From all of us in Canada, to all of you around the world, Happy Canada Day!
More fun pictures from our Canada Day photo shoot.
Hilary's Cabbage Patch Clothes Closet
Learning about 1980's Cabbage Patch Kid clothing.
All about Koosas clothes.
Koosas are a Cabbage Patch friend produced by Coleco from 1984 to 1985.
“According to the legend printed on the back of the Koosa Box, Colonel Casey saved the Koosas from a big flood in Wykoosa Valley. He delivered the frightened, shivering creatures to the Cabbage Patch where the Kids recognized them as a very special, loving breed that become friends to all in need and also bring good fortune. The Cabbage Patch Kids took the Koosas to Babyland General Hospital and devised a plan to find special friends for them.”Ref #1, p. 148
The first run was produced by the OK & KT factories. A second run that came out later in 1985 was produced by the SY factory. They are recognizable by their eye patches (Ref). Koosa’s come in cat (A-2), dog (A-3) and, lion (A-1) head moulds and in a variety of body fabrics and hair colours.
They came with a collar, and like the kids, you could send their adoption papers away to name your Koosa. They would send back completed ‘registration papers’ and a sticker with your chosen name, which you put on the collar.
There are four Koosa outfits, and each comes in 3-5 variations. They were made by the OK, KT, and SY factories and the doll factory matched the outfit factory. The outfit codes all start with P, and I have no idea why. Maybe it stands for Pet? The number represents the outfit style, and the letter represents the fabric/pattern/colour.
(Patches can vary but are generally as shown)
In late 1985 they came out with the second run of Koosa’s and outfits. For this run, the P1A and P1B had yellow footprints on them. They were made by the SY factory.
> I have multiple examples of a white P3 outfit. They are real, but they’re bleached. The final proof was this example. You can still see the blue dye, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that the orange is bleached out of the ducky patch (Thank you, Lori Clark), and the thread is still blue. Unfortunately, bright colours like those used on this outfit will fade easily, so I can understand why so many might be bleached.
Here is the matrix that shows what I have recorded. For example, I have P1A OK, but I don’t have P1A KT. If you do, I need pictures! Do you have anything that doesn’t match the matrix or isn’t on the matrix? I’d love to hear about it if you do!
For details on how to take clothing tag pictures, jump to Taking Tag Pictures .
I am trying to find identifying features in the jackets. You can help by filling out a survey. Read for details.
The 1983 Windbreaker outfit (#10) is one of the hardest to record accurately. The only piece that is labelled is the shirt, so if the jacket and pants get separated, it’s hard to know which ones go back with which shirt. And if you’re me, you indiscriminately upgraded jackets over the years and have no idea which you did this to.
I am currently working to determine distinguishing characteristics between the jackets. This is where I need other collectors to help!
If you have even one complete windbreaker outfit I really, need your help. Please read to the end and complete the survey.
The following pictures show the difference between Coleco, Jesmar, Tsukuda, and 25th Anniversary jackets. However, there does not appear to be a visible difference between the Coleco factory jacket logos.
A friend and I recently noticed that the bottom hem (that is elasticized) is finished differently around the zipper on various jackets. Unfortunately, I am unsure which pattern goes with which factory.
My friend and I also noticed that there were at least two different zipper manufacturers used for the Coleco jackets.
Most of the zippers in my patch are made by the KKK Company. This is an Indian company that opened in 1980 and is now a major producer of zippers. The second is the VKK company. I found little information on the company, but the initials appear on many items from the 50s and 60s which are described as ‘fakes’. I have no idea if this is the same supplier that CPK used. Currently, there is a zipper company based out of Manila with the name VKK Manufacturing Company.
At the moment, using my small sample to try and see a pattern, the P factory used VKK, while the other Coleco factories used KKK. If that is the case, we can at least match P jackets with P shirts.
The only Jesmar windbreaker outfit that I have has TREBOO on the zipper tab. The 25th Anniversary outfits have white plastic zippers with no label on the pull tab.
If you have a complete windbreaker outfit (it all came together and you know it), please take this survey. (Done through Google Forms, but you don’t need it, to use it.)
The survey shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. In fact, for those of you with kids in boxes, it will probably take you longer to get the liner out of the box! You can fill out the survey repeatedly for each outfit that you have. One outfit or ten, the more feedback I get, the more accurate my conclusions will be. Please, I need your help.
I have started creating some how-to videos for various CPK restoration topics. Yes, this is because I am lazy and do not like describing the process over and over. I also prefer to recommend my videos over others, as I have used all of these suggestions successfully and feel comfortable promoting them.
Currently I have four videos. More are planned, but I need a helper and social distancing is slowing down the process.
They can be found in the PAGES list on the left side of each blog page, near the top.
Your UT kids have more clothing options than you thought.
Thanks to the assistance of another collector, one of my many theories has been confirmed.
Most of the time, when a kid is mint-in-box, the outfit factory and the kid factory match. (For details visit HERE.) However, there are some exceptions.
Recently, we determined that AX factory clothing came on IC kids. For these kids, the outfit tag and the kid’s tag would not match.
There were several other factories in Taiwan, but the only one other produced dolls, the UT factory. I speculated that AX outfits may also have come on UT kids. However, until this past week, I had no proof.
Thanks to Melissa W., I now have that proof. She was able to confirm that her MIB UT kid did come with an AX outfit. This discovery was accidentally serendipitous!
So, we now have proof that AX outfits came packaged separately AND on IC and UT kids. This goes a long way to explaining why IC and UT clothing is so difficult to find.
Unfortunately, I do not think we have any way of knowing what percentage of IC and UT kids came with AX outfits.
Some of the other Taiwanese factories produced specialty outfits for the baseball kids (HRS), sporting outfits line (CY, FD), and the Western Wear kids (CY). Like the AX outfits, these outfits normally came on IC kids. Of the remaining Taiwan factories, the only other which may have provided outfits for boxed kids would be WW, but my gut says it did not. So far, there is no indication that WW outfits came on kids.
Can you prove me wrong?
I was proven wrong! (read above) I now have proof that regular CPK outfits from Taiwan factories other than IC and UT came on these kids. This includes AX, UT, WW, and HP. This goes a long way toward explaining why there are so few IC outfits and so many IC kids!
Buttons seem so small, so insignificant. However, sometimes they can be helpful.
How do you know which outfits came on 1983 kids? In most cases, it’s impossible to tell. Outfits with button accessories are one of the exceptions.
Apparently, for at least a portion of 1983, they used clear buttons. I am unsure exactly when they stopped, but they were no longer using them by 1984. (Ref#4, Vol. 3, Issue 8, p. 4)
> This applies to:
Later buttons were white with an outside ridge.
This does not apply to the Sailor Romper because, although we call it a part of the 1983 outfit series, it didn’t actually come out until 1984. By this time, they were no longer using the clear buttons. I don’t think this outfit would look good with clear buttons anyway.
All 1983 Button ducky dresses will have clear buttons, but because the only ducky dresses with buttons came out in 1983, there are no ducky dresses with white buttons.
According to J. Mullin, Jesmar Ducky Dresses have buttons, and some of them are coloured. (Ref #3, p. 378)
Those little silk labels are holding a secret . . .
The little silk label that’s on most CPK outfits, hold a secret. Special thanks to Jodi Punki Patch and her amazing observational skills for catching this and making me look into it more.
Within the Coleco factories, you can use the silk label to figure out where the outfit was made, to a point. At this point, I have found that there are four different labels.
For a list of all the factories that produced CPK material, visit Factories and Companies.
Chinese factories use the regular label that we are all familiar with.
Factories: OK, P, CC, FW, KT, LF, PMI, SS, WS
Factories from Taiwan use a larger label is that is white in colour.
Factories: AX, CY, EX, FD, IC, UT, WW, HRS
Labels from the Korean factories (IJ, SY) look like the regular China labels, but they are slightly darker in colour.
Outfits from the USA factory are larger, white and made of a canvas-like material.
Jesmar outfits tend to have a slightly smaller tag, with a slightly darker green. I’ve also noticed that sometimes the stitching is done badly where it is sewn on. For more information on Jesmar outfits visit: Jesmars and J Clothing
Find out how to match bloomers to dresses!
Many outfits were made using the same fabrics, which can create confusion when trying to determine which pair of bloomers go with which dress. After all, the patterns look the same, why can’t we just match them up?
For almost 90% of the outfits I have recorded, the lace used around the sleeves is mirrored around the hem of the bloomer leg holes. If the sleeves don’t have any lace, then neither do the bloomers.
If they don’t match, they don’t go together!
This holds true for all the original 1983 outfits and all the 1984 preemie dresses. Of the later outfits (#100+), most of them follow the same pattern.
These are the exceptions that I am aware of:
162 – lace on bloomers, not on sleeves
164 – plain white instead of patterned
165 – lace doesn’t match at arm and leg, but the fabric patterns were not used for any other outfits
168 – lace on bloomers, not on sleeves
505 – no lace on bloomers, lace on sleeves
656 – no lace on bloomers, lace on sleeves
705 – no lace on bloomers, lace on sleeves
726 – no lace on bloomers, lace on sleeves
707 – no lace on bloomers, lace on sleeves
“Things are never lost to you; you are lost to them. If ever in need of a Thing that has lost you, simply stop hiding from it.”
~ Shannon Hale
Now that I had a clue that the other outfits might exist, I started to pay attention. Unfortunately, my next find was still an accident! I asked for tag information on a dress that had a CPK label but didn’t look familiar at all. I thought it might be homemade with the label added. What I got sent by Jamie H., was the following:
Now, the CC factory only made two types of outfits: 1) letters L, M, and N in the first 20 outfits (and this outfit was NOT one of those) and 2) the Casual Wear Line (CWL). When I compared the tag pictures with the CWL tags, they matched.
So, I asked around. Nobody recognized it. I now believe that this might be one of the forgotten Casual Wear Line outfits, the red and white checked dress. It looks exactly like the dress that is worn under Allie Cat’s apron.
I do not know if the CPK version came with an apron. I have since found a second dress that also did not have the apron with it. Another collector also sent me a picture of a dress that looks like a green and white checked version, but I was unable to see a CPK label and was not able to get any other information. Interestingly, there was an early version of Allie Cat’s dress that was a green and white check. (Jennifer Pelfrey, Feb. 24, 2021.)
What I do not have, is a MIB version of the red and white check dress, which I need to prove that this is a Casual Wear Line outfit. Do you have this treasure in your collection?
Based on the sources quoted in Pt. 1, we are still missing two Casual Wear Line outfits.
The first, described as ‘green jogging shorts with white tee shirt’, may be referring to the green jogging outfit; however, the descriptions are not a good match.
Jodi Punki Patch and I speculate that it may be referring to the S.S. Happiness character, Jack the Rabbit, and his green jogging shorts. Unfortunately, the description does not match the sleeveless tee that normally accompanies it. However, they could have matched it with the white character shirt each of the S.S. Happiness Crew can also be found in. I have no idea what graphic they would have put on it.
As for the ‘blue romper’, we have no leads as we cannot find a character outfit that matches the description. I wonder if it looks something like the elephant romper. Do you have any ideas?
UPDATE: We now have an idea! Fellow collector, Jennifer Pelfrey, speculates that it may be referring to Snoopy’s Lifeguard outfit. What do you think? Do you have any CPK outfits that are similar?
A similar situation would have occurred with the White Tux outfit, as we can find no character reference for it either, except that collectors were already aware that it is a Casual Wear Line outfit.
UPDATE: We’ve found a match! The White suit outfit is very similar to the Snoopy Disco outfit. (Jennifer Pelfrey, Feb. 24, 2021)
This has been an exciting experience, and I can only hope the missing outfits will be discovered in the future!
I’m now almost certain there are 8 Casual Wear Outfits, with the possibility of two more. They are as follows:
These, and others not listed here, maybe unidentified Casual Wear outfits:
Special thanks to Kat Perhouse, Jodi Isaac, Margaret Granato, and Jennifer Pelfrey for their assistance with pictures and research.
Out of Sight. Out of mind. ~ Proverb
The Casual Wear Line (CWL) was the only brand name, separately packaged clothing available for Cabbage Patch Kids in 1983.
The clothing was modelled after outfits worn by the S.S. Happiness Crew and Peanuts characters.
The S.S. Happiness Crew was a four-book series written by June Dutton between 1980 -1983. She also collaborated with Charles M. Shultz to write several Peanuts (Snoopy) books during the same period of time. Both series were published by Determined Productions, who also copyrighted the character-based stuffed animals and their accompanying outfits for both storylines. (Ref)
The original SS and Snoopy stuffed animals came in two sizes, 10″ and 14″, so the outfits came in both sizes. (Jennifer Pelfrey, Feb 24, 2021)
They made very few changes for Cabbage Patch Kids. In fact, if you look closely at the back of the Safari Suit, you can see where the tail hole should be!
Determined Productions made good use of the outfits patterns as, not only were they later used for CPK outfits, some of the S.S. Happiness Crew clothing was also used for Peanuts Characters.
If you would like to know which Casual Wear Line outfits were worn by which characters, visit here.
The earliest description of the CWL that I have found comes from an in-house CPK newsletter produced in the ’80s, called Dolling Around.
“One group of items I feel shouldn’t be overlooked are the flat packaged 1983 Casual Wear. The painter’s smock, 3 pc. white suit, green jogging shorts, red pyjamas, safari suit, and blue romper are especially good. The red checked dress isn’t great, but worth having nonetheless.”(Ref #4, Vol. 2, Issue 1, p. 5)
Another early source, Patchwork by E.N. Chapman, described it as follows:
“There was a Causal Wear Line out in ’83 only, that is also very good to get. There was a painter’s smock, safari suit, boy’s white three-piece outfit, green jogging shorts with a white t-shirt, red and white checked dress, red pyjamas, a blue romper outfit, striped denim jeans, and perhaps others.”Ref #5, p. 109
When I first learned about the Casual Wear Line a few years ago, it seemed that most collectors felt they had the ‘entire collection’ when they had these six outfits.
However, if you look closely, there are other outfits listed in the previous quotes that are not among the six.
Later in one of the FB groups, a woman was selling off a very large collection of material. Many packaged outfits were displayed in each picture, and in one such picture, I saw an outfit I did not recognize. When I zoomed in, I found that it was a CWL packaged outfit . . . that was not among the six known CWL outfits AND wasn’t described in either of my references!
I asked around, and with the help of Jodi Punki Patch, I was able to confirm that it was a Casual Wear Line outfit and get a better MIB picture to prove it.
So, now I had an inkling that there were more outfits out there. I started to keep an eye out, hoping another would emerge. Keep reading in Part 2!
Continued in Part 2.