Well, you played “Merry-Go-Round” with My Little Pony, so this seems like a logical next step, right?
The 1980s was silly with licensed character board games. A character’s successful existence not only meant toys, but cartoons, lunchboxes, books, stationery, bed sheets and blankets, those awesome tents, and of course games. Some of the games had two varieties – something easy for the non-reading crowd, and a more traditional board game for the slightly older child fans.
Cabbage Patch Kids, despite not really having much of a television presence (other than commercials and an animated special), had lots of ancillary items similar to all of the characters who had cartoons and movies. That included this game by – who else? – Milton Bradley!
Sing Along…As You Find Twelve Little Kids!
Here we go ’round the Cabbage Patch, to make the match, to make the match! Here we go ’round the Cabbage Patch, looking for twelve little kids!
The object of the game is to find the kids on your cards before they “hide” in the Cabbage Patch. Twelve kids are hiding, and the player to nab the most Cabbage Patch Kids after the Cabbage Patch is cleared of kids wins. You can pick up as many kids as possible in the allotted time to check against your cards, but you have to do it before they go back into hiding. Each player draws a card at the beginning of their turn, unless they didn’t find their kid during their previous turn.
The instructions (yes, the Hasbro website has a whole section dedicated to instructions for even their retro toys!) doesn’t specify how long the kids come out of hiding for, but based on this video from YouTube user 80s ToyHunter, they pop up for about 30 seconds.
The game was released by Milton Bradley (now part of Hasbro) in 1984, and was not the only matching game to feature the ‘Kids, but it was the first!
Check out this super cute commercial for the game, complete with catchy jingle and promise of Cabbage Patch Kid puzzles!
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Availability…and A Second Version?
On eBay, copies of this game go for between $4.49 and as high as in the $30 range, with replacement game pieces and cards also on auction.
I also alluded to there being more than one “Memory” style game for the Cabbage Patch Kids. That would be the “Cabbage Patch Kids Matching Game,” released in 1995 by Mattel (who was at the time manufacturing Cabbage Patch Kid dolls).
This game involves matching fourteen different babies with their birth certificates.
They’re both super cute!
Did Allison Have This Game?
Unfortunately, no. I didn’t own this game. It wasn’t because of non-interest, but I was two years old in 1984. However, if I had been old enough to know about the Hide and Seek Game, the Cabbage Patch Kid lover in me – note that bedspread! – would have loved to play it!
Little Allison had an impressive amount of Cabbage Patch Kid stuff – dolls, clothes, a suitcase to put the clothes in, a baby carrier, bedspread, sheets, and a matching blanket (I still have the blanket).
Gayle Elyn was my first Cabbage Patch Kid (she’s the blonde-haired doll on my lap). I got her in 1983, at the beginning of the Cabbage Patch Kids craze – my aunt managed to get one for me, my brother, and our two cousins (the boy in the red outfit was my brother’s first doll). I think the baby was Lindsay, and the boy was Ty (I can’t remember the name of the other boy my brother got, but it was some weird name). I had the birth certificates for these dolls until maybe 10-15 years ago.
I had other dolls over the years, but no Cabbage Patch Kid board games. We tended to play the ones that boys and girls both liked – we’re twins, after all – so we didn’t really have “girl” or “boy” board games. However, considering there are boys in the commercial, we probably would have both liked this one.
However, given the choice, I would have preferred the My Little Pony game, because, well, stamps and continued play through coloring the scorecard!