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.
Coleco continued to produce Twin sets in 1986 wearing the original four outfits, but they also started to use twin sets as a dumping ground to get rid of overstock. At this time, it wasn’t unusual to find a variety of combinations in twin boxes, for example:
Especially in the Canadian market, it wasn’t unusual for the dolls wearing these non-twin outfits to be Jesmar as it was at this time that Coleco was looking to rid themselves of the remaining stock from the recently closed foreign factories. (See Jesmars and J Clothing for details.)
The dolls used for twins in 1986 weren’t always P/OK factory and weren’t always the same factory. For example, there are records of sets being OK and PMI. (Ref #4, March 1988, p. 4) This was rare, but apparently, it did happen.
They also dumped twin outfits by putting them on individually boxed regular kids and Cornsilk kids in 1986 and 1987.
Finally, in a last-ditch effort to get rid of stock, twin outfits were sold packaged separately. Often these packages didn’t come with accessories like gloves or shoes.
Other Cabbage Patch Twins
> The Tsukuda factory is the only foreign factory that manufactured Twins (Ref #3, p. 247). Their twins wear regular 1983 outfits with the word “TWIN” silkscreened on them. These sets are very highly valued by collectors.
> Preemie twins were never produced, but prototypes are visible in catalogue pictures from 1986. (Ref #3, p. 178, 192)
Many prototype outfits can be seen in catalogues from 1986. The outfits aren’t exact, but they’re pretty close! It’s too bad the white dresses were never produced, they’re very pretty.
Butterick produced only one of the twin outfits as a sewing pattern. They are numbered #390 and #3564.
CPK Sneakers were manufactured by Coleco throughout the entirety of their production. However, the characteristics of the shoes varied by factory and over time.
Hong Kong Shoes
For a definition of ‘Hong Kong Kids’, jump to the Glossary.
In the beginning, when production took place in Hong Kong [HK], the shoes had a very distinctive look. In general, they can have a number of these features but do not need to have them all.
The stitching is VERY prominent.
They have a thicker feel to the vinyl. In some cases, the vinyl did not mould well and may have a runny look on the inside.
Some are extremely hard vinyl. VERY hard.
Not all HK shoes have black text in the heel, but if it is black, it’s likely an HK shoe.
They tend to look less finished than other shoes. The edges look more like they’ve been cut out, or the vinyl around the edges has been trimmed.
HK shoes are more likely to discolour and get pox than later shoes.
The bottoms are ‘bumpy/textured’.
The body is bumpy (see below).
OK HK Shoes – very hard & very malleable – very prominent stitching – The tongue is not cut out (or is partially cut). It is formed as part of the shoe. – textured body and bottom – laces are thick and not very long
P HK Shoes – The text runs vertically, not horizontally, in the heel. – I have not found any P with black text. – The vinyl is very malleable.
KT HK Shoes – I am unable to comment on specifics. I don’t have any in my collection. Photo courtesy of Christy Gann.
Post HK Shoes – 1986ish shoes
After the ‘experimental’ Hong Kong period, the shoes became more uniform but still had many characteristics that varied by factory. It can be very difficult to ‘match’ shoes. You THINK they should match, but when you put them side by side, they are nothing alike! They aren’t the same shape, colour, texture, etc.
Most of the shoes have the factory indicator and the words HONG KONG stamped on the inside by the heel, on the bottom. The factory indicator can be inside a circle or not.
After production moved to China, the shoes became more uniform in appearance but continued to vary by the factory. Indeed, as more factories began production, the amount of variation increased.
Although there are quite a few colours available, many did not show up until 1988 and 1989 (Transitional period). They came on later kids and wearing outfits 800 – 815 and as separately packaged accessories.
It seems that Hasbro did not continue to produce or use sneakers.
The sneakers come in three different stripe patterns.
#1 – the most vertical #2 – slightly more angled #3 – the most angled
Some factories, like P, appear to have produced all three patterns. Others did not. For example, all the OK sneakers I have use pattern #1.
The first sneakers came in only two colours, blue and pink.
In 1985 they started producing additional colours. For example, the stripes on the All-Stars Kids sneakers often matched the colour of the uniform, so colours like red, green, black, and navy blue show up. I believe that most of these shoes were produced by the FD and IC factories. At the same time, both coloured and white striped shoes were produced for Sports Collection outfits (CY and FD) and by the UT factory. Do you have UT shoes with coloured stripes? I have only seen white.
Some colours were produced in varying shades. I believe this was caused by factory variation and changes over time. For example, the PMI factory seems to have very distinct pink and blue colours.
In some cases, the same factory produced different shades of colour. For example, these two P shoes are varying shades of pink.
Here are all the colours, and their variations, that I have owned. I know that I am missing yellow and hot pink.
Update: Brown stripes came with the Padre’s baseball outfit. Special thanks to Margaret Granato and Jennifer Pelfrey.
Some of the shoes have numbers near the factory code. I think these numbers are related to moulds, but I really don’t know. What I do know, is that there are lots of numbers and a matching pair does not have to have matching numbers. One shoe can be 1 and the other 4. Numbers are most often found in shoes produced by the Taiwanese and P factories.
Disclaimer: The following observations have been made based on my collection. I welcome any information and will not hesitate to make revisions as needed.
OK Shoes – They are thin and flexible with a tongue that is the same size as the opening. – The text is raised, comes in two font sizes, and is sometimes blurred. – They tend to discolour and become sticky more than others. – They only appear to use stripe pattern 1.
P Shoes – They tend to stay very white, and the stitching is very prominent. – The tongue is smaller than the opening. – The text is raised and very clear. It is generally vertical along the length of the shoe. Numbers used: 1, 2, 3, 4 Stripe Patterns used: 1, 2, 3
KT Shoes – They feel like OK shoes but with a very thin top edge. Some are extremely malleable. – The tongue looks to have been formed as part of the shoe and then cut out. – Some material is missing, making the tongue smaller than the hole. – The text is raised. – The bottom and inside are VERY smooth. – Some of them have the ‘Jesmar’ shape inside. Stripe pattern: 1
PMI Shoes (small sample size) – The feel and stitching are similar to OK shoes, but they tend to say while like P shoes. – The text is a large, well-spaced PMI that is generally very legible.
IC Shoes – They are rather hard, with little flexibility. – Moderately prominent stitching – The tongue is similar to P shoes. – The text is raised and very clear. They say MADE IN TAIWAN and have numbers underneath. Stripe patterns: 2, 3 Numbers: 2, 3, 5
UT Shoes (small sample size) – They feel and look like IC shoes. – Text is clear, in a small font. Numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 Stripes: 2
FD & CY Shoes – They feel and look like IC shoes. – Text can be VERY large or rather small. FD Numbers: 1, 4,3, 6,9, 12 CY Numbers: 3, 4 Stripe Pattern: 2,3
Apparently, the tights come in a variety of patterns. I have found four patterns so far. I named and numbered them to make it easier to distinguish between them.
I have several possible theories regarding why there are so many patterns.
They vary based on the factory of production.
They vary based on when the outfit was produced.
They vary based on the series they came in (somewhat related to the factory, but not quite).
What I Know
The 160s series was manufactured primarily by the KT factory, but a few outfits were produced by the OK factory. Most of the twin dresses were produced by the P factory, although a few were made by KT, and the 718-724 series was produced entirely by the KT factory.
The 160s Series and the twin outfits came out in 1985 and most likely stopped production in 1986. The 718-724 series came out in 1987 and most likely stopped being manufactured by 1988, if not before.
I do not have enough data to even guess which theories (or another unconsidered one) are correct. Can you help?
If you have an outfit with lacy tights, and you know it came together as an outfit, can you please send me the following:
Which lace pattern it is (or a picture if it is a new pattern)
Factory of the outfit
The clothing code of the outfit (e.g. 162H)
If it is a twin outfit, did it comes on a set of twins, or an individually boxed kid?
If it is a twin outfit, is it the sateen version or the non-sateen version?
One outfit comes with BLACK lacy tights, the Girl’s Spanish World Traveler. This outfit was made by two factories. Do you have an OK version to compare to this PMI version? It looks a lot like #3 Trillium above. Jump to: World Traveler Wear
These outfits are the same as the 3rd Cornsilk series . . . yet not!
I’m calling this the Homophone Set as they are the same as the 3rd Cornsilk series, but they are also different. These dresses are made of cotton, instead of the sateen and velveteen of the fancier dresses. They don’t come with a special birth certificate, tights, or any of the accessories the cornsilk kids did. However, structurally, they are the same. The only significant difference is outfit #730 . . . more on that later.
This group of outfits (724 – 730) came out concurrent with the 3rd Cornsilk series (718-723) in 1987. Refer to that post for details on the timing debate. It was made exclusively by the KT factory. They had matching bloomers, socks, and Mary Jane shoes. So far, I have only seen white shoes.
Photos courtesy of Kat Perhouse and Sarah Kimmel.
Based on my research to this point, I believe that the outfit codes for this series work like this:
There were six patterns used for these dresses, and each pattern comes in one to three colour options. There are six versions of each dress, as each dress comes in all six patterns, but in only one option for each colour. Consequently, if an outfit comes in purple with buds, it will not come in mint green with buds.
The Big Yellow Flower pattern might come in two unofficial versions. Some outfits are made of vibrantly coloured fabric, and others are made from fabric that appears faded. I’m unsure if this is caused by photo manipulation, flashes, or if there are actual differences in the fabrics.
Save the Boys for Last!
The last outfit in this series, #730, is a boy’s outfit. It was the only boy outfit produced in this series, and there is no cornsilk equivalent as there were no boy cornsilk dolls produced. It makes me wonder if a ‘fancy’ version of this outfit was created for the prototype Cornsilk boys. What a find that would be!
This outfit comes with a dress shirt, cotton dress pants (slacks), a vest and a bowtie. These outfits came with regular lace-up shoes. It’s absolutely adorable!
As I mentioned in the 3rd series, I am unsure which came first, the 3rd series (720s) or the 4th series (760s). I do know that these outfits came out in 1987 and came in the same boxes, with the same accessories, as the 720s kids. To review this discussion, jump here: Cornsilk Series 3: Beautiful Dresses, pt. 2
This series was made by the P factory, and they are among the hardest Cornsilk outfits to find. It’s likely that they weren’t produced for very long, and there doesn’t appear to be more than two versions of each outfit. That means fewer to find overall.
I only have five outfits recorded, out of what I think is a possible series of eight, if not more. Based on my records to this point, each outfit appears to have 1 or 2 versions (A, B).
They all come with white underwear. Most come with socks, although #765 has tights. Most appear to have come with white Mary Janes, but a few came with white sneakers and solid-form boots.
#762 -Double shirt and quilted skirt
#763 – Unknown Outfit
#764 – Unknown Outfit
#765 – Romper dress and blouse
#766 – Double shirt and skort
#767 – Unknown Outfit
#768 – Windbreaker Outfit
#769 – Terry cloth top and tied pants
I believe that this outfit is part of this series, but I don’t know which of the three numbers it fills: 763, 764, or 767.
Outfit #765 is often mistaken for outfits #148, #402-8, and #332.
Outfits #762 and #766 can be confused for each other, as the only difference is the skirt versus the skort.
Outfit #768 and the ruffled unknown outfit are often mistaken for each other and for outfits #516 and #512.
Series 3 came out in 1987. Honestly, I’m not sure which came first, Series 3 or Series 4. Some reference sources indicate that Series 4 (760s) came out before Series 3. (Ref#2, p. 79; Ref#3, p. 150) However, there is also evidence for Series 3 coming out before Series 4.
4 then 3: Outfits in Series 4 are very similar to those in Series 2 (300s).
4 then 3: Series 4 kids seem to come with the earlier ‘flowered’ birth certificate more then Series 3. Most of Series 3 comes with the ‘non-flowered’ birth certificate.
3 then 4:Outfits in Series 4 are much harder to find than those in Series 3. Generally, this means the series was produced for a short length of time. This would have occurred if they had started selling them later in 1987 and then quickly switched to a newer group of outfits in 1988/98.
3 then 4:The codes in Series 3 are numerically lower than those of Series 4. From this, I assume that they planned Series 4 after Series 3. However, this does not tell us what order they came out in. Also, by the time these outfits were produced, Coleco was not always numbering outfits in order anymore.
Same time: The 3rd Series was made by the KT factory and the 760s by the P factory. Did they come out at the same time, but were made by different factories?
This series (3rd) consists of six very pretty dress styles. I believe they initially came in the same boxes and with the same birth certificates as the 2nd series, but when those ran out, they changed. The newer boxes looked the same, but the ribbons were in plastic sleeves attached to the box liner, and the hand tag and birth certificate changed to have a modern look.
The dresses generally came with matching bloomers, lacy white tights, and white Mary Jane shoes. However, I have seen one example that came with socks, and a few of them came with black Mary Jane shoes. I don’t have enough information at this time to list which came with which. I need more information! I also need more information on their undergarments. I think they came with the white underpants, but I’m not sure. Do you know?
There are 6 outfits in this series and they were made entirely by the KT factory. I believe that there are six or seven versions of each outfit: 3 sateen (A, B, C), 3 – 4 velveteen (E, F,?). Using the Cotton Version Seriesas a reference, it appears that they did not create a D.
Photos courtesy of Jodi’s Punk Patch, Callie Cabbies, and Cassidi Carroll.
There are 6 to 7 colour options for each fabric (6 sateen, 7 velveteen). As there are only three to four versions of each dress, only three colours were used for each one. There doesn’t appear to be a pattern for which colours they chose for which outfits.
For every dress in the ‘fancy’ series that came on Cornsilk Kids, there is a ‘less fancy’ cotton version that came on regular kids. (#724-729) They came out at the same time. For more information, jump to: Ho·mo·phone: the same . . . but different *
Breaking the Rules
Some of these Cornsilk outfits were later found on ‘regular’ kids. I believe they did this when they were getting rid of extra stock in late 1987 or 1988.
This, the second Cornsilk series, came out in mid-1986. It is characterized by bold colours, wacky looks, and layering. It came in a rectangular box with a window arrangement at the top and no ‘vanity’ or other details inside. (Ref#3, p. 150) They still came with the flowery birth certificate, bag of hair ties, brush, hairstyle guide, and were handhold kids.
I’m not sure how many outfits are in this series. It starts around #320 and goes to at least #333, but could go higher. I am missing #331, if it exists. I do not know how many versions of each outfit were made, but I think it’s around six (A-F). The highest letter I have is F. For more information on the outfit codes, jump to What are Clothing Tag Codes.
They were manufactured by the OK, P, and KT factories. However, instead of each factory making a code LETTER, in this series (so far), they made specific outfit NUMBERS and all the letters in those outfits. This holds true for all the outfits except #332 for which I have two factories recorded., P & KT.
These outfits came with brightly coloured socks that were larger and structurally different than the original socks, had underpants not diapers, and either solid-form boots or ballet flats. For more information on shoes, visit Shoes: Overview and Summary Links.
#321 (OK) – Boots
#322 (KT) – Boots
#323 (P) – Boots
#324 (OK) – Boots
#325 (P) – Ballet Flats
#326 (KT) – Boots
#327 (KT) – Ballet Flats
#328 (OK) – Boots
#329 (P) – White Ballet Flats or Boots
#330 (OK) – Ballet Flats
#331 – outfit unidentified
#332 (KT, P) – White Boots
#333 (OK) – Boots
#321 – Sweatsuit
#322 – Knit top with Skirt and Leggings
#323 – X Sweater and Skirt
#324 – Pocketed jacket and tracksuit
#325 – Aerobics Dress
#326 – Double shirt with matching waist tie
#327 – Knit sweater vest with skort and jacket
#328 – Double sweater with a jacket
#329 – Pocket sweater outfit
#330 – Double sweater outfit
#332 – Romper Dress
#333 – Sweater and pants outfit
If you would like to send pictures, if at all possible, please include a ‘pieces’ picture like the one below. The layers in these outfits make it difficult to see individual pieces. This makes it difficult when trying to determine which outfit a single piece goes with. The first time I saw the sleeveless shirts, I was very surprised! However, if the kid is MIB or NRFB, a picture of the doll wearing the outfit is fine. For additional instructions, visit Taking Tag Pictures.
Some of the outfits can be more easily identified using sweater patterns.
These outfits would continue to be found on MIB kids until 1987.
Some of these kids came in the older Cornsilk boxes. This was probably done during the transition from the older styles to the newer style.
These Cornsilk Kids came out in 1986. They came in a box with a curved top and a cardboard vanity inside. They came with a bag of hair ties, a brush, and a hairstyling guide. In order to hold the brush, these kids were hand-holding kids. Their birth certificates were flowery in design.
There are nine outfits in this series, #160 – #168. Each outfit appears to have somewhere between 6 to 12 versions (denoted by the letters). For information on clothing codes, jump to: Clothing Tag Codes.
Photos courtesy of Jamie Osterbuhr, Jodi’s Punki Patch, and other unknown sources.
These outfits were made by the KT and OK factories. KT is the primary factory for outfits A, B, C, and OK is the primary factory for outfits H, J, and K. I believe that some of the outfits were made by both factories, although not all. I am missing many KT outfits in my record, as many of the KT tags do not come with a letter code for unknown reasons.
All these outfits came with either black or white Mary Jane style shoes and wore regular diapers.
If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information I would like to hear from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details, visit Taking Clothing Tag Pics.
“They came with” Information
#160: Came with lacy tights and white Mary Jane shoes. #161: Came with solid white tights and black Mary Jane shoes. #162: Came with matching bloomers and white Mary Janes shoes. #163: It generally came with solid white tights, although a few may have been lacy, and white Mary Jane shoes. #164: Came with white bloomers and most likely black Mary Jane shoes. #165: Came with matching bloomers and white Mary Jane shoes. #166: Came with lacy tights and white Mary Janes shoes. #167: This outfit came with solid colour tights, but they may have been colour-coordinated with the dress. I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure they came with white Mary Jane shoes. #168: Came with matching bloomers and either regular shoes or Mary Janes, I’m not sure yet. This may be the exception to the Mary Jane shoe rule. I have also seen this outfit packaged.
Outfit Specific Notes
— #162: These dresses come in two fabrics, sateen and non-sateen. 162H has such a big ‘surprise’ that is explained in a separate post – Mystery Fancy Frock.
— #163: They used two fabric patterns for this outfit; one has purple flowers, and one has yellow flowers.
— #166 & #168 seem to be the most difficult to find.
—#167: This outfit is called the Cornsilk Country Dress. This distinction is made because #502, which came out a year earlier, is also called theCountry Dress. The easiest ways to distinguish between them are the number of flower patches and the curved name logo patch.
— These outfits came out in early 1986 but could still be found on new kids coming out in 1987. Some may even have come on regular yarn hair kids. They were most likely getting rid of old stock. (Ref# 3, p. 152)
— There is a second set of outfits with numbers in the 160s. They are Sipping Kids outfits. I have no idea why they duplicated the numbers.
There are four known series of outfits that were used exclusively on Cornsilk Kids (to a point). They came out in 1986 and 1987. Each series has easily identifiable characteristics; however, they can also be VERY confusing.
This is the first of five posts in which I will attempt to demystify these beautiful, wacky, and confusing outfits.
Series 2:Wacky and Layered Outfits – A set of wacky coloured/patterned mod-styled outfits. Many have a lot of pieces and layers. Launched mid-1986. (Ref #2, p. 79)
Series 3: Beautiful Dresses Part 2, Dresses made of sateen, velveteen, and other fancy fabrics. Launched late 1986/early 1987. (Ref #2, p. 79) This series acted as a template for the ‘regular kid’ versions, jump to: Ho·mo·phone: Series.
Series 4: Wacky and Layered Part 2 – A slightly toned-down version of Series 2. Launched mid to late 1987. These are harder to find.