What Oprah has done for literature, Rosie O’Donnell is doing for Cabbage Patch Kids videos. Nine weeks ago daytime’s Queen Midas (whose touch sent sales of Tickle Me Elmo dolls and Koosh balls rocketing) took a public shine to Norma Jean, the plucky star of two BMG videos, The Clubhouse and The New Kid, and sales of the stop-motion animated titles shot from 1,600 a week to about 13,000.
”We assumed because of all the other things from the ’80s that she’s interested in that she would be a big fan of Cabbage Patch,” says BMG marketing director Stephanie Kovner. But O’Donnell’s response took the company by surprise. For weeks she sang along on air to snippets of the videos’ songs and talked of Norma Jean (above), whom she called ”not really loved” and ”sort of different.” Though Rosie’s infatuation cooled in mid-April, BMG says sales remain at about 7,000 videos a week.