Circus Kids got their own horses in 1986 when the Circus Ponies came out. Did you know their saddles hide a clothing code surprise?
Another surprise addition to the clothing code matrix has been discovered.
There are several CPK horses, and they have been sold by various companies over the years. In 1985, Coleco produced and sold plush horses both with their Western Wear Kids and separately. These horses are called Show Ponies. Then, in 1986, they put out Circus Ponies as part of the Circus Kids line. They are the same plush horses and came in the same Show Pony boxes, except they had a Circus Pony sticker on the window pane. These horses came with different accessories and different birth certificates. Sometimes they came in a white windowless carton instead of the barn-shaped box.
A Circus Pony came with a bridle with head plume, reversible fringed saddle, and leg warmers. There were only two versions of the saddle produced by the CC factory.
420A: A light pink saddle with dark pink fringe and yellow stars. The reverse side is white with multicoloured polka dots (I think?) The leg warmers are light pink. [I still need pictures if you have one.]
420B: A dark pink saddle with yellow fringe and green polka dots with yellow dots. The reverse side is white with multicoloured square dots. The leg warmers are dark pink.
What’s so interesting is that the saddles are on the clothing matrix! They have the code #420. Now, it’s hard to keep track of, but there are very few items in the 400s. A few transitional Hasbro BBB outfits (400-403), 1988 regular outfits (402-405), and Furskins outfits (430s). That’s it. So, finding these in the 400s is very random.
I wonder what other 400s items we haven’t found yet. After all, we haven’t got anything with the number 440 or higher! Do you?
It is interesting that the horses were produced by the Korean WJ factory, but the saddles were made at the Chinese CC factory. No code match here! I wonder if all the pieces were made at the same factory.
This is the catalogue picture used by Coleco to advertise the Circus Ponies.
I’ve completed the sleeper set; my first completed set! Meet my little dreamers.
My first, and probably only ever, complete outfit set!
The Sleeper outfit (#2) is one of the original 1983 Series outfits and has the least number of letters used in the clothing codes. It is the ‘easiest’ to collect all the different versions. Although I have a few that are recorded as being produced by two factories, I have decided that my ‘set’ is complete with one example of each letter. (AKA, one of each colour)
As this outfit was only produced for one year, and I am an A-type personality, I wanted to make sure the kids and the clothing matched. Therefore, the majority of these kids are 1983 bald kids, and the clothing factory matches the doll’s factory. It took me quite some time to find the last kid, Walker. I’ve had his sleeper for over a year!
Outfits may look the same, but take a closer look. There may be more differences than you thought.. Learn more about WHY I want to record all the factory variations when it comes to CPK outfits.
You get a new outfit, and you wander over to Hilary’s Cabbage Patch Clothes Closet to see if it’s already been recorded. You look at the spreadsheet. Yep! The red and white gingham dress is already there.
But wait! You’ve only looked at the description. You still need to check the factory! What if the one you have was made by a different factory? This is important!
“But why?”, you ask. Well, this is why.
I have four swing dresses that look almost identical but were all made by different factories and use three different clothing codes. How can I record all of the outfits if I don’t know how many factories made each outfit?
The WW and SS factory dresses are 1Q. The PMI dress is 1S. The P dress is 1G.
I have noted in the past that letters P, Q, and R have the primary factory SS and tend to replicate previous letters in pattern/style/colour. In this case, the swing dress PMI letters S and T have as many as six different patterns/looks for only two letters. It’s a mess! To learn more about the multiple PMI dresses, visit PTP: An abundance of patterns – PMI swing dresses.
This may explain why they all look almost the same, but more importantly, how do you tell them apart?
The lace on the sleeves of the PMI dress is gathered. None of the other versions have this.
The PMI dress is sewn with red thread (to match the dress). The others are all done with white thread.
The SS dress has elastic in the sleeves. The others don’t.
The fabric of the collar of the WW dress is lighter, not as heavy/thick as the other three.
The width, fabric weight, and shade of red of the ribbons vary by factory, although this may also be fabric lot variability.
How wide the lace at the sleeves is varies by the factory.
The WW dress has a Taiwanese silk label. The others are China factories.
By knowing the factory of the dress, you can determine if it’s potentially original to the doll and/or what factory the doll may be.
The Mystery Dress
I have a 5th dress, but this one is different from the others. I can’t remember where I got it from, and for some reason, I had originally labelled it WS. Based on the Velcro, I would label it WS. However, it has no tag. It doesn’t look like a tag was ever removed.
Is it a factory fluke? Is it handmade? Is it an aftermarket copy? Is there some other explanation?
Although very similar to the others, it has some significant differences too.
For the most part, it is the same size, pattern, and fabric. It even has a silk label, but . . .
The silk tag looks odd, not like any of the others.
The collar isn’t white, it’s the dress’s gingham pattern.
The ribbon is made of actual ribbon, not fabric.
There is no ‘flap’ of fabric at the V of the collar.
The sleeves have elastic (similar to the SS dress, but unlike any of the others).
The sewing was done by machine, but the finishing is slightly different from all the others.
I believe this to be an amazing handmade replica of a classic Swing Dress. What do you think?
I thought a post on pacifiers would be simple . . .I should have known! Which dolls used which paci’s, which didn’t, and the colours they came in. It’s all here!
I thought this post would be short and simple. I was wrong.
Coleco used several different pacifiers for Cabbage Patch dolls, and many others were used by other companies who produced CPK’s after them. This is an overview of Coleco pacifiers and a few made by other companies.
Original Hard Yellow Pacifier
These were produced from the very beginning in 1983. They have a factory code located in a small circle on the neck of the handle, close to the disk, on one side. They are used for HM#4 and HM#6. Originally many came with a cardboard disk between the doll’s face and the pacifier, which warns the pacifiers are not intended for use by children.
All of the ‘foreign factories’ had HM#4 kids, but none produced HM#6. Foreign pacifiers do not have factory information on the neck. (Ref#3, p. 456)
Designer Line kids were briefly produced with HM #4 (Ref#3, p. 170) and Cornsilk kids were briefly produced with HM#6, but none of these dolls came with a pacifier. They were considered ‘older’ and so did not need them. (Ref#3, p. 150) However, due to collector preference for pacifier kids, you will often find these kids with pacifiers that an owner has added.
Although common cabbie knowledge says that these pacifiers were also used with Toddlers, I haven’t been able to come up with one example/MIB picture where a kid came with one. Did your Toddler? I now believe they only came with the soft pacifiers (see below). (Ref#2, p. 98 – 101, Ref#3, p. 167-168),
These pacifiers can break, most often at the neck or the handle. Care should be taken when inserting and removing them from the doll’s mouth.
Soft Vinyl Pacifier
These pacifiers are used by Babies (aka BBBs) and Toddlers with HM#4 and HM#6 (same as above). Toddlers with pacifiers were not produced for very long. (Ref#3, p. 167) Although made of vinyl like the original pacifiers, these ones are made of soft vinyl and have an oval-shaped handle. The factory information is located on the middle right half of the disk, on the protuberance side.
Known factory codes are: F1, F2, WS1, and WS2.
As only the SS and WS factories made Babies (BBBs) (except for the VERY rare P factory BBB), I theorize that the F pacifiers were made for or by, the SS factory and that the WS factory made the WS pacifiers. Interestingly, F pacifiers say ‘Made in H.K.’, and WS pacifiers say ‘Made in China’. These pacifiers started production in 1986, long after Coleco moved production out of Hong Kong, so maybe a factory in Hong Kong did produce F pacifiers. It’s an interesting mystery. To sum up, if this is true, F pacifiers go with SS kids, and WS pacifiers go with WS kids. No idea where the P factory pacifiers would come from. 🙂
Coloured soft vinyl pacifiers were used from 1988/9 to 1992ish when Hasbro produced them. Below are pictures of all the colours I have, and I’ve also seen red ones.
Unfortunately, these pacifiers, like anything vinyl, can develop vinyl discolouration (pox), but I have only seen this in the original transparent yellow ones. By the time they started making the coloured ones, they likely had this problem fixed. Unfortunately, unlike the dolls, I have been unsuccessful in treating this discolouration with zit cream.
Thistle Furskin came with a pacifier. As far as I am aware, she’s the only one that did. Her pacifiers look a lot like a BBB soft pacifier, except everything is larger, especially the protuberance.
Hard pacifiers also came separately packaged, generally with a baby rattle. These pacifiers have the factory code “F” on them. Hmmm . . . did the same factory make the F1 and F2 soft pacifiers? I wonder.
There is a wonderful collector who makes and sells 3D printed cabbie pacifiers, along with a variety of other cabbie-related items. Click here to visit.
Hasbro Birthday kids don’t use pacifiers even though they look like they could. They use noisemakers.
Owners would often drill holes into the mouth of a non-pacifier doll to ‘modify it’ for the use of a pacifier. This is not a recommended practice, but it still happens today.
Aftermarket and ‘homemade’ pacifiers are quite common. People have been improvising pacifiers for kids for decades! One of the most common is the ‘ring’ portion from a Ring Pop!
Other Random Pacifiers
Some Softies came with removable or non-removable pacifiers. For more information on this type of pacifier kid, you can visit the FB group, The Soft Face Place.
My Own Baby (Hasbro 1991 – 92): These used coloured BBB pacifiers in red, blue, yellow, and purple. They were attached to their outfits with a ribbon. These kids came with head moulds B20, B22, B27, and B29. (Ref#1, p. 44-46)
Baby Blanket Surprise (Hasbro, 1994): They have their own heart-shaped pacifier, which came in various colours. These kids came in head moulds BX1 – 3. (Ref#1, p. 53).
Mattel Babies (Mattel, 1995 – 98): These dolls came with their own type of pacifier (Ref#1, p. 74-75). Often their mouth shape doesn’t actually accommodate the pacifier. They came in head mould CB4. (Eugelke, p. 17)
Mattel Newborn (Mattel, 1998): These dolls came with their own pacifier but it doesn’t actually stay in their mouth (Eugelke, p. 9A).
Babyland Exclusive Pacifiers (unknown dates)
Play Along Babies (Play Along 2005/2006): These kids came with pacifiers that look like smaller versions of the BLE pacifiers and come in a variety of colours. (Eugelke, p. 12)
Messy Face kids (Play Along, 2007): These kids came with pacifiers that look like smaller versions of the BLE pacifiers and come in a variety of colours. (Eugelke , p. 15)
My First Steps (Play Along, 2007): These kids came with pacifiers that look like smaller versions of the BLE pacifiers and come in a variety of colours. (Eugelke , p. 16)
25th Anniversary Kids (Play Along, 2008): These kids come with a pacifier that is physically similar to the original hard pacifier but is a solid and brighter yellow colour.
Other References (not linked to reference page)
Eugelke, Marie. The Pacifier Cabbage Patch Kids Through the Years 1983-2018. Handwritten. July 2020.
They’re mistake gives us another opportunity see behind the scenes of outfit production.
A few months ago Stephania Blum found a rather unique and interesting outfit and I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it. Although Coleco outfits are generally well made using good materials, sometimes weird stuff crops up.
She figures they accidentally used the beginning or end of a fabric roll to make the blouse area of this Frilly dress (4L CC).
Another collector, Laura Fulton, ran it through Google Translate.
After some research, the text seems to say the following:
Trueran – a type of poplin fabric; can be dyed White: colour Shanghai, China: location it was produced, perhaps? Shanghai is on the coast of the East China Sea and producers would have had easy access to the ports there. (Update Note: Google translate didn’t quite get it right, the word Lixi is not there. Special Thanks to Kylie Redfern for the new information)
This is a CC factory outfit so it never came on a kid. It’s just a fluke that they used the fabric in such as way that it was completely legible!
Update: Mystery mostly solved! This little man is Jesmar and that makes all the sense! Jesmar did some rather weird stuff with their outfits. For details, visit Jesmars and J Clothing . Now, why someone at the Jesmar factory decided to do it . . .who knows?
Special thanks to Amy London for bringing this kid to my attention and providing the picture.
I’ve had almost 1000 CPK pass through my hands since I started recording my collection. Some stayed, but most have found other homes with people who love them. This is Amber Casey, kid #91, adopted around 1997 from a flea market. She was my third Bean Butt Baby and came to me in a cute little yellow dress.
At this time, I was a teenager and knew next to nothing about Cabbage Patch Kids except what I could find on internet WebRings. It wasn’t much, but I soaked it all up like a sponge.
Over time I moved into my own place and continued collecting. Eventually, I just didn’t have enough room to keep all the dolls, so I started to adopt some out. Amber was amongst them, likely finding a new home sometime between 2012 and 2014.
Skip forward to 2022
My mother has always been an enabler for me. She often finds dolls at thrift stores or yard sales, and it’s wonderful! In March she sent a picture of yet another kid she’d found at a thrift store in town. She was dirty but a non-poxy BBB kid, so I was excited. It would be more than a month before I would finally get home to see her in detail.
I was surprised to see that the dress the doll was wearing was a VHTF Thailand BBB outfit. It was the same as one I had accidentally sold many years earlier, without knowing what I had. I never thought to own any of those outfits again, so this was very exciting.
NOTE: Thailand BBB outfits were only identified within the last year.
Later that day I was showing my sister a picture of the ‘outfit that got away’ and the replacement Mom had found. Our conversation went something like this:
Sister – “Isn’t that the same doll?” Me – “Of course it’s not. I sold that doll like 10 years ago!” Sister – “But look, it’s got the same mark on the head and stain on the dress. It’s smaller, but the stain is in the same spot. Where did Mom get it?” Me – “At the local thrift store . . .”
Of course, she was right. I quickly looked up my records on the BBB with the rare outfit that I had adopted out, and it was the same doll, down to the “rust coloured mark” on her head.
“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.”
Apparently, I’ve been collecting so long I’m starting to adopt kids I’ve already adopted out! I think I’ll keep her this time. Welcome home, Amber Casey.
Update! – July 2022
A wonderful and skilled member of our Cabbie community has gifted Amber the remainder of her outfit! I knew it was almost impossible to replace those pieces and so did this collector. She too was missing a few BBB pieces she never expected to find, so she decided to knit them herself with wonderful results!
As a beautiful surprise, she offered to knit me the bonnet and pants I was missing for Amber’s outfit as she has an original she could copy. She did so and mailed it from the other side of the world! It arrived just when I needed a major pick-me-up.
I am happy to reintroduce the newly renamed (with her permission) Amber Zoe! She’s my little ray of sunshine!
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).
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?
These outfits were made in Thailand . . .what the heck? (Extensive revisions made Nov 2021)
So far I have found six different outfits that have the AF factory and were Made in Thailand, all of them 1986 BBB outfits. The outfits in the 190s have the AF factory label, the 200s outfits do not. I’m not sure why. For my speculations, visit 1st BBB Outfits – Pt. 2 – 200s. For a list of known manufacturing locations, visit Factories and Companies.
Based on the look of the tag and the 6- in the code, I believe that these outfits were manufactured in 1986 with the rest of the outfits, or very soon thereafter.
Why did they hire another factory to produce these outfits?
Why pick a factory in Thailand?
How long did it manufacture CPK BBB clothes?
Did it produce more than just the 6 I’ve already discovered?