An Equine Saddle Surprise!

Circus Kids got their own horses in 1986 when the Circus Ponies came out. Did you know their saddles hide a clothing code surprise?

Another surprise addition to the clothing code matrix has been discovered.

There are several CPK horses, and they have been sold by various companies over the years. In 1985, Coleco produced and sold plush horses both with their Western Wear Kids and separately. These horses are called Show Ponies.  Then, in 1986, they put out Circus Ponies as part of the Circus Kids line. They are the same plush horses and came in the same Show Pony boxes, except they had a Circus Pony sticker on the window pane. These horses came with different accessories and different birth certificates. Sometimes they came in a white windowless carton instead of the barn-shaped box.

A Circus Pony came with a bridle with head plume, reversible fringed saddle, and leg warmers. There were only two versions of the saddle produced by the CC factory.

White plush horse facing a brown plush horse. Each is wearing a fabric blanket saddle and green bridle and have a plume on their head and leg warmers. The brown horse is wearing a dark pink saddle and the reverse showing below it. The white horse is wearing a light pink saddle with the reverse showing below.
Courtesy of Ref. #3, p. 134

420A: A light pink saddle with dark pink fringe and yellow stars. The reverse side is white with multicoloured polka dots (I think?) The leg warmers are light pink. [I still need pictures if you have one.]

420B: A dark pink saddle with yellow fringe and green polka dots with yellow dots. The reverse side is white with multicoloured square dots. The leg warmers are dark pink.

What’s so interesting is that the saddles are on the clothing matrix! They have the code #420. Now, it’s hard to keep track of, but there are very few items in the 400s. A few transitional Hasbro BBB outfits (400-403), 1988 regular outfits (402-405), and Furskins outfits (430s). That’s it. So, finding these in the 400s is very random.

I wonder what other 400s items we haven’t found yet. After all, we haven’t got anything with the number 440 or higher! Do you?

Fun Facts

It is interesting that the horses were produced by the Korean WJ factory, but the saddles were made at the Chinese CC factory. No code match here! I wonder if all the pieces were made at the same factory.

This is the catalogue picture used by Coleco to advertise the Circus Ponies.

For more information on Clown (Circus Kids) outfits visit Circus Kids – Call in the clowns!

References:

Ref. #1, p. 150 – 151
Ref. #3, p. 134 – 136

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.

Packaging

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.

PTP: Fabric Play Accessories

Did you know that there are different versions of the play accessories that you know and love? I didn’t!

Today I noticed that the fabric CPK accessories are also factory marked, and that there are variations by factory.

There are five accessories that were produced, starting in 1984:

Factory Variation

By examining the pieces in my collection, I have determined that these items were made by at least three different factories. The first two, IJ and SS, are well known. The third has no factory indicated on the tag; however, they must have been created for the Canadian market as the tags say Cabbage Patch Kids in French, P’tits Bouts de Choux [PBDC].

I can see visible differences in the colours and quality of the pattern on the fabric used to make 4 of the 5 items. I only have one Kid Carrier so cannot make any comparisons.

The IJ factory used a darker mint fabric for the edging and straps. The pattern is crisp, dark, and rich.   
The PBDC manufacturer used a lighter mint green fabric for the edging and straps. The pattern is in a lighter colour, more washed out, but still fairly crisp.   
The SS factory also used the lighter mint edging, but the pattern is quite rough. The figures are not crisp, and the printing is badly done.   

I do not have an example of an SS carrier, but the buckles used on the IJ and PBDC carriers are very different. The IJ buckles are plastic and square. The PBDC are metal and rounded.

More Information Needed

I was unable to look at any of the Soft Travel Beds as I do not have one (or more) in my collection. Here are the items I have been able to examine, based on factory. If you have one that I am missing, I’d love to get pictures and your opinion!

Picture of a spreadsheet showing which fabric accessories I have recorded and which I do not.

Lions, tigers, and . . .bunnies? Costume Sleepers

Well, this isn’t candy, but they’re still sweet!
Happy Halloween!

There are six costumes sleepers that were produced by Coleco.

These cute outfits came out in 1985 and were only sold separately packaged until . . .

Picture of a mouse CPK costume inside a yellow CPK box. it is on a cardboard frame that looks like a sleeping kid with blond hair.
Photo courtesy of Jenna Richardson Pryor.

. . .  later, in 1986, as Coleco was clearing out stock, they could be found on boxed kids. (Ref#2, p. 90, Ref#4, 1986 Iss. 3, p.5)

Picture of a brown eyed cabbage patch doll dressed in a white lamb costume inside a 1985 Cabbage patch box.

They are two versions of each sleeper. The first set that came out had only the green Cabbage Patch Kids logo on the right breast. They were all made by the IJ factory in Korea.  The second set also had an embroidered crest of their animal on the breast under the logo. These were made by the LF (China) and IJ (Taiwan) factories. The LF version of the second set is easier to find. I’m not even sure if IJ made all of the second set.

The ‘double tag’ seems to be the earliest. The square version is most likely the newer one. I am unsure why some were coded with a sticker.

The most obvious difference between the IJ and LF versions is the crest. On the IJ version, it is embroidered directly to the fabric. In the LF version, it is an applique that is glued on.

PTP: Koosa Clothes

All about Koosas clothes.

Koosa Basics

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
A picture of a number of Koosas playing on my couch. One is reading, another is reading to others, two are laying on the back of the couch, and two are wrestling.

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.

Koosa Clothing Basics

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.

P1 – Shortalls

Koosa clothing outfit P1, a pair of shortall's. It comes in jean pattern, blue with white pin stripes, and red.

P2 – Terry cloth shirt with bear or cat patch

Koosa clothing outfit P2, a terry cloth shirt. It comes in white, peach, stripes and mint green.

P3 – Shorts with rainbow suspenders

(Patches can vary but are generally as shown)

Koosa clothing outfit P3, a pair of shorts with rainbow striped suspenders. It shorts come in light blue with duck applique, mustard yellow with giraffe applique, and dark blue with elephant appliques.

P4 – Cotton apron dress which ties at the back

Koosa clothing outfit P4, a terry cloth white cotton dress that ties closed at the back. It comes in white with multi-coloured hearts, pink gingham, white with multi-coloured polka dots, brown and blue plaid, and large purple and orange plaid.

Oddities

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.

Photo courtesy of Tonya Swetman.

What I have and what I need

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 .

References and Resources

A picture of a number of Koosas playing on my couch. One is reading, another is reading to others, two are laying on the back of the couch, and two are wrestling.

PTP: Silk Label Secrets

Those little silk labels are holding a secret . . .

The little silk label on most CPK outfits embody a secret. Special thanks to Jodi Punki Patch and her amazing observational skills for catching this and making me look into it more.

Sometimes you can use the silk label to figure out which factory an outfit was made by, to a point. At present, I have found that there are four different labels.

For a list of all the factories that produced CPK material, visit Factories and Companies.

1) Chinese factories use the regular label we are all familiar with.
Factories: OK, P, CC, FW, KT, LF, PMI, SS, WS

2) Taiwanese factory silk labels are larger and whiter in colour.
Factories: AX, CY, EX, FD, IC, UT, WW, HRS

3) Korean factory (IJ, SY) silk labels look like regular Chinese labels, except that they are slightly darker in colour.

4) Outfits from the USA factory have a larger, whiter ‘silk label’ that is made of a canvas-like material.

USA factory silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on a heather grey fabric beside an OK factory silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on a thin yellow fabric.
USA factory Vs. China (OK)

5) Jesmar outfits tend to have a slightly smaller silk label printed in a slightly darker green. Sometimes they are sewn on quite badly. For more information on Jesmar outfits visit: Jesmars and J Clothing

Jesmar silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on an orange fabric beside an OK factory silk Cabbage Patch Kid label on a grey fabric.

#16 Denim Romper

Deceptively simple, incredibly cute.

Main graphic tthat has a red background, black text that says "#16 Denim Romper" with two kids bracketing it. The first kid is a brown haired shag wtih brown eyes, #8 head mold and glasses. He's wearing a red plaid shirt and jean romper with red cotton hat. The second kid is an AA bald, brown eyed #2 face mold with orange shirt and jean romper.

Suggested reading: An explanation of the 1983 series of outfits that the denim romper belongs to. Jump to: 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

Original Name: Checkmates

Description:
Jean/denim romper with a square CPK silk label on the bib, worn over a collared short-sleeve shirt that closes at the front with one button. It comes with a red twill baseball cap, sneakers, and socks. Take note, some early versions may have come with regular lace-up shoes.

Outfit 16D, OK. Blue and white check t-shirt, jean romper, and red cotton hat.
Outfit 16D, OK

This outfit was sold from 1983 until 1985, most likely longer. It was sold both on kids and packaged, starting in 1984.

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, up to the date indicated. To understand clothing codes, factories and variations, please refer to the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes, 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a 16A KT that is green, not blue) I would appreciate hearing from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

This outfit does not appear to have been made by the primary factories CC or SS.

Variations

> The following are observable differences between outfits produced at various factories.

  • fabric colour/shade
  • romper stitching
  • romper structure
  • look of the square CPK logo
  • shirt fabric
A collage of pictures showing the differences in sewing and structure in the denim romper and the fabric shades of the shirts.
Pictures courtesy of Jodi’s Punki Patch.

> Mimic outfits: The Play Along 25th Anniversary version came with a blue and white check shirt and the traditional red cap. For more information, visit 25th Anniversary Outfits.

25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch Kid, mint in box. He's got fuzzy wheat hair, green eyes and a #3 head mold. He's wearing a blue and white check shirt, jean romper and red cap.

> There were many variations made by foreign factories. Tsukuda also put some of their twins in this outfit. For information on identifying a Jesmar version, jump to Identifying Jesmar Clothing.

Other Information

> Refer to Beneficial Buttons for information on clear vs. white buttons.

> A few early Hong Kong versions of the outfit have been found with metal buttons and closures. I am unsure of the significance of this difference.

“Triple HK, 1983 KT Early HK kid – Bibbed denim romper with an aqua flannel shirt and red cap. Very unusual, however; is the romper itself which opens and closes at the side with 1/2″ copper naps which are embossed with USA style on each one. Snap fasteners also attached the straps to the bib. The shoes  . . . are white high tops with blue stripes, but the stripes are a dark teal shade, are very shiny and appear to be hand-painted. The inside soles of the shoes are stamped KT Hong Kong in bold black letters.” (Ref #4, Vol. 3 Iss. 3)

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(Photo courtesy of Kat Pershouse)

It is interesting that a second metal button outfit has been identified, and both outfits have the same red flannel shirt.

> The CPK logo changes in colour/look. This most likely happened due to changes over time, but may also be caused by the factory. I do not know at this time.

A comparison of the silk label used on the front of the CPK denim romper. There's a difference in size, design, and shade of green.

#6 Kitty Jogging Suit

These kids can join you on your morning run!

Main graphic with a blue background and white text that says "#6 Kitty Jogging Suit". There are two kids wearing grey kitty jogging suits with kitty applique. One kidis an AA with brown loops, brown eyes and #3 head mold. His suit is trimmed in red. The other has wheat loops, blue eyes and a #4 paci head mold. His outfit is trimmed in purple.

Suggested reading: An explanation of the 1983 series of outfits that the swing dress belongs to. Jump to: 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

Original Name: Lil Jogger

Description:
Grey jogging suit with a patch on the right breast. The patch is generally a white cat. The sleeve, shirt, and pant leg hems are various colours. It came with a white terry cloth headband, sneakers, and socks.

Outfit 6A, KT. Grey jogging suit with blue trim and a cat applique on the left breast. There is a white terry cloth head band above it.
Outfit 6A, KT

This outfit was sold from 1983 until 1985, most likely longer. It was sold both on kids and packaged, starting in 1984.

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, up to the date indicated. To understand clothing codes, factories and variations, please refer to the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes, 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a 6A OK that is green, not blue) I would appreciate hearing from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Variations

> The following are observable differences between outfits produced at various factories.

  • fabric shades/colour
  • fabric type
  • look of the patch (Jump to Plentiful Patches Pt.2)
  • the patch itself (eg. bear instead of cat)

> The grey fabric came in two variations: solid grey or heather grey.
     

> Mimic outfits: All currently recorded USA versions of this outfit are heather grey and have the factory tag in the pants, not the top.

> There were many variations made by foreign factories.
     For information on identifying a Jesmar version, jump to  Identifying Jesmar Clothing

> This outfit was used as a ‘twin‘ outfit by the Tsukuda factory.
     

Other Information

> This outfit came on both boys and girls, depending on the colour.
> This outfit can have a variety of patches instead of the cat. Jump to Plentiful Patches Pt.2