The many definitions of Transitional

The term transitional is used a variety of ways within the Cabbage Patch collecting community. It can be very confusing. Here’s an [attempted] explanation.

The term transitional has a variety of meanings in the Cabbie Collecting Community. It can get incredibly confusing. I’m going to try and explain.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online

Cabbage Patch Collector Definitions

Time Period Definition

The term refers to the change from Coleco, as the manufacturing company, to Hasbro. This change occurred in steps, as displayed by the tags used on CPK products of the time, so it took a while. The period typically referred to as ‘transitional’ is from 1989 to 1990. Some collectors will also include late 1998 (see clothing definition below).

Oddly enough, although there have been many similar transitions as CPK manufacturing moved from company to company (see the list here) over the last 40 years, none of the others are referred to in the same fashion. When we use the term transitional as a label, it’s always the FIRST transition from Coleco to Hasbro.

Doll Definition

As I mentioned, the tags on their products of this time displayed the steps taken during the move from Coleco to Hasbro, and this included the dolls.

When referring to a ‘transitional doll’, a collector can be referring to any doll produced between 1989 and 1990. That means they have a light pink (rose-coloured) signature (Coleco 1989), or they have a mauve signature (Hasbro 1990). To see all the signatures visit HERE.

However, a doll can have more than one label, and those labels typically take precedence when describing the doll. For example, Designer Line Kids came out during the Transitional Period, but we don’t generally call them ‘Transitional Designer Line Kids’. We call them Designer Line kids. The transitional label is left off. The same can be said for Growing Hair Kids (1988-89) and Poseable Kids (1989 – 1990).

On the other hand, regular kids produced during that period DO get labelled with the word. We call them ‘Transitional Toddlers’, ‘Transitional BBBs’, ‘Transitional Preemies’, and ‘Transitional kids’ (referring to regular 16” kids). Some of these kids are hybrids. They have a body made by one company and a head made by the other. DL kids and GH kids are never hybrids.

If the doll isn’t from a specific line being produced at the time (i.e. Designer Line), then it can come in a variety of clothing. The clothes may have been produced BEFORE the transitional period, during the transitional period, or it might have Hasbro clothing produced after 1989. Hasbro and Coleco spent a few years putting together very odd combinations to get rid of old stock.

Clothing Definition

The clothing tags have the same issues as the doll tags. In fact, they can be even more confusing. I’ve provided an explanation of the changes over time in the post Transitional Period CPK Outfits – A Summary. I suggest you read it first, then come back to this post. Sorry! I wrote this in the wrong order.

Anyway, like the dolls, the clothing from specific lines is described using those names first. So, Designer Line outfits and Growing Hair Kid outfits are called ‘Designer Line’ ‘ and ‘Growing Hair’, not transitional. However, to add to the confusion, Poseable kid outfits ARE called transitional. This is because most of these outfits were produced by Hasbro and were also sold on regular kids. They weren’t specific to the Poseable Kid line.

As noted in the post I suggested you read earlier, transitional clothing doesn’t follow the numbering schema used for most of Coleco’s production. These clothes are in the 100s and often have a 9- in front of the number/code.

White clothing tag from cabbage patch outfit 145A, factory P, made in 1989.

Now, there’s one group of clothes that are VERY confusing. Those are the regular kid clothes that started being sold in 1988 (800s Series) and then continued being put on kids and sold well into 1989. Although these clothes aren’t technically transitional, as they were made in 1988, they often came on transitional dolls. So, there’s some debate as to whether they can also be considered transitional.

It doesn’t help that some of these outfits were changed slightly by Hasbro and then given the same number as their original Coleco counterpart. These outfits are technically transitional but still have a 1988 production code! They do use a Hasbro tag though, so that makes it somewhat easier. These outfits are #808, #809, #812, and #815, all of which are described HERE.

The 800s series regular outfits are also easily confused with outfits produced in 1989 because they look very similar. For example, the 800s look quite a bit like Designer Line outfits. The individual pieces can be easily confused between them.

Some of the other packaged outfits produced in 1989 (Future Post) also look quite a bit like 800s series outfits. This just adds to the overall confusion.

Fun Links

1989 Coleco Catalogue
Hasbro 1990 Catalogue

Transitional Period CPK Outfits – A Summary

As Hasbro took over production of the Cabbage Patch brand, chaos ensued. Find out what collectors means by ‘transitional’ and how this is reflected in the clothing.

For an explanation of how the word ‘transitional is used by Cabbage Patch collectors, visit The many definitions of Transitional

Quick List/Links

  • 9 – #101 – #152 (BBB, Preemie, Toddler, Regular kids) (Future Posts)
  • 9 – Designer Line Kid outfits (150s, 170-180s)
  • 9 – Sippin’ Kid outfits (160s) (Future Post)
  • 0 – 400s (BBB outfits) (Future Post)

Transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

(Google Dictionary)

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.

Coleco Cabbage patch kid clothing tag with Gloversville, NY, as the location, clothing code 9-167A and factory OK.

Outfits series sold at this time (that I know of):

  • 9 – #101 – #153 (BBB, Preemie, Toddler, Regular kids)
  • Designer Line outfits 150s (all Gloversville)
  • 9 – Sippin’ Kid outfits (160s)

Stage 2 Tags: 9 – Pawtucket, RI – Hasbro

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):

Stage 3 Tags: 0 – Pawtucket, RI – Hasbro

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.

Hasbro Cabbage patch kid clothing tag with Pawtucket, RI as the location, clothing code 0-100D and no factory code.

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.

Hasbro Cabbage patch kid clothing tag with Pawtucket, RI.

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)
  • Many Poseable Kid outfits
  • Some Splash and See packaged outfits
  • Hasbro Fashion Separates Line – packaged
  • Hasbro Deluxe Fashions Line – packaged
  • 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))

Hasbro Catalogue 1990, p.4

Transitional Dolls

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.

Shoes: Chunky Sneakers and Saddle Shoes

Worn by Designer Line kids and other 1988 and 1989 kids, Chunky Sneakers and Saddle Shoes are very sought after and colourful. Find out more!

Summary Post about Cabbage Patch Shoes

Chunky Sneakers

Two pairs of Chunky Sneaker cabbage patch kid shoes. One pair is red and the other light blue. Each pair has one shoe upside down so you can see the bottom.

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

  • Teal/Aqua
  • Purple
  • Mauve/greyish
  • Darker purple
  • Light pink
  • Darker pink
  • Orange
  • Dark Orange
  • Royal blue
  • Red
  • Black
  • Lime Green

Saddle Shoes

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

  • Darker Purple
  • Pinkish Purple
  • Yellow
  • Royal Blue
  • Teal/Aqua

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)

Designer Line Duds – Series 2 (170s-180s)

Dressed to impress (in the last 1980s) these kids have outfits that were all the rage. This is the second set of outfits that were carried on by Hasbro.

Jump to – Series 1: 150s

These kids came out in 1989-9, during the Transitional Period. Hasbro also sold them for a short time from when they took over production in July of 1989 and into 1990.

“According to the 1990 catalogue, these Designer Line Kids had “the cool, casual look that children like for themselves  . . .Their new outfits are the latest and greatest fashion designs, and their yarn or nylon hair is fashioned in the hottest looks around.” (Ref #2, p. 104)

They came with new hairstyles, both yarn and cornsilk, and some new head moulds were introduced with these kids (#36, #44, #45). For more details, refer to the sources listed at the end of the post.

These kids came standing in a special box with a new design. In the US they came with a special purple DL birth certificate but in Canada, they came with the regular 1987-89 certificates. I’m not sure about other countries. They, and their outfits, were made at the P factory; however, they don’t generally end up with pox. A few of the early DL kids came with a new ‘artistic’ Xavier Roberts signature, but it was quickly changed back to the original.

The Outfits

Numerically, there are two series of Designer Line outfits, the 150s and the 170s-180s. The 150s outfits came out first and the 170-180s came out second. For an explanation of how we know, visit Transitional Period – A Summary.

Each series has six outfits, and there are five versions of each outfit (A-E).

These outfits came with chunky sneakers and white underpants for boys or panties for girls. In this series, the panties may also come in different colours.

UPDATE: Designer Line outfits put on later kids may also have come with Saddle Shoes.

Chunky Sneakers
Saddle shoes

Finally, these outfits came packaged by Hasbro, but the 150s series did not. Consequently, of the two DL outfit series, this one would likely be easier to find.

Purple skirt with matching patterned jean jacket and sweater top on a Cabbage Patch Kids packaging board. It has a bright orange sales sticker selling it for $4.98.

Clothing Notes:

  1. The tags for these outfits are located in the jackets, which is highly unusual.
  2. The sweaters may have been switched among outfits #182, and #183 as they are all very similar. The tags are in the jackets so this would be possible.
  3. Designer Line socks are different from regular Coleco socks.
  4. I’m not sure if the boy’s outfits came with socks at all.

These outfits were likely made by Hasbro, who may not have been as diligent at making sure the same accessories always went with an outfit. I just don’t have enough evidence to show that the socks and shoes that came with each outfit were entirely consistent. It’s possible that the accessory colour changed based on what they had available. If you have a MIB kid that doesn’t match my records, please let me know!

178 – Jock Jacket and jeans (Boy)

This outfit consists of a jacket, dickie, striped dress shirt, slacks (solid colour), underpants, socks (I think), and chunky shoes. I’m pretty sure this outfit came with socks, but I’m not completely sure!

179 – Sweater jacket, sweater, and skirt outfit (Girl)

This outfit consists of a sweater jacket, sweater, and skirt (made of sweater material). The shirt has a large decal on the front that is a triangle or rectangle, and the skirt that is a solid colour. It comes with undies, chunky shoes, and socks. It’s very similar to outfit 183; the only real difference is the jacket.

180 – Overalls with jacket (Girl)

This outfit consists of three pieces, chunky shoes, socks, and undies. The prints used are all colourful and crazy!

  1. Jean jacket with large flap pockets
  2. Solid coloured long-sleeved shirt with coloured trim
  3. Overalls with large leg cuffs and three buttons up the middle front

181 – Coveralls with long jacket (Girl)

This outfit consists of two pieces, socks, chunky shoes, and undies. The first piece is a long jacket that’s half a solid colour and half a pattern and has rucked pockets. The second is a set of coveralls with a waist tie and three buttons up the middle front.

Outfit 181A. It has a funky patterned long jacket with large ruched pockets and matching sleeve tops. The coveralls are all one colour/pattern and are purple with aqua shoes attached.
Photo courtesy of Kristi Prieto Sams.

182 –Leather jacket and sweater (Boy)

This outfit consists of a leather jacket, sweater, and slacks. It comes with socks (I think), shoes, and underpants. The sweaters all have a large decal on the front. Some of them say CPK Airborne Division.

Shows a #19 cornsilk boy with a brush cut wearing outfit 182B. It's a brown leather jacket with a sweater underneath and grey slacks and aqua and white shoes.
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Brisson.

183 – Skirt, sweater, and jean jacket (Girl)

This outfit consists of a jacket with large solid-coloured pockets, a sweater, and a skirt (made of sweater material). The shirt has a large decal on the front that is a triangle or rectangle, and the skirt is a solid colour. It comes with undies, chunky shoes, and socks. It’s very similar to outfit 179; the only real difference is the jacket. It’s possible that they all came with gold socks.

Version Information

My goal is to record every version of every outfit that was produced. With each outfit above is a record of the outfit versions I have recorded. To understand clothing codes, factories, and variations, please refer to What are Clothing Tag Codes? and Factories and Companies.

I appear to have many of the outfits recorded, but if you have an outfit that is not recorded here, I would like to hear from you. This includes any differences in accessories. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details, visit Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Other Information

DL kids and outfits can also be found in ‘regular’ kid boxes of the same time period.

These outfits showed up in the Coleco Catalogues in 1989 and Hasbro catalogues in 1990. Many of these outfits were never produced or were done in other colours.

Sources:

Ref #3, p. 170 – 175
Ref #2 p. 104 – 111

Designer Line Duds – Series 1 (150s)

Dressed to impress (in the last 1980s) these kids have outfits that were all the rage. Check out these cool duds!

Jump to – Designer Line Series 2: 170s – 180s

These kids came out in 1989, during the Transitional Period. Hasbro also sold them for a short time from when they took over production in July of 1989 and into 1990.

“According to the 1990 catalogue, these Designer Line Kids had “the cool, casual look that children like for themselves  . . .Their new outfits are the latest and greatest fashion designs, and their yarn or nylon hair is fashioned in the hottest looks around.” (Ref #2, p. 104)

They came with new hairstyles, both yarn and cornsilk, and some new head moulds were introduced with these kids (#36, #44, #45). For more details, refer to the sources listed at the end of the post.

These kids came standing in a special box with a new design. In the US they came with a special purple DL birth certificate but in Canada, they came in the regular 1987-89 certificates. I’m not sure about other countries. They, and their outfits, were made at the P factory; however, they don’t generally end up with pox. A few of the early DL kids came with a new ‘artistic’ Xavier Roberts signature, but it was quickly changed back to the original.

The Outfits

Numerically, there are two series of Designer Line outfits, the 150s and the 170s-180s. The 150s outfits came out first and the 170-180s came out second. For an explanation of how we know, visit Transitional Period – A Summary.

Each series has six outfits, and there are five versions of each outfit (A-E).

These outfits came with chunky sneakers and white underpants for boys or white underwear for girls.

UPDATE: Designer Line outfits put on later kids may also have come with Saddle Shoes.

These kids came out at a time when Coleco was dumping material into the market. I don’t have enough evidence to show that the socks and shoes that came with outfits were entirely consistent. It’s possible that the accessory colour changed based on what they had available. If you have a MIB kid that doesn’t match my records, please let me know!

Finally, the 170s-180s outfits were sold packaged by Hasbro, but this series did not. Consequently, of the two DL outfit series, this one would likely be the more difficult to find.

152 – Button Dress (Girl)

The reason for this name is obvious. It doesn’t come with any leg coverings, just underwear. The socks are special in that they too have buttons on them.

Red, yellow, and aqua version of outfit 152, the button dress.
Courtesy of Sarah Galt.
Spreadsheet showing which outfits I have recorded for outfit 152.

153 – Long sweater with leggings (Girl)

Pink and yellow version of outfit 153.
Courtesy of Kristi Pierto Sams.
Spreadsheet showing which outfits I have recorded for outfit 153.

154 – Jean dress and jacket (Girl)

Most of the time, the fabric of the dress and the jacket are the same colour. However, for at least one version, they are not.

Spreadsheet showing which outfits I have recorded for outfit 154.

155 – Shirt, pants, and jacket with hood outfit (Girl)

156 – Jean jacket and pants with shirt (Boy)

I’m not sure that this outfit came with socks. I know that sounds weird, but I got a ‘complete’ kid myself, and he didn’t have any socks. Almost all the pictures I’ve seen of this outfit, and all of the pictures that I have of this outfit, either have no socks or have pictures of odd socks, not DL socks. It’s very strange! Do you have a MIB kid with DL socks on?

Jean jacket lined with white fur and matching pants with green shirt. This picture shows the pieces of the outfit. 156
Spreadsheet showing which outfits I have recorded for outfit 156.

157 – Tracksuit with hoodie vest (Boy)

For some odd reason, this outfit appears to show up frequently on kids with the brush-cut hairstyle, even in the yarn hair!

Spreadsheet showing which outfits I have recorded for outfit 157.

Version Information

My goal is to record every version of every outfit that was produced. With each outfit above is a record of the outfit versions I have recorded. To understand clothing codes, factories, and variations, please refer to What are Clothing Tag Codes? and Factories and Companies.

I appear to have many of the outfits recorded, but if you have an outfit that is not recorded here, I would like to hear from you. This includes any differences in accessories. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details, visit Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

Other Information

These outfits showed up in the Coleco Catalogues in 1989 and Hasbro catalogues in 1990. Many of these outfits were never produced or were done in other colours.

Sources:

Ref #3, p. 170 – 175
Ref #2 p. 104 – 111