Transitional Period CPK Outfits – A Summary

As Hasbro took over production of the Cabbage Patch brand, chaos ensued. Find out what collectors means by ‘transitional’ and how this is reflected in the clothing.

For an explanation of how the word ‘transitional is used by Cabbage Patch collectors, visit The many definitions of Transitional

Quick List/Links

  • 9 – #101 – #152 (BBB, Preemie, Toddler, Regular kids) (Future Posts)
  • 9 – Designer Line Kid outfits (150s, 170-180s)
  • 9 – Sippin’ Kid outfits (160s) (Future Post)
  • 0 – 400s (BBB outfits) (Future Post)

Transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

(Google Dictionary)

In this instance, we’re referring to the transition from Coleco to Hasbro as the manufacturer of the Cabbage Patch brand, 1989 – 1990. This progression, and the chaos it caused, can be seen in the tags used in their clothes. It occurs in five stages.

Stage 1 Tags: 9 – Amsterdam and Gloversville, NY – Coleco

Coleco began using the location Amsterdam, NY, on their tags in late 1987 (I think) and continued until sometime in 1989. Then they switched to Gloversville, NY, the last known Coleco location used on their tags. Consequently, Gloversville tags only occurred in outfits that came out in the first 6-months of 1989. These outfits all have 9 – in front of their outfit code. (See Part 2: The Code Addition for an explanation). Some of the outfits produced in 1989 were designed earlier but weren’t sold until then.

Coleco Cabbage patch kid clothing tag with Gloversville, NY, as the location, clothing code 9-167A and factory OK.

Outfits series sold at this time (that I know of):

  • 9 – #101 – #153 (BBB, Preemie, Toddler, Regular kids)
  • Designer Line outfits 150s (all Gloversville)
  • 9 – Sippin’ Kid outfits (160s)

Stage 2 Tags: 9 – Pawtucket, RI – Hasbro

The codes in these outfits have the 9 –, indicating they are also from 1989, but they are made by a different company. These tags have a Coleco-like clothing code and factory code but are now listed as being made by Hasbro out of Pawtucket, RI. They introduced a new factory code H101, likely intending the H to indicate Hasbro. This happened because Hasbro bought out Coleco in July of 1989 (Ref#3, p. 176).

Outfits series sold at this time (that I know of):

Stage 3 Tags: 0 – Pawtucket, RI – Hasbro

Following along with the year labelling convention, if 9- is for 1989, then the 0 – would be for 1990. So, these outfits were sold in 1990. However, the tag looks more Hasbro-like than Coleco now. In addition, there are very few outfits with this code. The only outfits produced at this time were the BBB 400s. series (Future Post). These outfits are likely the last of the Coleco designs Hasbro used OR their first attempts at their own designs. My guess is the latter, as all four outfits in this series mimic the look of earlier Coleco-produced outfits.

Hasbro Cabbage patch kid clothing tag with Pawtucket, RI as the location, clothing code 0-100D and no factory code.

Stage 4 Tags: Hasbro tag

By this stage, the tags are all Hasbro, and there are no codes on them at all. It appears that, although they considered or tried to keep using the Coleco coding system, they gave it up rather quickly, likely sometime in 1990.

Hasbro Cabbage patch kid clothing tag with Pawtucket, RI.

Outfits series sold at this time (that I know of):

  • Outfits #148, #151
  • Outfits #116 – #120
  • Hasbro produced versions of some 800-815 series
  • Some early Hasbro BBB outfits
  • Some early Hasbro regular kid outfits (generally a duplicate in some way of a Coleco outfit)
  • Many Poseable Kid outfits
  • Some Splash and See packaged outfits
  • Hasbro Fashion Separates Line – packaged
  • Hasbro Deluxe Fashions Line – packaged
  • Hasbro Fashions Line – packaged (likely but not confirmed by tag yet)

Stage 5 Tags: No tag

By 1991, Hasbro was producing their own kids and clothes. None of the outfits are tagged. Some of these lines include Babies (BBBs), Babyland Kids, Poseables (replaced the regular kids), Birthday Kids, Preschoolers, Designer Line Kids and Kissin’ Kids. (Ref#2, p.104))

Hasbro Catalogue 1990, p.4

Transitional Dolls

Although many dolls were sold in these two years, what most collectors refer to as a ‘Transitional doll’ is very specific and quite sought after, as few were produced. These dolls are an amalgam of Hasbro and Coleco parts. One might have a Coleco head, Hasbro body, and Coleco outfit. Or a Coleco body and head, but wear a Hasbro-tagged outfit. There are several possible combinations. (Ref#3, p. 176)

Selling off Coleco Stock

During the Transitional period, you could find odd packages of Cabbage Patch clothing and accessories that were being sold off by Coleco and Hasbro. For example, you might find a Coleco outfit on a Hasbro board and in others, it’s a mishmash of items that don’t belong together on what looks to be an unauthorized board, but isn’t. Hasbro used a variety of avenues to rid themselves of leftover stock. Refer to PTP: Packaged Outfits: Questions and (Some) Answers for more information.

Circus Kids – Call in the clowns!

Make way for “The Greatest Kids on Earth” and join us at the circus! These outfits have lots of bright colours and wacky hats. Which one is your favourite?

Circus kids came out in 1985 and like a lot of the specialty kids, did not sell well. Some may have been sold in 1987, but they were only manufactured in 1986. The series consists of six clown outfits (#100 – #105) and a ringmaster outfit. (see below) There are two versions of each outfit. The outfit names were created by Coleco.

All 12 of the cabbage patch circus kids outfits, two circus horses and the ringmaster displayed on a white background.
Fantastic picture courtesy of Holly Spencer.
Note: The circus ponies came out in 1987. (Ref #3, p. 134)

Circus kids come with a distinctive box, hand tag, and birth certificate. They also came with a clown-themed poster in the box and a trading card in the birth certificate envelope. (Ref#2, p. 72) The original boxes were sort of tent-shaped but later boxes were more rectangular (see ringmaster box below). (Ref #3, p. 133)

They were made by the KT and P factories. I don’t think that each factory produced all six outfits, as I’ve only recorded one factory per outfit so far. However, different factories could produce A and B. These outfits are on the coding matrix but create a duplicate set of #100 – #105 numbers.

One reference noted that these outfits came on P, KT and OK kids. In this case, the OK kids wouldn’t match their outfits. What combination is your Circus kid? (Ref#2, p. 72)

 There are several different tags from both factories. This is likely due to changing trends during the production period.

Each outfit comes with a pair of clown shoes, socks, and a head accessory. The shoes are stamped on the bottom with a factory code, and one shoe from each pair will be a squeaker. The socks are always made of brightly coloured silky material and are quite a bit longer than regular socks. In addition, the socks have no distinctive top edge.

As with all the specialty outfits, these outfits were eventually packaged and sold separately from the dolls. In addition, you can sometimes find individual pieces of these outfits in ‘lot’ packages. Leftover Jesmar stock dolls were also dressed as clowns and were sold on the Canadian Market in bilingual boxes. (Ref#2, p.72) I don’t remember seeing a clown in a ‘regular’ box, but it could have happened. Many other specialty outfits were sold this way in later years.

Do I have all the pieces?

Along with the face mask, headgear, socks, and shoes, each outfit includes the following:

Preppy Polka Dot – #100

  • One-piece romper with sleeves
  • Pointed hat with ruffle
  • Neck ruffle

Cuddly Crinkles

  • Top with a large neck ruffle and three pom poms
  • Matching bottoms
  • White pointed hat with ruffle and pom pom

Bashful Bow

  • Dress
  • Yellow bloomers with white polka dots
  • Large puffy hair bow

Teasin’ Topper

  • Shirt (structured like a t-shirt)
  • Vest with tails
  • Matching shorts
  • Small bow tie
  • Small hard vinyl top hat

Rowdy Rainbow

  • Shorts with suspenders (detachable)
  • Shirt with collar
  • Large neck tie (sewn on)

Preppy Pom Pom

  • One piece romper with the large pom poms
  • Small neck ruffle
  • Vinyl bowler hat

The Ringmaster Outfit – #188

This outfit is the only 188 I have recorded, and for some reason, was coded separately from the clown outfits.  This outfit was worn by both boy and girl dolls. The doll came in a circus box with a Circus Kid birth certificate and included a black megaphone. I am unsure if these dolls came with a poster.

The outfit includes a black bowtie, a red velveteen jacket with tails, a fancy white shirt with ruffles down the front, a gold and red vest, white satin jodhoppers, high black boots, and a large black top hat.

The boots are factory labelled on the inside rim and are easily confused with the Russian World Traveler boots. The more obvious differences are the detailing and the height. The Russian boot is shorter than the ringmaster boot.

Other Information

These are the photo from the 1987 Coleco Catalogue. It looks like they used actual outfits for these pictures, which is unusual.


A Butterick sewing pattern was available to make your own clown costumes.

Courtesy of Vanessa Wagner.