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.
- 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.