Calling the Cheektowaga Police into the Walden Galleria to calm the crowds of 1,300 people clamoring for Build-A-Bear was reminiscent of another nationwide meltdown over a toy– 35 years ago this Christmas.
“You’d have to have been in hiding not to know by now that the phenomenon of The Cabbage Patch Kids is going through the country like a brush fire,” reported Connie Chung on the Today Show back in 1983, when the Cabbage Patch craze was in full effect for that year’s Christmas shopping season that year.
Inside a Wilkes Barre, PA store, a store manager was wielding a bat to keep pushing crowds back.
The manager of one Hills store said, “People were knocking over tables, there were people in mid-air… it got ugly.”
In the Buffalo area, one of the worst scenes was at South Buffalo’s Gold Circle store on Seneca Street at the city line.
A reporter was listening in as a Hills employee answered the phone on Black Friday in 1983, and before even letting the caller speak said, “There inst a prayer of your getting one.”