Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Jingle All The Way Was Inspired By A Real-Life Toy Craze In The '90s

There is a long and storied tradition of madcap holiday comedies in cinema. From Christmas classics like "A Christmas Story" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" to more modern and inclusive efforts like "Happiest Season," the history of wacky, family-oriented holiday comedies goes way back. It's this tradition precisely that movies like "Jingle All the Way" were already embracing in the mid-'90s.

Following hapless parents Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Myron Larabee (Sinbad) as they try to get their hands on the hottest holiday toy amid legions of other scrambling consumers, the film nearly doubled its budget at the box office despite being trounced by critics (via Rotten Tomatoes). However, something many viewers of "Jingle All the Way" might not be aware of was just how much the movie was inspired by the toy crazes of the era. Still, when it comes to which one was the main inspiration, even those who suspected the connection might find themselves a little surprised.

The movie was mainly inspired by Cabbage Patch Kids

While younger generations are no strangers to the ravages of consumerism, having seen scalpers peddling PlayStation 5s and Nintendo Switches, among other things, unfortunately, the cliche of the crazed holiday consumer goes back a lot further than that. Even as '90s kids themselves might have suspected which mad rush inspired "Jingle All the Way," it's actually one from the early 1980s.

If you're of a certain age, you'll remember Cabbage Patch Kids. These collectible dolls were all the rage in the early-to-mid-'80s and had parents fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on one. As detailed by Film School Rejects, this is the primary inspiration for "Jingle All the Way," even if the film feels more like a culmination of many different holiday-related retail cataclysms.

Naturally, being that the Tickle Me Elmo craze was occurring around the time the film was released (via ABC News), and the apocalyptic Furby crisis came only a couple of years later (via Ask), it might surprise some fans of "Jingle All the Way" to know that the film was inspired by a different toy obsession altogether. Still, the more things change, the more they stay the same, which is something that has helped to keep the Schwarzenegger holiday comedy in constant holiday rotations over 25 years after its original release.