10 Toys So Popular They Incited Violence

Cabbage Patch Kids
Four-year-old Megan Fedorchuk plays with her mom's vintage Cabbage Patch doll at the family home in 2011. Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The year was 1983. I was but a chubby-cheeked preschooler with only one item on her Christmas wish list – a Cabbage Patch Kid. I wasn't picky about gender, hairstyle or outfit. I, like all of my classmates, simply had to have this most epic of dolls. My father, being a rational man, thought he could just walk into a store and purchase one. He was met by one empty display after another, until he realized the direness of the situation. He began to immediately and uncharacteristically panic in fear that his only daughter would be devastated on Christmas morning. Fortunately, he was saved by my beloved uncle, who happened to pick one up a couple of weeks prior, "just in case." Come Dec. 25, I was elated to find Humphrey Vincent (Cabbage Patch Kids always have the most random names) under my tree, who quickly made his way into my heart.

By the time my dad got with the program, he'd missed the entire inventory, along with injury-inducing crowds and mayhem inspired by rabid Cabbage Patch wannabe-owners. A crowd of 150 knocked down an elderly man at a store in Miami Beach. In New Jersey, a pregnant woman was trampled by a throng while in Pennsylvania, one woman suffered a broken leg when an angry crowd got out of control [sources: Stephey, Associated Press]. The Cabbage Patch doll, with its soft pudgy cheeks and adoption papers, was the first toy to cause adults to behave worse than schoolyard bullies in their efforts to secure Christmas gifts for their kids.