Our kids love to play outside, and these outfits help them join their favourite team and cheer on their siblings. Go Team CPK!
This collection started selling in 1985, along with many of the other speciality outfits. However, these outfits were originally only sold packaged. Late in 1985 and early 1986, it appears that Coleco did put them on individually packaged kids, and a small number of the Football outfits made it on twin sets . It is interesting to note that almost all of the boxed kids with these outfits on are in 1985 boxes, I have recorded only one 1986 box, so it appears they didn’t do this for long. Eventually, like all other CPK clothes produced prior to 1987, sports outfits became part of the mass ‘sell-off’ where they put all sorts of weird combinations together and sold outfits on plain boards.
There are six outfits in this collection, each of them depicting a different sport. Each outfit came with at least one accessory and striped sneakers. They were made by the Taiwanese CY and FD factories, and in some cases, there are visible differences between outfits produced by them.
NOTE: Each outfit is tagged in only one piece. I have put (tag) beside the piece with the tag.
Outfit Pieces: top (tag) and stirrup pants
Accessory: baseball helmet
Sneakers: some coloured stripes, some not)
Outfit Pieces: green sweater (tag), sateen bloomers, white and green sateen skirt
Accessory: yellow/green or Orange/green pompom
The pompom came in two different colours. I’m assuming this was either a factory difference or because of a supply problem.
Sneakers: green stripes
Outfit Pieces: sleeveless jersey, shorts (tag), headband, armbands, knee pads The 55 may represent 1955, the year Xavier Roberts was born.
Sneakers: white stripes
Outfit Pieces: jersey with padded shoulders, padded shorts (tag)
There are two possible accent colours on this outfit, blue and purple. Both factories made both colours. There are visible factory differences in the stitching of the jersey’s bottom hem and in the colour of the thread used to sew on the silk label. The FD factory used orange thread, and the CY factory used white thread. These differences are important as they allow you to determine which factory made the top, even though it is not tagged.
Accessory: hockey stick (no manufacturer marks) Sneakers: white stripes
Outfit Pieces: jersey with padded shoulders, shorts (tag)
So far, this is the only sports outfit found on sets of twins. We don’t know exactly what the 27 stands for. Here are two theories: 1) Xavier Robert’s parents were born on the 11th and the 16th, which when added together, equals 27. 2) Xavier Roberts was aged 27 when the mass market Cabbage Patch Kids were copyrighted in 1982. What is your theory?
Accessory: football helmet Note: The helmet can be fragile. Once put together, it can split apart easily, and the chin guard connections can break easily as well.
The accent trim is sewn on differently by each factory. FD is much cleaner than CY. This difference is important as it allows you to determine which factory made the dress, even though it is not tagged.
Accessory: tennis racket (has factory markings), sun visor
Sneakers: white stripes
All Stars Baseball Series – This collection came out in 1986 and is an entirely different series. (Future Post)
Hasbro Sports outfits – Two poseable Hasbro CPK outfits (1990/91) are sport related: Tennis and cheerleader.
It appears that at least the Football outfit was put onto Twins in a twin box. As far as I know, none of the others have been seen on twins.
A JCPenney Catalog picture shows the football outfit in blue; however, it was never produced. The back of the original packaging also shows the outfits, but three of the shoes depicted were never sold with the outfits.
In my opinion, the 25th Anniversary kids are the best replicas of the original Coleco kids, and their outfits are just as good! Many people confuse them with the originals. Find out how to differentiate between them.
The 25th Anniversary CPKs manufactured by Play Along are, in my opinion, the best replicas of the Coleco kids and clothes produced thus far. Although they created only one version of each outfit, they replicated many outfits. In addition, the outfits came on a wide variety of dolls. Play Along produced ten girl outfits, two boy outfits, and seven preemie outfits for this series. Each kid came wearing a white baby diaper with sticky tabs underneath.
These kids came in a box very similar to the original Coleco boxes, but the primary colours are silver and white, and each one came with a silver plastic spoon. They also have a special birth certificate and hand tag. The signatures on their bottom are black and say 25th Anniversary.
One consistent difference between Coleco and 25th Anniversary outfits is the buttons. The 25th buttons are much thicker and slightly smaller in diameter than any of the Coleco.
Reminder, these outfits do NOT have clothing codes.
These are also of high quality and look very similar to Coleco shoes. There are 25th Anniversary versions of the three original types of shoes, and all have the 25th logo on the sole of the shoe. Inside the heel, they have the pattern often associated with Jesmar shoes inside and say ‘Made in China / Fabrique en chine’. They also come with a piece of white cardboard in the bottom of the shoe (see sneakers below). I have no idea why.
This only came in yellow with a yellow sweater and booties. Unlike the original, the romper has flutter sleeves, and the knit pattern on the other pieces is similar to the KT outfits but still different. The yarn used for the knit outfits is thinner than the original Coleco yarn. Shoes: Matching knit booties; Quick Link: 1983 Bubble Romper
The 25th and the original outfits are very similar. I believe the yarn on the 25th is thinner, but otherwise, they would be hard to tell apart at a glance, although there are differences in the sleeve and collar ruffles. Shoes: Mary Janes; Quick Link: 1983 Ducky Dress
The 25th version is very easy to distinguish from the original, as the 1983 version never came in pink. In addition, the elephant on the 25th version is a heat transfer, while the original has an applique. Finally, the white shirt has no coloured stitching and doesn’t undo at the back like the original white shirts. Shoes: Pink striped sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Elephant Romper
At first glance, they look very similar. However, the 25th version doesn’t open all the way down the back, and the heart is a heat transfer rather than an applique. The other obvious difference is that the 25th dresses have two ribbon stripes around the bottom hem, whereas the 1983 version has three. Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Heart Dress
At first glance, this outfit is also very similar to the original 1983 outfit. However, the edge stitching on the 25th outfit is different from many of the 1983 outfits and is black, whereas the others are all shades of blue. Finally, the 25th dress doesn’t open completely at the back like the 1983 version. Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Pinafore Dress
The 25th outfit is very similar to the 1983 outfit. It would be very difficult to distinguish between them in a photo, except that the blue 1983 overalls came with yellow rick rack on the shirt, not pink. However, that’s not conclusive evidence because there were 1983 shirts with pink rick-rack and may have been paired with the wrong overalls. Always double-check if you’re not sure. The most obvious difference visible differences are the buttons and lack of tag inside the shirt. Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Ruffled Overalls
The easiest difference to spot between the 25th dress and the 1983 outfit is the collar colour. In the 25th outfits, the collar is the colour of the ‘blouse’, whereas the collar of the 1983 outfit is the same colour as the dress portion. In addition, the 25th dress doesn’t completely open down the back. Shoes: Mary Janes; Quick Link: 1983 Shoulder-tie Dress
The most interesting aspect of this 25th Anniversary outfit is that it only came on girls, whereas the 1983 outfit generally came on boys. In addition, the 25th Anniversary colour was never used in 1983 and the bear applique is a heat transfer, and the hat is a very unique shape, nothing like the 1983 hats. Finally, unlike the 1983 outfit, the 25th Anniversary outfit doesn’t come with a white shirt. Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Corduroy Suit
This outfit has a few significant differences. With the pants, it’s the fabric and how white the stitches are for the pockets. For the shirt, it’s the lack of white neck and sleeve hems. With the jacket, it’s the logo and the collar. Each piece stands out as visibly 25th anniversary. Shoes: Pink striped sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Windbreaker Outfit
This outfit is unique amongst the girl outfits as it doesn’t replicate a 1983 outfit. The original Butterfly Dress came out in 1986. However, it never came out in this pattern, and the lace of the 25th version is very frilly, not the cotton used in the 1983 dresses. Shoes: Mary Janes; Quick Link: 1986 #661 Heart/Butterfly Dress
As I don’t own this outfit yet, I’m basing my analysis on what I can see in photos. This is the only 16” kid outfit that I’m missing.
It appears that the romper is made of thin cotton fabric, not denim and it has wider straps. I can’t see any differences in the shirt; however, it would not have a Coleco tag in it, which it would if it was Coleco. The hat appears to be different as well, but I can’t describe how. Shoes: Blue Striped Sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Denim Romper
This outfit is also very similar, but there are immediately visible differences. The accent stripes are silver, whereas the Coleco is always white, and the bow isn’t as big. In addition, the anchor is a heat transfer, not an applique. Shoes: Blue striped sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Sailor Suit
I’ve only owned one of these, so I can only comment on visible differences. It appears many came with some white cotton slippers or booties, but I’m not sure. Based on the “Only at Target” on these boxes, preemies were never sold in Canada. I’m unaware if Target sold them in other countries. Their boxes were slightly different, with a heart behind the logo. Their hand tags had the same heart.
Gown with vest
The 25th Anniversary version doesn’t appear to come with a hat, and it isn’t two separate pieces. The vest is attached at the side seams, and there’s no lace at the neck. Shoes: White cotton booties; Quick Link: 1984 Gown with vest
Bubble Bottom Romper
This 25th Anniversary version has an all-white bonnet instead of a pink one with white lace. The small shoulder ruffles are made of frilly lace, not cotton fabric, and the waist ribbon is silky and sewn to the outfit, not cotton with the option of tying a bow. Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1984 Bubble Bottom Romper
This outfit is very similar, except that this colour combination was never used. The blue isn’t dark enough. In addition, the hat has the pattern on the entire bill, not just the underside. Shoes: Lace-up Shoes; Quick Link: 1984 Bunny Outfit
The 25th Anniversary and Coleco versions are very similar in almost every way. The lace is different, otherwise, visually it’s a great replica. Shoes: White cotton booties; Quick Link: 1984 Square Yoked Gown
This 25th Anniversary outfit is significantly different from the original Coleco outfit. It never came in purple, and the neck area wasn’t white. In addition, in most cases, it should have four rows of lace around the neck. Finally, there’s no lace around the bottom hem of the dress. Shoes: White cotton booties; Quick Link: 1984 Frilly Yoked Gown
These outfits are very similar to the original. They even look like they’re made from the same type of fabric. However, the lace on the 25th is frilly lace, not cotton lace like the original. Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1984 Striped One-piece
Bunting Bag Outfit
This is the only 25th Anniversary preemie outfit that is not a replica of the original 1984 outfits. It’s from the BSeries, which came out in 1985. It doesn’t have a hood (from what I can see) but there is a tie at the neck with a different type of string, not ribbon. Unlike the Coleco versions, which were either a solid colour or had striped sleeves, the 25th Anniversary outfit has solid white sleeves on a blue bunting bag. Shoes: Unknown; Quick Link: B501 Bunting Bag
Cabbage Patch Kids have been in continuous production since 1983. Various companies have produced a wide variety of, but every 5 years we celebrate their continued creation and enduring appeal. Here’s an overview of each anniversary and the kids produced to celebrate them.
Anniversary dolls were produced every five years, starting in 1993 (year 10). The production companies often attempted to replicate the original Coleco dolls, with varying degrees of success. Below is a summary of the dolls produced for each anniversary, except for the 25th Anniversary Kids by Play Along, which will have a separate post soon.
10th Anniversary (Hasbro – 1993)
Produced by Hasbro, this was a limited-edition kid (100,000). These dolls had fabric-covered faces (not the regular vinyl of the Coleco kids) and were identical, although there are AA and caucasian versions. All of these dolls had the name Zora Mae and wore the same outfit. The outfit has been described as, “ [a] Pink floral dress trimmed with lace and a matching wide-brimmed hat, white lace tights, pink nylon panties, and white t-strap shoes.” (Ref #1, p. 43)
15th Anniversary (Mattel – 1998)
This is the first example of the anniversary kids being ‘replicas’ of the original 16′ Coleco kids and their outfits but in a limited fashion. For these dolls, they replicated only one of the original outfits, the Yoke Dress, and produced it in 4 different colours using gingham fabric.
Unlike the original outfit, this version has a removable yoke which ties at the back of the neck. The dress underneath looks very similar to the Bib Dress, without the bib, and is often confused with it. It came with Mattel’s version of white lace-up shoes (which have a hole in the bottom to be attached to the box) and white socks. (Ref #1, p. 126 – 129)
20th Anniversary (Toy’s R’US – 2003)
Toys R’US produced numerous dolls during this anniversary year and labelled many as anniversary kids. However, the special anniversary kids are a boy and girl pair who are dressed in prom-like attire. They were sold separately in standing boxes which have flaps on the front that cover the entire doll except for the face. They have cornsilk hair and, like the Coleco kids, their names were randomly assigned.
The boy dolls all wear a black tuxedo with a white shirt, a silk aqua-coloured vest, and a handkerchief. They also have an aqua-coloured flower on their collar, a black tie, navy blue socks, black TRU shoes, and black silk boxers!
The girl’s all wear a matching aqua and pink dress, pink lace headband, white lacy tights, matching panties, and pink TRU shoes. They carry a matching purse/bag.
As before, JAKKS Pacific attempted to replicate the vintage Coleco kids for this anniversary. Like Toys R’Us, they produced several kids during this period, but only one set was labelled 30th Birthday Kids. Stickers on the boxes said Limited Edition Vintage Kids.
Although they seem to be attempting to replicate the original Coleco dolls, only two of the outfits are similar to the original 1983 outfits, the pink dress and the purple overalls. I believe each outfit only came in one colour, although apparently, the dress with the pinafore has also been seen in pink.
Interestingly, although they are being produced by JAKKS Pacific, because JP bought out PLay Along, they must have had access to their materials. The heads on at least some of these 30th Anniversary kids were created by Play Along 25the Anniversary molds! These are the last two girls shown above.
Other 30th Anniversary kids produced at the same time included, but aren’t limited to:
35th Anniversary (2018) – WCT
As far as I can tell, they just put some sort of Commemorating 35 Years on all the kids they produced this year. I’ve found at least three different box designs with this message on them. There does not appear to have been an attempt to replicate the Coleco kids or their outfits.
40th Anniversary (Jazwares – 2023)
I haven’t seen anything produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary, however, we still have 7 months, so keep your eyes peeled.
At this time, the current 2023 babies are available through Jazwares in California USA.
Their hair is a surprise, and so are their outfits! Find out what outfit your Growing Hair Kid may have worn and the special hair accessories that came with it.
Growing Hair Kids [GHK] came out in 1988. They are dolls whose cornsilk hair can be pulled out to varying lengths. They came in their unique box with a special GHK birth certificate and hand tag. They also came with a brush, a bag of wider hair ribbons, and styling guide instructions.
All these dolls were girls that came in a variety of hair/eye colour combinations. A few came with freckles, and there were AA kids produced. They used several regular head moulds, but HM 22 and HM 23 were only used for Growing Hair Kids.
For more detailed information on GHK, visit Ref #3, p. 88-89, or Ref #2, p.165
Growing Hair Kids Outfits
There are two very different parts to the GHK series of outfits. Group 1 was made by the P factory, and Group 2 by the KT factory.
The P factory outfits were worn ONLY by Growing Hair Kids. The KT factory outfits are, numerically, part of another series, but some of them were worn by only GHK’s, while others were worn by GHK’s and regular 1988 kids. Consequently, the KT outfits are dramatically different from the P factory outfits. I’m unsure which came out first, or why regular 1988 outfits were used on Growing Hair Kid dolls.
Each GHK outfit came with one of four hair accessories.
1) (Circular Dec.) Ribbon bow with lacy/satin ribbon circular decoration
2) (Lacy Bow) Ribbon bow with larger lacy bow accent
3) (Puffy Bow) Large puffy fabric bow
4) (Suede Bow) Suede fabric bow
Overview of P Factory Outfits
There are six outfits in this series, #842 – #847. There appear to be five or six versions of each outfit, A – F. They are all similar in style.
Each outfit came with silk undies. I’ve seen them in pink, yellow, white, and purple. Growing Hair Kids came wearing matching coloured Mary Jane shoes and lacy ruffled socks.
Outfit #842- Ruffle neck dress with wide waist ribbon
Outfit 843 -Low waisted dress with front ruffles
Outfit 844 – Dres with large vertical ruffle
Outfit 845 – Dress with four folds and Peter Pan collar
Outfit 846 – Dress with square collar and large hem
Outfit 847 – Drop waist with lace down the front
Overview of KT Factory Outfits
These four outfits, 808, 809, 811, and 814, although part of the 804-815 series, were worn by GHK dolls. In fact, in a few cases, they appear to have come ONLY on GHK. However, I could be missing information. There could be more outfits from this series that came on GHK, and those that appear to only come on GHK may have come on the regular kids.
These outfits are very different in style and fabrics from the P factory outfits. I have no idea what came under them. Most of them came with Ballet Flats.
When these outfits came on Growing Hair Kids, the outfit came with a hair accessory.
These dresses all have drop waists, all-over prints, and a large waist ribbon or bow.
These 1988 Coleco Catalogue advert pictures have the kids wearing later Cornsilk dresses and a few of the GHK dresses. Interestingly, they didn’t end up wearing the Cornsilk dresses, but they did come in ‘regular’ kid outfits.
I believe that most of these outfits came in about six versions, but some came with more and some with less. Most use letters A – F (ish), except the three later Coleco outfits that only came on Growing Hair Kids, which use the letters F, G, H.
NOTE ABOUT SHOES: The shoes noted as coming with each outfit are those I have the most evidence for. However, Coleco has been known to throw anything on a kid (for whatever reason), and during this time, they were trying to get rid of stock, so anything is possible. So, in a way, this is only a guideline.
Other Information * This is the most frequently copied of the outfits in this series. This outfit is VERY popular. * This outfit only came on girls.
There are many similar outfits, in that they are all overalls with a shirt underneath. However, they are generally not confused with this outfit as the pattern on these overalls is VERY distinctive. The following are the only exceptions.
#143 is a transitional period packaged outfit with a cameo pattern. Sometimes this is considered part of this series, as it came out about the same time. It is not.
Some versions of #875, a toddler overall style outfit, also came in a dinosaur-patterned fabric.
#808 COLECO – Romper with tie and Shirt
Outfit: Collared button-up shirt with a full-length romper that ties at the shoulders and which has a matching fabric belt. There is one pocket on the romper and no patches. Shoes:Ballet Flats; maybe Kissing Kid shoes?
Other Information * There’s some evidence that a few of these outfits came with Hasbro Kissing Kid shoes, which would be very odd. * This outfit came on some Growing Hair Kids in the first half of 1989. * This outfit only came on girls.
#808 HASBRO – Romper with tie and Shirt
Outfit: Collared button-up shirt under a full-length romper which ties at the shoulders and has a fabric belt. There is one pocket on the romper, and there is at least one heat transfer patch on the shirt or the romper. Some have more than one patch. Shoes:Striped sneakers
Other Information * This outfit only came on girls.
#809 COLECO – Pants with suspenders & shirt
Outfit: Pants with a small bib and suspenders consisting of pleather pieces and plastic buckle and loop. The collared shirt has a pastel stained-glass pattern to it. Shoes: Unknown
Other Information * This outfit is very rare. I believe it only came on Growing Hair Kids in the first half of 1989. I haven’t seen it on a regular 1988 kid yet. This is very strange as it’s a Coleco outfit. However, it uses the letters F, G, and H, and so maybe later additions to the series. This may explain why this outfit, and the others like it, didn’t show up until 1989. * Growing Hair Kid hair accessory unknown. * This outfit is aesthetically and materially different from the other outfits in this series.
#809 HASBRO – Pants with suspenders and shirt
Outfit: Pants with a small bib and attached suspenders. It also has a patch on the bib. Under is a collared shirt with no buttons. Shoes: Unknown, maybe Saddle Shoes
Other Information * Unlike other Coleco/Hasbro pairings in this series, the two #809 outfits look markedly different.
#180 looks similar if you don’t have the jacket. Hasbro poseable kid’s girl coveralls and general overalls.
There are 14 outfits in this series, #804 – #815, as well as two missing outfits, #805 and #813. All of the outfits were made by the KT factory or by Hasbro. Most of them likely came on KT kids. I am unsure if these outfits came with underwear, diapers, or panties. Do you know? Finally, they came with a variety of shoes depending on the outfit, including striped sneakers, ballet flats, saddle shoes, and chunky sneakers.
Photos courtesy of Chris Hansing Tallman, Jodi Issacs, Dani, Melissa Crick Gore, Kat Perhouse, and Jennifer Runnoe.
Most of the outfits in this series came out in 1988 on regular yarn-haired kids, but they can also be found on 1989 dolls. Consequently, they are often confused with Designer Line and Hasbro Poseable Kid outfits. They are also often described as transitional and some are, but many are not. (To learn about what I consider transitional, visit Transitional Period CPK Outfits – A Summary) To add to the confusion, some of these outfits also came on 1989 Growing Hair Kids, but Growing Hair outfits didn’t come on regular kids, and a few of the outfits in this series may have only come out in 1989. Those outfits could technically be considered transitional.
Some of these outfits have both a Coleco and a Hasbro version, for example, #808, and some outfits were only produced by Hasbro, for example, #810. Based on an article from the Dec. 1988 Dolling Around Newsletter, it seems likely that the Hasbro outfits didn’t come out until 1989. So, I guess they are transitional. The article provides a list of the new 1988 outfits, and none of the Hasbro outfits are on the list. In addition, the VHTF Coleco outfits are missing, as I believe they would have thought them to be Growing Hair kid outfits (Ref #4, Dec. 1988, Vol 3, Iss. 1)
Some photos courtesy of Jodi Issacs.
As I said, some of these outfits also came on Growing Hair (GH) kids. When they did, they also came with a matching hair accessory. The outfits I have confirmed as coming on GH kids are #808, #809, #811, and #814.
Photos courtesy of Chris Hansing Tallman, Melissa Crick Gore, and Jennifer Runnoe.
I have no evidence that these outfits ever came packaged. However, being so near the end of Coleco’s run, there may be package lots out there with individual pieces or entire outfits. Not being sold as packaged outfits and having been made for such a short period would also explain why the outfits in this series are generally harder to find.
Popular and Hard-to-find
Outfits #807 and #812 are the most sought-after outfits in this series, with #807 being copied frequently. One collector has gone so far as to hand copy the pattern of the fabric and recreate it so she could make exact replicas. They’re amazing! As for #812, cats.
#805 would be the hardest to find if it exists, but at the moment, I believe that #814 and #809 (Coleco version) hold this title. Given Coleco’s previous history, there’s a good chance #813 was never produced.
There are many additional unusual aspects to these outfits. To find out more about each specific outfit, visit: All About Outfits #804 – #809 All about Outfits #810 – #815 (Future Post)
This St. Patricks Day I celebrated by purchasing a unicorn! Join me as I unbox my treasure at the end of the rainbow.
I bought myself a unicorn and it arrived in time for St. Paddy’s Day! Join me as I unbox the treasure at the end of the rainbow.
Spoiler Alert! Only scroll down if you know what the unicorn is!
Meet Mateo Lucas (blue) and Patrick Dante (green). Patrick is wearing my unicorn outfit! How appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. Of course, what else was I going to name him? After all, he’s all about the green!
Transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
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.
Outfits series sold at this time (that I know of):
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):
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.
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.
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)
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))
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.
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.
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
Top with a large neck ruffle and three pom poms
White pointed hat with ruffle and pom pom
Yellow bloomers with white polka dots
Large puffy hair bow
Shirt (structured like a t-shirt)
Vest with tails
Small bow tie
Small hard vinyl top hat
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.
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.
These full-form vinyl sneaker-shaped shoes came with all Designer Line Kids outfits (1989) and may have come on kids wearing the Hasbro version of outfit #812 and two Hasbro transitional poseable outfits.
There may also be additional Transitional outfits that came with these shoes, of which I am unaware. In addition, during the Transitional period, Hasbro and Coleco were selling off inventory, so outfits may no longer have come with just one type of shoe. There may be more than one type used for these outfits, including the Chunky Sneakers.
I have not yet seen Chunky Sneakers that were separately packaged. Separately packaged DL outfits sold in the late 1980s either did not come with shoes or may have come with Saddle Shoes (see below).
Beyond their distinctive shape, these shoes also have a pattern on the bottom and no factory indicator on the inside of the shoe.
Colours I know of
Chunky Sneakers are often confused with Saddle Shoes, which came out about the same time (1989) on a few outfits, Coleco and Hasbro. There seem to be two versions, one with real laces in the top two holes and used by Coleco, and one without laces (holes not punched through) and used by Hasbro.
Outfit #809 may have come with these shoes, and some of the #812 outfits (Coleco version) came with them. I believe that the Hasbro tracksuit outfit also came with them. There may be more; this list is likely not complete. These shoes also came separately packaged.
Their most distinctive feature the is CPK logo located on the bottom of each shoe.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Parker.
Colours I know of
Chunky Toddler Shoes
Chunky Sneakers are also confused with Chunky Toddler Shoes. They look similar but are smaller and only came on some Transitional and Hasbro Toddlers. (Future Post)