The dolls were originally invented by a Kentucky artist named Martha Nelson Thomas, but the design was stolen and transformed into a multibillion-dollar franchise. Martha never saw a penny.
Cabbage Patch Kids were one of the most popular toys of the 80s. Over the course of the decade, the dolls reportedly generated about $2 billion in sales.
The dolls were originally invented by a Kentucky artist named Martha Nelson Thomas. Martha first started making them in the early 70s and would "adopt" them out to family and friends. The dolls eventually caught the eye of Xavier Roberts, a Georgia man who ran a gift shop. After Martha denied him permission to sell her dolls, he stole the design and began making his own versions.
Xavier's dolls, which each had his signature printed on the ass, became wildly successful over the next few years. Their popularity reached its peak in 1983, when shortages of the dolls over the Christmas period led to mini-riots in toy stores across the country. Martha Nelson didn't make a single penny from her creation.