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The Cabbage Patch Riots

The Cabbage Patch Riots were a series of violent customer outbursts at several retail stores in the United States, 30 years ago, in the winter of '83.

That year Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were released for sale in the United States, and every child wanted one for Christmas, causing a tremendous demand for the cute dimpled dolls.

Most stores at the time typically only stocked between two to five hundred of the dolls. That didn’t stop thousands of customers surging the stores attempting to obtain a Cabbage Patch Kid for their kid. Many customers physically fought to obtain one of the adoptable dolls.

During the holiday season of 1983 there were several violent occurrences in major retail stores such as Sears, JC Pennys and Macys. Smaller retail stores, such as Kmart, attempted to control crowds by handing out "tickets" to the first several hundred customers, leaving thousands empty handed after standing in line for several hours.

Reports of violence included hitting, shoving, trampling as well as some customers attacking others with hand held weapons to obtain a Cabbage Patch Doll. By 1984, with more supply of the dolls and demand dropping, the violence and rioting declined.