Exclusively Hong Kong

Although many Hong Kong outfits are exactly the same as their later counterparts, there are some differences. What are they?

Cabbage Patch Kids were produced in Hong Kong for a short time before production was moved to mainland China. This seems to be well known, but no sources I can find tell us exactly when production moved or how long it lasted in Hong Kong.

Dolls produced in Hong Kong are generally considered to be of higher quality with thicker hair, nicer complexions, and well-made clothes. A double Hong Kong kid has “Made in Hong Kong” on both their neck and their body tag. A triple Hong Kong kid also has it on their clothing tag. For pictures, visit here.

When production shifted to China, it seems that the factories were able to continue acquiring most of the materials they had been using in Hong Kong, but not all. For some outfits, there are some clear differences between the Hong Kong version and the later Chinese one.

In most cases, the differences are slight. The pattern may be slightly different, or the colour is a shade darker.

Stand Outs

In other cases, there are extreme differences that make these outfits stand out. In each of these cases, we cannot definitively attribute the difference to being a Hong Kong outfit. These could also be VERY early outfits that came before the final version was decided upon. However, in each case (except the Ducky Dress), I do not have any examples of HK outfits that do not carry these characteristics. Do you?

Button Ducky Dresses: Early Hong Kong Ducky Dresses came with buttons, not Velcro closures, and are structurally different. Visit #11 Ducky Dress for details.

Hong Kong Jean Rompers: The only example of an HK version of this outfit that I’ve seen came with metal fasteners, unlike the later plastic buttons.

Pictures of a Denim romper outfit with a red shirt. In place of the normal buttons are metal snaps. They also run down the side of the romper, three of them.
Courtesy of Jamie Osterbuhr.

Hong Kong Ruffled Overalls: I’ve seen only two HK examples of this outfit, and both came with metal snap closures, not plastic buttons, at both the straps and the inside leg seam.

Hong Kong Striped Jogging Suits: I’ve seen only two HK versions of this outfit, both owned by the same person, who bought them from two different people. Both tops (which have the HK tag) have small patches on the collar. We can assume they weren’t attached by the previous owners as this would be a highly unlikely coincidence. So, is this specific to HK versions of this outfit? More examples are needed to know.

Finally, and just to make things even more complicated, there may have been factory differences amongst Hong Kong outfits! These two early Ducky Dresses, both marked 11D, are from different factories and are obviously different colours.

Interestingly, outfits with clear buttons are also considered to be ‘early’ and were only produced in 1983. Clear buttons were used on HK outfits, but clearly not all of them. When did they switch to clear buttons on outfits like the Ruffled Overalls and Jean Romper? For details on the button debate visit Beneficial Buttons.

Do you have any HK outfits that are slightly different than their later counterparts?

Hong Kong Jesmar Shoes

These shoes came on Hong Kong Jesmars and Early Tag Jesmars. If they’re spanish, why do they say Hong Kong?

The majority of this information is courtesy of Jennifer Pelfrey via various Facebook messenger conversations. In some cases, I have just quoted her! Thank you, Jennifer! Additionally, kudos to Marta Aleman Perez, Callie Anne, Charlotte Ridgers, and Severine Guiguet for their contributions as well.

For more general information on Jesmar dolls and closing visit Jesmars and J Clothing.

‘Hong Kong’ Jesmar Kids

These dolls were likely those produced within the first few weeks or months of production. See below for theories about the origins of the HK aspects. Remember, Jesmar dolls were likely manufactured for less than two years.

Characteristics

  • They have a neck-stamp that says Hong Kong. There are at least two different stamps; there may be more.

    (Photos courtesy of Jennifer Pelfrey.)
  • They came with either no body tag or with the Early Jesmar body tag.

    There’s speculation that dolls without tags are the earliest sample Jesmar dolls. “I suspect Jesmar may not have had tags made at that point as they were still in the sample-making phase.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB, May 16, 2021)
  • HK Jesmars share many of the same qualities as Early Jesmars, such as glossy eye paint, softer heads, neck connection is a string, a dark signature, etc.  They may also have unusual hair colours or hair/eye combination which were not mass-produced later. i.e., soft orange vs. the later regular red.
     [insert picture of hair comparison]
  • They may only have had six freckles. How many does your HK Jesmar have? (Charlotte Ridgers, FB, May 18, 2021) For more information on Jesmar freckle patterns refer to Ref #3, p. 199 – 200)

‘Early’ Jesmar Shoes

These shoes look and feel quite a bit like Hong Kong shoes. They are characterized by:

  • the tongue has not been cut out; the shoe is one full piece
  • soft, pliable vinyl
  • rough/bumpy textured bottoms
  • badly formed interiors (appears ‘runny’)
  • thicker laces (though some came with standard laces).  [insert picture comparison]
  • a lack of markings on the inside

These shoes are not found exclusively on HK Jesmars. They have also been found on kids with early tags and Made in Spain neck stamps. “Personally, I’ve found them most often on Early Tag/Made in Spain kids with odd hair colors, but they were sometimes used on Early Tag kids with standard hair colors as well.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB May 17, 2021)

“There has been some debate over whether these shoes are actually Jesmar made, or whether they were made in Hong Kong and supplied to Jesmar when they were starting out. There are obvious similarities between these shoes and those that we know were manufactured in Hong Kong.  So, depending on who you ask, some will say that these are Hong Kong shoes while others will say Jesmar.  Until formal documentation surfaces we may never know.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB, May 14, 2021)

NOTE: Shoes that say ” Made in Hong Kong” on the bottom are also theorized to be Jesmar shoes, but others think they’re aftermarket. For more information on these shoes, visit These aren’t CPK shoes?!

Why do they say HK? Some Theories

One collector called the Hong Kong Jesmars a hypothesis. She described them as series of tests so that the Jesmar Co. could figure out what they were going to produce. (FB Conversation, May 17, 2021) Here are some theories as to why their heads are stamped Hong Kong and why the shoes have Hong Kong like qualities.

1)  There were unused shoes that had been manufactured in Hong Kong laying around, so Coleco gave them to Jesmar to use until Jesmar could manufacture shoes of their own.

2) “Supposedly, HK moulds were loaned to Jesmar so that they could make sample heads. The samples then went through a review process with Coleco and OAA.” (Jennifer Pelfrey, FB, May 15, 2021) It is supposed that once Jesmar was approved for mass production, shoe moulds and Made in Spain embossed head moulds were provided to Jesmar for ongoing production.

For more general information on Jesmar dolls and closing visit Jesmars and J Clothing and Ref #3, p. 198 – 231.

Shoes: Sneakers

Sneakers can be found in a rainbow of colours. Which kids did they come with and how can you tell?

Other relevant posts: CPK Shoe Summary, Lacing CPK Shoes

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).
Comparison picture of an Hong Kong sneaker with a regular later sneaker. They both have pink stripes.
Hong Kong shoe vs. later shoe

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.

1987-1989

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.

25th Anniversary Sneakers (separate post)

Stripe Patterns

The sneakers come in three different stripe patterns.

#1 – the most vertical
#2 – slightly more angled
#3 – the most angled

Picture of three sneakers, each one with a different stripe pattern. One at the top, three at the bottom.

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.

Stripe Colours

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.

Three sneakers, each one with blue stripes, but all of various shades of blue. The top is lighter, the bottom is navy blue.

In some cases, the same factory produced different shades of colour. For example, these two P shoes are varying shades of pink.

The Rainbow

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.

Picture that shows all the colours I am currently aware of. Black, purple, red, green, pink, blue and white.

Numbers

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.

Which outfits came with Sneakers?

Sneaker Descriptions by Factory

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

SS factory: They did not produce sneakers.

Beneficial Buttons

Buttons seem so small, so insignificant. However, sometimes they can be helpful.

How do you know which outfits came on 1983 kids? In most cases, it’s impossible to tell. Outfits with button accessories are one of the exceptions.

Apparently, for at least a portion of 1983, they used clear buttons. I am unsure exactly when they stopped, but they were no longer using them by 1984. (Ref#4, Vol. 3, Issue 8, p. 4)

> This applies to:

Later buttons were white with an outside ridge.

Sailor Suit, outfit #20

This does not apply to the Sailor Romper because, although we call it a part of the 1983 outfit series, it didn’t actually come out until 1984. By this time, they were no longer using the clear buttons. I don’t think this outfit would look good with clear buttons anyway.

Ducky Dress, outfit #11

All 1983 Button ducky dresses will have clear buttons, but because the only ducky dresses with buttons came out in 1983, there are no ducky dresses with white buttons.

According to J. Mullin, Jesmar Ducky Dresses have buttons, and some of them are coloured. (Ref #3, p. 378)

#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.

#11 Ducky Dress

One of the most popular outfits!

Main graphic with a green background, black text saying "#11 Ducky Dress" and two dolls. One is a lemon double ponytail blue eyed #2 wearing a white knit ducky dress with pink stripes. The second is a red double braid, blue eyed paci #6 wearing a yellow knit ducky dress with white and blue stripes.

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: Winter Warmer

Description:
Knit dress with matching bloomers. Two wide stripes run parallel to the hem of the dress, and it has a duck applique on the skirt. It generally came with Mary Jane shoes and socks. Very occasionally, it came with lace-ups.

Outfit 11E, P. Purple knit dress with matching bloomers. There are two wide pink stripes around the skirt and a duck applique on the skirt.
Outfit 11E, P

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 an 11A KT that is green, not pink) 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.

  • stripe colours
  • yarn colour/shade
  • applique used (other than a duck)
  • location of applique

> Mimic outfits: The Play Along 25th Anniversary edition of this outfit is baby blue and looks more like the early button dress version from the front. (see below) Take note that there are very good aftermarket versions of this outfit. They are often confused with CPK brand.

> There were many variations made by foreign factories. The Tsukuda factory also made knit outfits that could be confused as a Ducky Dress from afar. For information on identifying a Jesmar version, jump to Identifying Jesmar Clothing

Other Information.

> Button Ducky Dress: The earliest iteration of this outfit only came out in early 1983 and is therefore considered hard-to-find. It closes at the back with three buttons and has a different look for the sleeves and neck. Many of these early outfits are also Hong Kong outfits. The white version is considered the hardest to find.

The Perfect Mismatch (Mtaching Pt. 2)

Generally the doll factory and the outfit factory match, these are the exceptions.

(A Match Made In . . . .the Factory: Matching Part 1)

The consistency with which the doll tag and the outfit tag factories matched changed starting in 1985. Many continued to match, but not all. Here are the ‘situations’ in which you might find a match that doesn’t match!

Situation 1:

From 1986 to 1988 (ish), the most common situation resulted from an overabundance of specialty outfits that were not selling (high $) and a lot of pieces coming from foreign factories that had shut down. In this situation, you might get an OK kid, in a P factory twin outfit, in a single kid box. (Ref. #5, Issue 4, p. 5) Or maybe, a set of P dolls, in IJ animal costume sleepers (Ref #3, p.104), in a twin box. Or even a pair of Jesmar dolls, in PMI World Traveler outfits, in a twin box!

Some of these outfits were made by factories that did not produce kids, only packaged outfits that were never intended to be sold on kids.

Situation 2:

A similar situation happened with outfits originally designed for specific kinds of kids. For example, occasionally you will find Cornsilk and Talker outfits on regular kids from 1987 onward. This doesn’t occur as often as situation one, but it does happen. This situation could also be the result of in-store outfit switching.

Situation 3:

IC kids were made in Taiwan and, according to their side tags, which are numbered IC to IC7, there may have been at least eight factories. However, there are NO clothes with IC# on them. However, several Taiwanese factories did produce clothing: AX, CY, FD, HP, WW, HRS.

I have evidence that IC kids came wearing IC, AX, and other Taiwan factory clothing. The same has been discovered about the UT factory. Although UT kids could come with UT clothes, they also came dressed in AX and WW clothing. (Jump to: AX and the UT Kids)

In addition, IC kids came wearing specialty line outfits that were made at other Taiwanese factories (HRS, CY, FD), so their tags would not match. For example, Western Wear and All Star kids. (Ref #5, Issue 3, p. 5)

Situation 4:

Hong Kong Tags. Some Hong Kong Kids had no factory indicated on their tag. In this case, for MIB kids, it can be assumed that if the kid is OK, the outfit is OK. However, if the outfit is not original to the kid, it is either P, OK or KT. (Ref#3, p. 28) My personal experience with HK outfits leads me to believe they will be either OK or P, as the tags themselves more closely resemble OK and P tags, rather than KT tags.
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Situation 5:

Twin outfits are all P factory. However, some were put on OK kids. In this case, the tags would not match.

Situation 6:

There is evidence that ‘Made in USA’ outfits did come on boxed kids. There are no ‘Made in USA’ kids, so the tag cannot match in this situation.

Situation 7:

It appears that some SS factory outfits came on MIB regular-sized kids. As the SS factory did not make any regular-sized dolls, there will be a mismatch between the kid and the outfit. I’ve confirmed this on one OK factory HK doll.


For more information on clothing codes, jump to: What are Clothing Tag Codes
For information on how to locate clothing tags, jump to: Where are clothing tags located?