December 29, 1996 in Nation/World

Hair-Eating Dolls Raise Parents’ Dander Cabbage Patch Dolls Munch On 3 Children

Associated Press

In the third such incident since Christmas, a little girl’s hair got caught in the mouth of a battery-powered Cabbage Patch doll that mimics eating.

Three-year-old Carly Mize started crying when her doll snagged her hair Thursday, and her mother said a patch of hair was pulled right out of her scalp.

“I thought maybe she had stuck her finger in the doll’s mouth, so I checked her fingers, but she was still crying,” said her mother, Tammy Mize of Easley. “When I picked Carly up, the doll was attached to the back of her head.”

The Cabbage Patch Snack Time Kid doll, which is supposed to “eat” plastic french fries and other fake food, has no on-off switch, and Tammy Mize said she tried to pry the doll off Carly’s head with no success.

“It kept rolling her hair inside the head,” she said. “It pulled her hair completely from the root. She is completely bald for maybe a hands-length all the way down the back of her head.”

Carly had received the doll for Christmas and the incident happened while she was shopping with her mother in a Greenville store.

Also on Thursday, a doll belonging to 7-year-old Sarah Stevens of Griffith, Ind., had to be taken apart piece by piece when it chewed its way up her hair to her scalp.

Sarah’s aunt, Kelly Nagy, and the owner of the hair salon where the incident happened, worked 30 minutes to free the little girl’s hair.

“She must have had it lying by her hair, and it must have sucked it down,” Nagy said.

Early Saturday, one of the dolls chewed the hair of 7-year-old Amanda Gomez of New Haven, Conn. Her family told WFSB-TV that emergency workers had to take the batteries out of the doll and cut the girl’s hair to free her.

Fewer than 10 such incidents have been reported to the doll’s manufacturer, Mattel Inc., since it went on the market in September, company spokeswoman Lisa McKendall said.

“They’ve been isolated incidents,” she said. “All of our products go through rigorous safety testing. We would never introduce a product that we didn’t feel passed all the … requirements.”

McKendall said she didn’t know why the doll didn’t have an on-off switch, “except that at the time we designed it, we didn’t feel it was necessary.”

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email