The mural was painted by K.G. Farrah in 1985, one year after the official Cabbage Patch Kid Adoption Center opened immediately across the walkway. Demand in America was so high for these weird little dolls that Hobby City staff actually flew to Europe and other parts of the world to buy more of them and have them shipped back. It was actually worth the cost of the plane tickets and shipping! During the Christmas season, the starting price for Cabbage Patch Kids was $70 each. In 1985, the shop expanded and added “nurses,” a “viewing room,” and “incubators.”
The before and after photos below show the view from the Starr St. entrance to Hobby City in 2006 and today. The buildings that once housed the watch shop, the wildlife museum, Radical Reptiles, and other businesses are now long gone, replaced by additional parking for the White House Events Center.
If anyone knows how I can contact Kevin Dunn or Chris Rayburn, who I believe ran the Radical Reptiles store, I'd appreciate a lead (via email, please: cjepsen at socal dot rr dot com). No, they don't owe me money or an iguana or anything. I just want to ask them a couple things about the building their shop was in.
This last photo shows another building that disappeared from the Hobby City property in the last year or two. I'd figure this to be a 1920s-ish house, and I've always wanted to know more about it. One of the neat things about Hobby City was that it was chock-full of little urban archaeological mysteries like this.
It's slightly less chock-full of them now, but still interesting. I'm sure I'll write something resembling an actual history of the place sometime in the future -- Maybe for a future issue of Orange Countiana?