PTP: Cats and Dogs and Bears, Oh My!

They’re tagged! They’re numbered! They’re not clothing!

Yes, Coleco Pets, which came out in 1987, are included in my Coleco clothing record as they too have a code on their tag. I have spent only a nominal amount of time searching for code information on these cute little critters, and here is what I found.

Picture of the side tag of a Coleco Pet bear, number 624A from the SM factory.

Cats and Dogs

The cats and dogs were made by the SS and KT factories and may or may not come with CPK trademark embroidered on the left paw. (Ref #3, p. 319)

Picture of the embroidered CPK trademark on the foot of a Cabbage Patch pet.


The bears appear to only be number 624.

It is believed that the bears are the hardest of the Coleco Pets to find, as they may only have been sold on the Canadian market. (Ref #1, pg.151) They were made by the SM factory and only have the number 624. There may only be four or five versions available, as I only have evidence for A – D.

A picture of all 4 different bears that I am aware of.

Of course, this is Coleco, so there’s a twist to the bear story. I recently acquired a second version of A and found that the two were not quite identical! Can you spot the differences?

Picture of two Coleco Pet Bears, side by side. They appear almost identical with off white fur, beige tufts of hair and brown eyes.
Scroll down to see the answer.

I have very little information on these Pets and many many questions. If you have any pets and would be willing to share pictures, I would appreciate them. I would especially like to get a picture of Bear B and any bears that look ‘different’ from the letter versions that I have.

Picture of two Coleco Pet Bears, side by side. They are both A but have different coloured eyes, nose, and collar.
Did you find these differences?

Clothing Tags: With a code or without?

Not all clothing tags were made equal. Some have codes, some don’t. Which do? Which don’t?

Although MOST Coleco clothing has a code on the tag, not all of them do.

The 1983 outfits have a variety of tags! Each factory had a slightly different look to its tags and some factories changed the look often. After 1985 the tags become more consistent in look and information but there were still variations by factory and over time.

In a previous post, What are Clothing Tag Codes, I noted that some factory codes were put on with stickers so that they were washed off (P, PMI, some IC), some were written on and illegible, and some were stamped on badly. Although these tags are rather rare, they can be annoying. Hopefully, somewhere, you will find the same outfit with a code!

Unfortunately, in some cases, they never put the code on to start with!

The 1983-84 Mess

Some factories like CC, KT, IJ, and PMI always have a code on the tag (if it hasn’t washed off).

Some factories, like the OK and P factories, were generally pretty good with putting codes on their tags, but there are some failures.

For example, early P and OK Hong Kong tagged outfits were hit and miss, and some of the later regular tags did not have codes (pictures below).

Some Taiwanese factories, like IC and AX, put the codes on a few tags.

Some never put a code on their tags. (e.g. UT, HP, EX, SW, CY, FD, WW, USA)

I have also seen tags where they appear to be trying to fix a mistake, or they had run out of a tag. They’ll substitute a different one and then make the correction with a pen or a marker!

Specialty Outfits

Many of the specialty outfits don’t have codes. For example:

Some specialty lines had their own specialty codes.

  • Twin outfits use T1, T2, and T3 to indicate style change, and letters to indicate colour. (TBC in another post.)
  • The Circus kids outfits duplicate the numbers 100 to 105. There are two versions of each costume, A and B.

Later Tags (1985+)

Most tags from 1985 and later have codes. These tags include any numbers 100 and above.

Foreign Factories

From the foreign factories that produced between 1984 and 1985, only Jesmar outfits have tags. (Jump to: Jesmar Tags and Clothing)

After Coleco

As far as I am aware, none of the later companies that produced Cabbage Patch Kids put any kind of code on their tags. At least, not something I know or understand.

For more information . . .

The number/letter codes, jump to: What are Clothing Tag Codes
Where to find clothing tags, jump to: Where are clothing tags located
Information on the numbers in a clothing tag code, jump to: What’s With the Numbers? and Tag Codes Continued: A 2nd Theory
Matching clothing to kids, jump to: A match made in . . . . the factory (Pt. 1)

What are Clothing Tag Codes

An explanation of the codes on Cabbage Patch clothing tags. Learn about the letters and numbers that started it all!

I noticed the codes on the tags inside Coleco Cabbage Patch Kid clothing a few years ago. I was curious about what they meant. I started to pay attention, and I noticed patterns. I started tracking the patterns. In a nutshell, this is what a code means:

Number = The Style of Outfit

  • #1 = Swing Dress
  • #2 = Sleeper
  • #3 = Shoulder-tie Dress
  • #4 = Frilly A-line Dress

Letter = The Fabric colour or pattern

For the Swing Dress

  • 1A = Blue and white crosshatch pattern with a red tie
  • 1T = Large square, red, blue-green and purple crosshatch pattern with a red tie
  • 1H = Solid medium yellow with a red tie
  • 1D = Green and white gingham with white tie

Almost every outfit that Coleco produced has a code with a number, and if there was more than one version of it produced, a letter. Of course, like everything in life, there are exceptions. (Jump to: Oddball Tags)

No Code?

Some factories did not print code information on their tags.

  • Some did it most of the time, but not always (e.g. OK).
  • The CC and FW factories never have codes.
  • The Taiwanese and Koren factories only have codes infrequently (e.g. AX, IJ). The only outfits they numbered were a few of the 500s.

In all of these cases, the outfit has a code, you just don’t know what it is. How frustrating!

Sometimes the code isn’t always legible or is no longer there.

Example 1: The code was written on in pen, and is illegible.
Example 2: The code was put on with a stamp, badly.
Example 3: The P and PMI factories often put their codes on with a sticker, so it often washes or falls off! The IC factory does it occasionally.

They used numbers ranging from 1 to almost 899, but not every number has an outfit. They used ‘bunches’ of numbers to create many different series throughout the years. (Jump to: What’s with the numbers?)

The letters run can run from A to T. Not every outfit has every letter. In fact, not every letter was produced for every outfit. For example, in the 1983 outfits, there are no I’s or O’s.

So, that is the basics. Numbers and letters. It all started with something we learn about in Kindergarten, and then exploded into so much more!  

For information on how to locate clothing tags, jump here.
For more information on matching the clothing to dolls, jump here.
For more information on the numbers in the codes, jump to What is a Clothing Tag Codes and Tag Codes Continued: A 2nd Theory

1st Blog – Why do this project?

The purpose of this blog, the project journey it will archive, how you can help, and what you can learn.
Join me on the journey.

Fun, fantasy, and challenge – all a part of collecting Cabbage Patch Kids.

Judy D. Morris, Ref#2, p.5

How it Started

I have been collecting Cabbage Patch Kids since my mid-teens, more than 20 years ago. It started when I found a ‘twin’ for my childhood doll, Hilary Dorcas. I just could not leave Brekke Anne behind at that flea market.

As I collected, I learned more and more about these fascinating dolls. Their story is so complex. There are so many variables that make each doll unique. Eventually, I became fascinated with their clothing. As the internet developed, I found experienced CPK ‘mentors’ who taught me what they knew and answered my questions when they could. Many amazing people have been collecting CPK’s since they came out.

Then I noticed that many of the outfits had number/ letter combinations on their tag.

I wondered, what do these ‘codes’ mean?

I started to track the information in a spreadsheet. I started to notice patterns. I asked around to see if anyone had noticed the number/letter combinations and got very few positive answers. If they had seen them, they had not considered what they meant.

I had to know more! I started tracking the original 1983 outfits as they seemed to be well tagged, and I owned more of these outfits than any others.

Screen capture of a portion of the spreadsheet that I use to record the clothing information.
Screen capture of my ‘record’

However, the spreadsheet quickly grew to include ANY type of Coleco Cabbage Patch Clothing, some Hasbro outfits and Jesmar outfits. It currently has 16 tabs and continues to grow.

For an introduction to clothing tag codes, jump to: What are Clothing Tag Codes

The Purpose of this Blog

With the help of collectors from around the world, eBay sales pictures, and other random sources, the spreadsheet has become a massive database; however, I’m still missing a lot of information.

With this blog, I want to make it easier to share information, gather information, and learn about these amazing dolls and their astounding clothing collection!

Become a part of the journey by looking at your collection and sending me information, pictures, and/or competing theories.

Every statement I make in this blog about CPK clothing is a theory. I can’t prove anything as there is no primary documentation available from Coleco. If you have something that might disprove or change a current working theory, I would like to hear about it. Please comment on the blog or e-mail me.

Eventually, I want to make this information available to the general public, likely using a searchable website. So, if you had a random piece of CPK clothing, you could find out which outfit it went with, what kids it likely came on, what year(s) it was produced, etc. Everything at once. A dream, but one that I believe is possible.

The Current Closet

Now, almost 2 1/2 years into this project, I have over 1500 possible outfit variations recorded (or waiting to be recorded). That does not include the information I have saved on the clothing by the post-Coleco companies. (Hasbro and later)

I am also tracking:

I am also recording Jesmar outfits, but I have been unable to determine any patterns to their tag information yet. (Jump to: Jesmar Tags and Clothing)

The Future

I plan to post at least once a week, or each time I learn an interesting new tidbit. Some posts will be shorter, some will be longer; it will depend on the topic.

If you have a post topic suggestion, a question or a great post idea, please share it!

For an introduction to clothing tag codes, jump to: What are Clothing Tag Codes

For information how to clothing tag pictures, jump to: Taking Clothing Tag Pictures.