeback – this time with LCD eyes, tiny sensors and an app.
In a 21st-century upgrade that's either hilariously creepy or wonderfully innovative – depending on your point of view – the classic Cabbage Patch Kid is making a comeback as a connected, uber-realistic baby doll.
The CPK Baby So Real line is the result of a collaboration between U.S.- and Hong Kong-based Wicked Cool Toys, which owns the rights to the Cabbage Patch brand, and Israel-based developer Seebo, which handled the tech upgrade. The doll is now equipped with LCD eyes that move and blink as if they were on a computer monitor. She also has the ability to talk, coo and laugh like a real baby (hence the "baby so real" moniker). Her cheeks turn red when she's not feeling well. The accompanying app is connected to the doll via Bluetooth and basically mimics everything you do to the doll in real life. (Tickle her? She laughs. Put her down for a nap? She goes to sleep.)
And don't worry, nostalgia lovers: The doll still has the same look, feel and snuggle-ability as the classic version.
A prototype of the doll was on display at the 2016 International Toy Fair in New York City, which took place Feb. 13-16. The doll is scheduled to be released in stores this fall.
According to Mashable, which got a firsthand preview of the doll, Baby So Real "meets kids how they play today." It's poised to become a hit with parents who fondly remember playing with the traditional version of the doll 30 or so years ago, and with screen-savvy kids who are sure to love that intriguing eye display.
Cabbage Patch dolls were created in 1978 by Xavier Roberts as a soft-sculpture adoptable line of dolls, each with a unique name and birth certificate. The doll became one of the most popular toy trends of the 1980s, when it was common to see fights erupting among parents who sought one of the harder-to-find dolls for their children around the holidays.
This image of a classic Cabbage Patch Kid is from a U.S. postage stamp, circa 2000. (Photo: catwalker/Shutterstock)
Its popularity has waned over the years despite attempts by various companies to insert new functionality and characteristics into the dolls, including the "Pretty Crimp and Curl" and "Splash 'n Tan Kids" lines. Hasbro, Toys R Us and Mattel have all tried to revive the brand but couldn't replicate its 1980s heyday. Wicked Cool Toys, which counts actor Seth Green among its board members, bought the licensing rights in 2015.
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