#501 – Fancy PJ’s

Every girl needs a pair of Fancy PJ’s for PJ parties. These popular frilly PJ’s bring it!

Title graphic for outfit #501 - Fancy PJ's

Summary of 500s Series outfits and a list of the outfits: The 500s Series


Cotton two-piece outfit. The top is a short dress with a large bib-shaped piece edged with lace at the front. A curved Cabbage Patch Kids logo patch is on the bib section. Lace also runs around the bottom, neck, and sleeve hems. The bottoms are made of the same colour fabric and are footed. There is a band of lace and a flower patch located at the ankles.

Yellow 501 outfit, Fancy PJ's,  on a dark background.
501D OK

Coleco started selling this outfit in 1985. It likely ended production no later than sometime in 1986. It may be found on later kids, but this was most likely the company using up old stock.

Version Information

My goal is to find every version of every outfit that was produced. Below is a record of each version of this outfit that I have. To understand clothing codes, factories, and variations, please refer to these posts: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes?, Factories and Companies

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. You have a 501D OK that is pink, not yellow.) I would like to hear from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details, visit Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Factory Variation

As I only have two factories recorded as producing this outfit, there is very little factory variation to note. The only difference I can observe is a slight variation in how the lace is applied.

Hong Kong Jesmar Shoes

These shoes came on Hong Kong Jesmars and Early Tag Jesmars. If they’re spanish, why do they say Hong Kong?

The majority of this information is courtesy of Jennifer Pelfrey via various Facebook messenger conversations. In some cases, I have just quoted her! Thank you, Jennifer! Additionally, kudos to Marta Aleman Perez, Callie Anne, Charlotte Ridgers, and Severine Guiguet for their contributions as well.

For more general information on Jesmar dolls and closing visit Jesmars and J Clothing.

‘Hong Kong’ Jesmar Kids

These dolls were likely those produced within the first few weeks or months of production. See below for theories about the origins of the HK aspects. Remember, Jesmar dolls were likely manufactured for less than two years.


  • They have a neck-stamp that says Hong Kong. There are at least two different stamps; there may be more.

    (Photos courtesy of Jennifer Pelfrey.)
  • They came with either no body tag or with the Early Jesmar body tag.

    There’s speculation that dolls without tags are the earliest sample Jesmar dolls. “I suspect Jesmar may not have had tags made at that point as they were still in the sample-making phase.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB, May 16, 2021)
  • HK Jesmars share many of the same qualities as Early Jesmars, such as glossy eye paint, softer heads, neck connection is a string, a dark signature, etc.  They may also have unusual hair colours or hair/eye combination which were not mass-produced later. i.e., soft orange vs. the later regular red.
     [insert picture of hair comparison]
  • They may only have had six freckles. How many does your HK Jesmar have? (Charlotte Ridgers, FB, May 18, 2021) For more information on Jesmar freckle patterns refer to Ref #3, p. 199 – 200)

‘Early’ Jesmar Shoes

These shoes look and feel quite a bit like Hong Kong shoes. They are characterized by:

  • the tongue has not been cut out; the shoe is one full piece
  • soft, pliable vinyl
  • rough/bumpy textured bottoms
  • badly formed interiors (appears ‘runny’)
  • thicker laces (though some came with standard laces).  [insert picture comparison]
  • a lack of markings on the inside

These shoes are not found exclusively on HK Jesmars. They have also been found on kids with early tags and Made in Spain neck stamps. “Personally, I’ve found them most often on Early Tag/Made in Spain kids with odd hair colors, but they were sometimes used on Early Tag kids with standard hair colors as well.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB May 17, 2021)

“There has been some debate over whether these shoes are actually Jesmar made, or whether they were made in Hong Kong and supplied to Jesmar when they were starting out. There are obvious similarities between these shoes and those that we know were manufactured in Hong Kong.  So, depending on who you ask, some will say that these are Hong Kong shoes while others will say Jesmar.  Until formal documentation surfaces we may never know.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB, May 14, 2021)

NOTE: Shoes that say ” Made in Hong Kong” on the bottom are also theorized to be Jesmar shoes, but others think they’re aftermarket. For more information on these shoes, visit These aren’t CPK shoes?!

Why do they say HK? Some Theories

One collector called the Hong Kong Jesmars a hypothesis. She described them as series of tests so that the Jesmar Co. could figure out what they were going to produce. (FB Conversation, May 17, 2021) Here are some theories as to why their heads are stamped Hong Kong and why the shoes have Hong Kong like qualities.

1)  There were unused shoes that had been manufactured in Hong Kong laying around, so Coleco gave them to Jesmar to use until Jesmar could manufacture shoes of their own.

2) “Supposedly, HK moulds were loaned to Jesmar so that they could make sample heads. The samples then went through a review process with Coleco and OAA.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB, May 15, 2021) It is supposed that once Jesmar was approved for mass production, shoe moulds and Made in Spain embossed head moulds were provided to Jesmar for ongoing production.

For more general information on Jesmar dolls and closing visit Jesmars and J Clothing and Ref #3, p. 198 – 231.

The 500s Series

These 16 outfits came out from 1985 to 1986 and are some of the most beloved for CPK collectors. It includes the Teddy Bear Overalls, Portrait Dress, Snowsuit, Country Dress, Apron Dress and more!

Picture of 9 cabbage patch dolls wearing outfits from the 500s Series. They are sitting on a bed covered with a vintage CPK coverlet.

Jump to 500s Series Outfit Quick Links

There are 16 outfits in this series. This equates to between 140 and 150 different versions of the outfits. They came on regular kids from 1985/1986. They can also be found on later kids and in separate packages as Coleco got rid of overstock between 1987 – 89.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Russell.

It’s believed that most of the 500s Series came out in 1985 but that some came out in late 1985 or 1986. It is interesting to note that the outfits believed to have come out in 1986 are also those considered harder to find. This makes sense as they were likely manufactured for a shorter period of time.

Possible 1986 outfits include:

  • Sailboat Dress (504)
  • Tri-heart dress (508
  • Girls Ruffled Windbreaker Outfit (512
  • Multicoloured Boys Windbreaker (516)

The Logo Dress, a secondary version of the Portrait Dress (511), is believed to have come out in 1987.

Production Factories & Outfit Codes

These outfits are #501 – #518. There was no #509 or #515 produced. It’s theorized that they were proposed but not approved for production.

For an explanation of the clothing codes (i.e. 511A) visit,  What are Clothing Tag Codes?

Like other Series, certain letters seem to have been produced primarily by specific factories. I call these the Primary Factory for each letter.  For example, I think the KT factory produced the letters A and B (if they produced the outfit). Other factories may have made them, but not always consistently.

To the right are my theorized primary factories.

It would appear that not every letter was created for every outfit. In fact, we are quite sure that one outfit only has four options while the largest number for one outfit seems to be between 10 and 14.

Spreadsheet showing the Primary Factory for each letter, and other factories I have found.

For some outfits, there’s more than one version of a code. This is generally caused by variations between factories. This is why it is vitally important to look at both the clothing code AND the description when determining if the outfit has been recorded.  For example, the IC version and the KT version might look slightly different.

Taiwan factory outfits (e.g. IC, AX) have been recorded in the 500s Series; however, they are rather rare. At this time, the Taiwanese factories were more focused on producing specialty outfits.

The PMI factory only operated for one year, between 1984 and early 1985. As a result, it only produced 500s Series outfits for a short length of time. (Ref #3, p. 30) Consequently, PMI outfits in this series are the rarest to find. I am unsure how many 500s Series outfits the PMI factory produced. I have a record of only three, the Snowsuit, the Multi-coloured Jogging Suit, and the Aerobics Outfit.


The clothing tags in these outfits are generally in either the shirt or the dress piece. The single exception is the windbreaker outfits, which are labelled in the jacket.

The P and PMI factories continued to use stickers for their codes (for details visit HERE). This can make it very difficult to record the complete code. We know that it was made by the P factory but don’t know the letter. If you have an outfit from these factories with the sticker, please check if it is recorded!

Some OK tags in the 500s Series also have stickers. I think this was done when they ran out of a tag and needed to use the tags for another outfit. They just covered the original code with a sticker showing the new one.


As for shoes, they were specific to the outfit. Certain outfits came with certain shoes, but there were only three options: Sneakers, Mary Jane’s, and lace-up shoes (sometimes called high tops).

For more details on the individual type of shoe, click the labels in the pictures above or jump to, Shoes – An Overview.

Like with the clothing, the shoe factory should match the doll’s factory. If the doll is KT, the shoes should be KT. For details visit A Match Made in . . . the Factory (Matching Pt. 1) .

Quick Links List

Note: The names I used for these outfits are either used extensively within the CPK Community I frequent or were created by myself where no consensus seemed to exist. If you have another possible name, please contact me.

(Links will be added as the posts are published.)

502 -Country Dress

503 -Velour Jogging Suit

504 -Sailboat Dress

505 – Apron Dress & 505 – Hasbro Apron Dress

506 – Sun Suit

507 – Aerobics Outfit

508 – Tri-Heart Dress


510 – Ruffled Knit outfit

511 – Portrait Dress

511 – Logo Dress

512 – Ruffled Windbreaker Outfit

513 – Snow Suit

514 – Button Romper


516 – Multi-coloured Windbreaker Outfit

517 – Teddy Bear Overalls

518 – Multi-coloured Jogging Suit


Ref #4, Vol. 3 Issue 9/10/11, p. 5-7
Ref #3, p. 371 – 437

Poseable Actionwear

These specialty outfits offered us the freedom to pose our Cabbage Patch Kids. What a cool concept!

These outfits came out in 1985. They were designed to help you pose your doll and were intended to be worn underneath other outfits. There were six different colours available (I think).

The boxes say that they were made by factories in China (P), Korea (IJ), Haiti, and Mexico. As far as I know, this is the only CPK item produced in Haiti.


Actionwear ONLY came packaged. I’ve seen zero evidence that they were ever put on boxed kids. This makes sense; they were never intended to be the only outfit on a doll.

They originally came in packaging designed specifically for them (1). Then they started showing up in packaging designed for the Occupation Rompers (2). Eventually, they were part of the ‘overflowing inventory’ that they had to get rid of, and they started coming out in basic cardboard packaging (3-5).  

One minor problem . . .

For anyone who has handled Actionwear outfits, you know that it isn’t uncommon for the outfit to be sans the wires. The wires tend to burst out of the outfit, like an underwire bra! However, some may have been sold WITHOUT the wire. The following was noted in 1987:

“A liquidation firm sold off a large number of outfits on boards that did not have the wire in them. They were not labelled as “Action Wear” but sure looked like them! The tag says Mexico!’

Ref#4, April 1989, p. 4

The next generation

Hasbro later attempted to improve on this idea by putting the wire directly inside the doll. Poseable kids are considered Transitional Kids.

Straighten up! A How-To

How to use a flat iron to help with ribbons, tags and clothes.

Crimped ribbons? Wonky tags? Hard to iron? Help!

I can’t remember where I learned this little tidbit, but it’s wonderful.

Use a travel flat iron to straighten and neaten the following:

  • used hair ribbons (Most useful aspect by far!)
  • dolls side tags
  • clothing tags
  • hard to iron spots on clothing

Note: I purchased mine at a second hand store for under $5.

Site Migration Complete

Success! I’m very excited. I do not know exactly how things will change, but I’ve already discovered back end benefits.

The only complication I can see so far is a formatting discrepancy. Please ignore the weird characters that are now replacing some of the dashes and other special characters. I will get around to fixing them over time.

Thank you for your patience during this process.

My favourite cabbies in my collection . . . just because I can.