November 25, 2008 08:30 ET

Black Friday 2008 Marks 25th Anniversary of the Cabbage Patch Kids Consumer Stampede

Cabbage Patch Kids Celebrate Historical Milestone With Commemorative Replicas of the Adoptable 'Kids' Introduced in 1983

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 25, 2008) - On Black Friday 1983, hundreds of thousands of Americans stood in seemingly unending lines braving potential riots at retail stores to secure a Cabbage Patch Kid for the holiday season. News stations around the world featured footage of the so-called "riots," and newspapers splashed accounts of the Cabbage Patch Kids across their headlines. With Black Friday 2008 (November 27) marking the 25th anniversary of this remarkable day in history, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) and Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. (OAA) are commemorating the event with a special release of the original 'Kids' that started the Cabbage Patch craze 25 years ago, exclusively available from Play Along®, a division of JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ: JAKK).

"It is amazing how people took to the Cabbage Patch Kids when they were first released back in 1983," said Xavier Roberts, creator of the iconic brand. "Twenty-five years ago we would have never imagined that over 118 million 'Kids' would be 'adopted' or that we'd experience the opportunity to celebrate this milestone."

"From a historical perspective, the economy in 1983 was a year of challenge with hopes of recovery for a lot of families," said Margaret McLean, director of corporate communications for Original Appalachian Artworks, the parent company of Cabbage Patch Kids. "For parents, securing a Cabbage Patch Kid for the holidays was an accomplishment enjoyed, admired and recounted by children to this day."

Now available at retail, the Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch Kids® are exact replicas of the original 'Kids' that caused the unprecedented frenzy 25 years ago. They are returning to store shelves for the first time since the early '80s with the same lovable faces, beautiful clothing and adorable names for fans to fall in love with all over again. The 'Kids' resurgence is sure to bring a swell of nostalgic emotions and memories, which can be shared with other Cabbage Patch Kids fans at a special interactive online Memory Wall --

Cabbage Patch Kids History and Milestones

--  1976 - As a 21-year-old art student, Xavier Roberts discovers the old
    German technique of fabric sculpture, which dates back to the early 1800s.
    The resulting "babies" are a combination of his interest in sculpture and
    the quilting skills passed down for generations in the Appalachian
--  1977 - Xavier Roberts develops the marketing concept of adoptable
    Little People® with birth certificates. The artist dresses the babies in
    used clothing purchased at yard sales. He gives each original a single name
    chosen from a 1937 baby book.
--  1978 - Xavier Roberts and his friends renovate the Neal Clinic and
    open the now famous BabyLand General® Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia.
--  1982 - The name of the Little People changes to Cabbage Patch Kids®,
    which can be registered and protected in all future product categories.
--  1983 - Black Friday ushers in famous "Cabbage Patch Kids Riots" and
    the 'Kids go on record as the most successful new doll in the history of
    the toy industry.
--  1985 - On Oct. 10, a Cabbage Patch Kid, Christopher Xavier boards the
    space shuttle and enters into space. His permanent home is at the
--  1992 - Cabbage Patch Kids are named official Mascots of the 1992 U.S.
    Olympic Team, making "Friends For Life" with patients at children's
--  1999 - The nation votes and puts the Cabbage Patch Kids on one of 15
    commemorative stamps representing the '80s decade.
--  2007 - On Thursday, May 3, creator of the Cabbage Patch Kids Xavier
    Roberts officially breaks ground on a new "BabyLand General Hospital," home
    of the world famous Cabbage Patch Kids.
--  2008 - Now firmly established as one of the best-known and best-loved
    toy brands worldwide, Cabbage Patch Kids have a fantastic 25th Birthday
    Party at Toys "R" Us Times Square. Celebrity Chef Duff Goldman from Food
    Network's "Ace of Cakes" presents a special cake to the 'Kids and artist
    Xavier Roberts. Understanding tough times ahead, the 'Kids' join eBay® to
    raise money for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots and Operation Smile. The one-
    of-a-kind look alike U.S. Presidential candidates, Barack Obama, John
    McCain, and Vice Presidential candidates Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin raise
    almost $40,000 to help make these holidays just a little brighter.

About Original Appalachian Artworks

Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. (OAA), founded in 1978 by Cabbage Patch Kids creator Xavier Roberts, is a privately held corporation located in Cleveland, Georgia. Owners of the world famous Cabbage Patch Kids brand and home to BabyLand General® Hospital, one of Georgia's top tourist attractions. OAA also manages a wide range of other projects while continuing to deliver hand-stitched one-of-a-kind, soft-sculpture Cabbage Patch Kids. A new "homeplace" is being built for the 'Kids' waiting to be adopted. Slated to open in 2009, BabyLand will be able to accommodate a reunion for "Adoptive Parents" and their families. For additional information, visit

© 2008 Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved

About 4 Kids Entertainment

With U.S. headquarters in New York City, regional offices for its trading card business in San Diego, California and international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) is a global organization devoted to the creation, development, production, broadcasting, distribution, licensing and manufacturing of children's entertainment products. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, 4Kids produces animated television series and films, distributes 4Kids' produced or licensed animated television series for the domestic and international television and home video markets, licenses merchandising rights worldwide to 4Kids' owned or represented properties, and operates Web sites to support 4Kids' owned or represented properties. Through its majority owned trading card company and website company, 4Kids produces and markets collectible trading card games. Additionally, the Company programs and sells the national advertising time in a four-hour "4KidsTV" block which airs on nearly 200 affiliated FOX television stations Saturday mornings as well as in "TheCW4Kids" five-hour Saturday morning block on The CW television network. Additional information is available on the corporate web site and at the game station site.

About JAKKS Pacific, Inc.

JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products, with a wide range of products that feature some of the most popular children's toy licenses in the world. JAKKS' diverse portfolio includes Action Figures, Art Activity Kits, Stationery, Writing Instruments, Performance Kites, Water Toys, Sports Activity Toys, Vehicles, Infant/Pre-School, Plush, Construction Toys, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, and Pet Toys and Accessories, sold under various proprietary brands including JAKKS Pacific®, Play Along®, Flying Colors®, Creative Designs International™, Road Champs®, Child Guidance®, Pentech™, Trendmasters®, Toymax®, Funnoodle®, Go Fly a Kite®, Color Workshop®, JAKKS Pets™, EyeClops™ and Plug It In & Play TV Games™. JAKKS is an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks including Disney®, Nickelodeon®, Warner Bros.®, World Wrestling Entertainment®, Ultimate Fighting Championship® and Cabbage Patch Kids®. JAKKS and THQ Inc. participate in a joint venture that has worldwide rights to publish and market World Wrestling Entertainment video games. For further information, visit

The information contained in this press release, other than historical information, consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors beyond the Company's control, including general economic conditions, consumer spending levels, competition from toy companies, motion picture studios and other licensing companies, the uncertainty of public response to the Company's properties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations.

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