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!
Version 1: A thin cotton t-shirt material. Known factories: OK Version 2: A thicker synthetic material. Known factories: P, PMI, LF, IJ, WW
In general, Version 2 tends to be larger (physically) than Version 1.
I don’t know much about the shirts that come with the foreign outfits except for Jesmar outfits.
Jesmar shirts are sometimes solidly coloured but are generally striped. However, the colours are not always ways and [insert colour here]. I also have one shirt recorded that’s white with small polka dots. They are often a very thin fabric, are badly sewn with very thin hems, and have unfinished bottom hems. Some also have typical Jesmar Velcro.
The shirt for the 25th Anniversary Windbreaker outfit likely doesn’t have a tag in it. It will be purple and white. However, I can’t confirm this as I’ve never actually seen it myself. This is the only girl’s 25th Anniversary outfit I don’t own.
The shirt for outfit #100 is blue and white striped and the most obvious difference from outfit #10 shirt is the red CPK logo on the chest.
The majority of CPK windbreaker jackets from outfit #10 aren’t tagged. If the jacket gets separated from the original outfit, it can be difficult to tell which shirt/jeans go with it. The shirts are tagged. So, if you can figure out the jacket’s factory, you can match it to the right shirt.
You can use the following characteristics to help determine which factory made a jacket.
Keep in mind that this list is not comprehensive. It is only based on what I can confirm as of publication. I always appreciate getting new or conflicting information.
There are two types of hems: exposed elastic and enclosed elastic.
Exposed elastic is visible and is attached using two lines of sewing. Known factories: OK, IJ
Enclosed elastic isn’t visible. It is enclosed in jacket fabric. It is a large strip of elastic, which is only sewn into the jacket at either end. Known factories: P, PMI, KT, LF
All Coleco zippers are plastic with a metal pull, and most have KKK on the zipper pull. I have found VKK on some P factory zippers, but not all. If you have another zipper on your jacket, it is likely from a foreign factory (See below) or is aftermarket
The logo seems to vary the most. There are two basic versions. One sits at almost 90 degrees from the zipper and bottom hem. The other is at more of an angle/curve.
The logos also come in varying sizes and shades of green. In some cases, they just look a bit different. Here are the logos that I have identified so far.
Jesmar: The logo is different. It has a shadow outline and is smaller than the OK one. It is applied quite far from the zipper. These jackets tend to be very thin fabric. The zipper pull is a different shape.
Lily Ledy: These jackets seem to come with a zipper or button closure or no closure system at all. For jackets with a zipper, the pull is very distinctive in shape.
Triang Pedigree: These jackets have a wide white zipper but the pull itself is silver metal.
Tsukuda: According to my records, Tsukuda jackets close with velcro. I would like to confirm this.
Special thanks to Andrea’s Cabbie-kids for some of the previous pictures and information.
> In the only two examples of KT windbreaker outfits that I have, the tag is in the jacket, not the shirt. So, if you get a shirt without a tag, it must be KT.
> One 25th Anniversary outfit was the windbreaker outfit. It’s purple. Here is a comparison of the PA windbreaker versus a Coleco OK jacket.
> Outfit #100 is a windbreaker outfit. The most obvious and unmistakable difference in the jacket is the lack of a logo. The outfit tag is in the jacket, not the shirt.
Sometimes the fabric an outfit is made out of can give you an idea about where it was made.
Do you have an outfit made from an unusual fabric? What does it mean?
From experience, I’ve noted that from 1983 to 1984, certain factories used specific fabrics for some outfits. This means that if an outfit is made from a certain fabric, you’ll have some idea of what factory/place may have made it.
I’m sorting this list in two ways; first by fabric type, second by outfit. The first group had more than one or two outfits made with it. Please note, I’m not an expert in fabrics, so if I’ve used the wrong term/label please let me know!
I believe that this fabric was only used by the OK factory for the Elephant Romper (#7), however, I have a very limited sample size. It was also used for Jesmar Preemie bunny outfits.
NOTE: Velveteen was used for other outfits too, but they are later outfits and it wasn’t factory or outfit indicative.
Heavy Canvas fabric
This fabric was used by some Jesmar factories for Swing dresses and Yoke dresses.
Striped Jogging Suit (#18) – Most of them have cotton material at the arms and legs. However, some are made with a silkier, thicker, more synthetic material. This fabric was used by the P, PMI, LF, and IJ factories (that I know of).
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.
Have you ever seen a donkey patch on a cabbage patch outfit before? I know I hadn’t until now!
This young man is wearing a mystery. He’s a Jesmar, wearing a Jesmar outfit. However, the donkey patch adorning his romper is a bit odd. Has anyone else seen one like it? Anywhere?
Picture courtesy of David Compeau.
There are a few unusual patches that can be found on Coleco outfits (bunny, sheep) but they’ve been seen on more than a few. ( PTP: Plentiful Patches Pt. 1 ) This is the first time I’ve ever seen or heard of a donkey!
Now, it’s not difficult to add a patch, and many of the Jesmar rompers came without one, so this could be just an after-purchase addition. Or, maybe a Spanish seamstress decided to have some fun and add something different.
What do you think? Do you have a theory?
UPDATE: Jan 9, 2022
Special thanks to Erin Cavil for sending me this photo. It appears that this is a ‘vintage’ patch, so the time frame is correct, but it was also publicly available for use. Who do you think added it?
Apparently, this is a frustrating statement, especially for new collectors who want to absorb all the information they can. Oops. In my defence, I was trying to keep the Jesmar post short. Yeah, I know, it didn’t work.
Anyway, after hearing about one reader’s frustration, I decided to add the information in a separate post. So, here it is –
Jesmar dolls are highly coveted by collectors for the following reasons:
1 – Initially, Jesmar dolls were not legally allowed to be sold in North America. This makes them rarer than regular Coleco dolls. They were also produced for a short amount of time; therefore, fewer of them were produced at all. Refer to my Jesmar post for details on their sales history.
2 – Jesmar used hair colours that were not used by Coleco. Most of these odd hair colours can be found on Early Jesmar kids, dolls likely produced in the first few months when they were still experimenting. Examples include:
3 – Jesmar used hair colour/ eye colour combinations not produced by Coleco. They also produced a wider variety of combinations than Coleco.
4 – A) Jesmar freckled all the head moulds for their entier production period. Coleco only did one head mould each for two years, 1983 and 1985. (Ref #3, p. 198)
4 – B) Freckles on Jesmar dolls come in a variety of patterns and were hand-painted. Coleco used only one pattern, and they were machine applied. (Ref #3, p. 199-201)
5 – Jesmar used the single ponytail hairstyle with more hair colours than did Coleco. For example, lemon.
6 – Jesmar clothing came in awider variety of colours/patterns and fabrics than did the Coleco clothes. They were also known to put ‘boy’ clothes on ‘girl’ dolls. Incidentally, the construction of Jesmar clothing often tends to be described as shoddier than the Coleco clothes. For details about Jesmar clothing and how to recognize them, visit Jesmars and J Clothing.
7 – Although some Coleco factories did produce the odd ‘smaller’ kid (i.e. KT factory), Jesmar dolls are known for coming in three distinct sizes. Some were almost 2” taller than Coleco kids while others were much shorter. (Ref #3, p. 198)
8 – Jesmar used the Fuzzy hairstyle on a wider variety of hair colours than did Coleco. For example, they did lemon, auburn, and dark red fuzzy-haired boys. (Ref #3, p. 220)
Special thanks to my mentors on foreign kids who helped with the content and pictures for this post: Callie Anne, Jennifer Pelfrey, Kat Perhouse, and Tammy De.
How to determine which knit sweaters may go with which bubble romper. It’s all in the details!
Like all of the clothing made for Cabbage Patch Kids, the sweaters used in the #9 Bubble Romper Outfit are susceptible to differences based on factory. Meaning, the look of the sweaters changes based on the factory that produced them.
These sweaters are not tagged. (For information on what part of a CPK outfit do come tagged, visit Where are tags in clothing located?) Consequently, it is difficult to confidently match sweaters to rompers.
To determine which factory made a sweater, take note of the following.
The tension and pattern of the knit.
The patterns that are used for the edges and hems.
The pattern and look of the decoration around the neck. (If there are any.)
The colour(s) used around the neck.
NOTE: The factory of manufacture for each sweater is noted in the caption of the picture.
If you have a sweater that is not pictured here, or you have a better picture than one used here, I would love to see it.
I believe that yellow sweaters were only manufactured by the OK factory and for the 25th Anniversary Kids (Play Along).
The correct knit booties will match the sweater. They will have the same tension and knit pattern. For more information visit Shoes: Knit Booties.
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.
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.
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)
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.
What shoes did the Jesmar factory produce and how can you identify them?
Disclaimer: My research into Jesmar clothing is only an addendum to my research into Coleco clothing. As such, I do not have access to a significant amount of information. This is a compilation of what I know about Jesmar shoes, based on the resources to which I have access. Shoes produced by the other foreign factories are not covered here as I have even less access to them, and I cannot provide sufficient information for identification.
Jesmar produced their own versions of all four types of original Coleco footwear: lace-ups, Mary Janes, sneakers, and knit booties. However, there are distinctive characteristics that allow Jesmar shoes to be differentiated from Coleco shoes.
Version 1: These shoes have a VERY prominent edge around the sole of the shoe; it’s almost square. The vinyl tends to be very malleable, and they have extremely prominent embossed stitching. They have the flower shape on the front (Mark 3). Inside, in the heel, they often have the extra mould material (Mark 2 above).
Version 2: These shoes are made of much harder, smoother, almost glossy vinyl. They have absolutely no lip or edge at the sole, and the pattern is debossed. They have a diamond shape on the front (Mark 3). Inside, in the heel, they often have Mark 1 from above.
Comparison – Coleco vs. Version 2 vs. Version 1
There are some excellent aftermarket replicas that look a lot like Jesmar lace-ups. For details, visit These aren’t CPK shoes?!
Jesmar Mary Jane shoes are generally very smooth with almost glossy vinyl. The front section is pointier than regular Coleco shoes. Although there is no edge/rim at the sole, if they have not been trimmed well, there can be a sort of edge created by extra vinyl material.
Comparison – Coleco vs. Jesmar
There appear to be two different versions of the sneakers, again a difference in the malleability of the vinyl. However, the pattern and shape do not appear to be distinctly different.
Jesmar sneakers have a slightly different shape then Coleco, and it is very well defined. They are also pointier than Coleco shoes.
Jesmar produced white, blue, and pink striped sneakers. Some pink stripes can fade over time into a peach colour. (Facebook Conversation; April 7, 2021)