Unboxing a Treasure for St. Patrick’s Day

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!

PTP: What can the fabric tell me?

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!

BY FABRIC

Regular Corduroy

This fabric was used by the Chinese factories for the Corduroy Suit (#5), Ruffled Overalls (#12), and P factory preemie Elephant Rompers (P#13).

Softer Corduroy

This fabric was used by all Taiwanese factories for the Corduroy Suit (#5), Ruffled Overalls (#12), and preemie Sailor Romper (#14).

Soft Felt-like Material

This fabric was used by Taiwanese IC and WW factories for the Corduroy Suit (#5), and Elephant Romper (#7). NOTE: WW factory outfit from the 1983 series are HTF.

It was also used by the SS and WS factories for the preemie Sailboat Romper (#14).

Blue preemie sailor romper (#12) with white blouse. It's made of a heavy polar fleece material.
Photo courtesy and Jodi Isaacs.

Velveteen

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.

BY OUTFIT

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).

Kitty Jogging Suit (#5) – Heather-grey coloured fabric was only used by the PMI and USA factories.

31 Tracksuit (#8) Taiwanese material is not very fuzzy and is very thin.

USA Pinafore Dress The pinafore section of these dresses is a very thin cotton, almost translucent.

USA pinafore dress with white pinafore and blue and white check sleeves and bloomers.
Photos courtesy of Jodi Isaacs.

Fake jean cotton fabric – This was only used for Jesmar Denim Rompers.

Jesmar jean romper outfit with plaid shirt on a white hanger.

Jesmar Tights – Rather than the regular silky cotton material, some Jesmar tights are made of a more knitted type fabric. They were generally short and did not fit well.

A photo of Jesmar vs Coleco tights. Both pairs are white but the Jesmar tights are much shorter than the Coleco.
Jesmar vs. Coleco tights

Other Factory Tells

You can also determine factory based on:
– the thread pattern uesd on white t-shirts, see PTP: Wonderful White Shirts
– the type of silk label used, see PTP: Silk Label Secrets (Updated 08/21)

Twin Outfits, Part 2: 1986 and other interesting info.

Twins continued to be produced in 1986 but with some differences. Also, information on other types of twins, prototype outfits, and more!

Twin Outfits, Part 1 : 1985

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.

Green velveteen girls twin outfits (T3) packaged on a board, to be sold separately.

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)

Prototype Outfits

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.

Picture of two sets of girl twins wearing very frilly white dresses. One set has red braids, the second are AA dolls with brown hair.
JCPenny Catalogue 1985

Sewing Patterns

Butterick produced only one of the twin outfits as a sewing pattern. They are numbered #390 and #3564.

Butterick sewing pattern #390 for the velveteen girls and boys twin outfits. The outfits shown are grey in colour. The dolls are lemon haired, one boy, one girl.

General References

Ref #3, p. 104 – 110

Ref #2, p. 71 – 72

Why are Jesmars hot commodities?

Why are Cabbage Patch Kids made by the Jesmar factory so sought after by collectors? What makes them special?

For a variety of reasons (that I will not be detailing), these dolls are generally highly coveted by collectors.

Jesmars and J Clothing

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)

Shot of my freckled Jesmar doll collection sitting on a bed.
My freckled Jesmars. It’s actually harder to find a Jesmar without freckles than with.

5 – Jesmar used the single ponytail hairstyle with more hair colours than did Coleco. For example, lemon.

Picture of a lemon single ponytail girl with green eyes. She's wearing an orange shoulder-tie dress and Mary Jane shoes. Head mold #1.

6 – Jesmar clothing came in a wider 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)

Picture of a taller lemon haired Jesmar boy and a regular lemon haired Coleco girl.
Tall Jesmar vs. Regular Coleco

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)

Fuzzy dark red haired jesmar boy with paci and freckles. He's wearing a wine red elephant romper with no patch, and white shirt.
Dark Red fuzzy courtesy of Callie Anne.

Special thanks to my mentors on foreign kids who helped with the content and pictures for this post: Callie Anne, Jennifer Pelfrey, Kat Pershouse, and Tammy De.

More information and pictures about Jesmar dolls can be found in the post Jesmars and J Clothing and in Fundamentals of Cabbage Patch Kids, pages 198 to 230.

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: Jesmar Shoes

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.

For information on Jesmar dolls and clothing, visit Jesmar Tags and Clothing.

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.

For information on Coleco shoes, visit Shoes: Overview and Summary Links.

Identification Marks

Unlike Coleco shoes, Jesmar shoes do not have a factory or location identifier. However, they do have other marks that make them identifiable.

Mark 1 – The Funky Shape

This mark is often found in the heel of many Jesmar shoes. There are no factory or location identifiers.

View of the inside heel of a Jesmar Cabbage patch shoe. You can see a T shaped line inside the shoes heel, along with the number 2.

Mark 2 – Left over molded vinyl bits

Sometimes in the heel, you can see small circles of left-over vinyl that appear to be an error in the mould.

View of the inside heel of a Cabbage Patch shoe. You can see two small circles of extra vinyl material.

Mark 3 – Different Pattern

Some Jesmar lace-up shoes have a different sort of pattern on the front. Instead of the flower shape, it’s a diamond. Therefore, Jemsar shoes can have both patterns.

Comparison between regular lace-up shoes that have different fonts sections.

‘Hong Kong’ Jesmar Shoes – visit HERE

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?!

Regular Lace-up’s

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

Comparison picture of a Coleco lace-up shoe and each of the version of the Jesmar lace-up shoe.

There are some excellent aftermarket replicas that look a lot like Jesmar lace-ups. For details, visit These aren’t CPK shoes?!

Mary Janes

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

Comparison picture of a Coleco Mary Jane shoe and a Jesmar Mary Jane shoe.

Sneakers

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)

Comparison – Coleco vs. Jesmar

Comparison picture of a Coleco sneaker and a Jesmar sneaker. They are both white.

Knit Booties

Jesmar only produced knit booties for their version of the #9 Bubble Romper outfit.

Jesmar version of of the #9 Bubble Romper outfit. The romper is blue and white gingham and the sweater and booties are white knit.
Photo courtesy of Jenna Young.

Like Coleco booties, Jesmar booties have a distinctive knit pattern that matches the pattern in the sweater.

A pair of knit, white, Jesmar booties for #9 bubble romper outfit.
Photo courtesy of Heather Day.

Jesmar Socks

Jesmar socks are very different from Coleco socks. They have no cuff and are made of nylon/pantyhose type of material.

Comparison picture of a Coleco sock beside a Jesmar sock.
Coleco vs. Jesmar socks

Fun Fact

Jesmar continued to produce these shoes and use them on other dolls through 1986 and 1987. (FB Conversation, Jennifer Pelfrey, Aug. 2021) Note that the socks also appear to be the same.

Picture of a Jesmar Burbijitas doll that is shown with what are considered Jesmar socks and shoes.

Jesmars, Jesmar Clothing, and Jesmar Preemies

A short history of Jesmars, Jesmar clothing, Jesmar Preemies. It also includes how to identify Jesmar clothing, and how you can help to track Jesmar clothing tags.

Preface and disclaimer

I promised myself that I wouldn’t record Jesmar clothing like I am the Coleco clothing. There is a lot of it, and I don’t have the same personal experience with it that I do with Coleco clothing. However, I am breaking that promise as I have been asked many questions, and there is an obvious need. Special thanks to Eve for inspiring this post.

The problem with Jesmar dolls, indeed any of the foreign factories, is that little factual data exists about their manufacture; however, there is a lot of speculation and assumption among collectors. Sometimes it is hard to separate fact from fiction. I welcome any data or primary source material that proves or disproves anything within this post.

This post is intended as an overview of Jesmar clothing. To start, I give a very basic review of the manufacture and body tags of the dolls in order to provide context to the clothing information.

Table of Contents

1. What is a ‘Jesmar’?
2. Historical Background
       2.1 Jesmar Dolls
       2.2 Doll Body Tags
      2.3 Jesmar in Canada
3. Jesmar Clothing
       3.1 Jesmar Preemies and Clothing
       3.2 Shoes
       3.3 Clothing Tags
       3.4 Identifying Jesmar Clothing
4. Taking pictures for the project

What is a ‘Jesmar’?

A Kid referred to by the factory code ‘J’ or by the term, ‘Jesmar’ refers to dolls manufactured in a factory located in Spain, which produced the second most common mass-market CPK dolls. For a variety of reasons (that I have listed HERE), these dolls are generally highly coveted by collectors. Read on to learn more.

Historical Background

Logo for the Jesmar S.A. Company. Red and white.

Jesmar S.A. was a Spanish company licensed by O.A.A. to manufacture and sell Cabbage Patch Kids within specific areas of Western Europe, starting in April 1984.  For information on Jesmars sold on the Canadian market, go here. The dolls were packaged in boxes and with birth certificates, that were in the language of the country where they were distributed. In some countries, the kids were distributed by another company altogether.

A list of the various countries that sold Jesmar dolls, the company that distributed them, and what Cabbage Patch Kids translates to in those countries.
*Update: Apparently Coleco dolls were put in German boxes for the first little while. Jesmars weren’t in their boxes until 1984 so 1983 kids are Coleco. FB Conversation, May 2021.

Other than Canadian market Jesmars (Jump to: Jesmar in Canada), as far as I am aware, there is no way to distinguish which country your doll was sold in unless you have the birth certificate and/or that box that it came in. There is nothing on the dolls themselves that indicate which country they were distributed in.

“Some collectors, after years of observing Jesmars, feel that there are three to five different types of Jesmar Kids, which might suggest different factories made them. The information on the Jesmar production factories remains a mystery.”

(Ref#3, p. 29)

Foreign factories lose their licenses

In the spring of 1985, O.A.A pulled the licenses of all the foreign factories (Jesmar, Tsukuda, Triang Pedigree, and Lili Ledy).  The leftover material was shipped to the remaining Coleco factories and used.

This resulted in half-in-half Kids. These Kids had heads and bodies made at different factories. “Some of these foreign combinations included Jesmar heads on Coleco bodies, Coleco heads on Jesmar bodies, and there have even been Jesmar heads on Triang-Pedigree bodies reported.” (Ref#3, p.30)

By late 1985, they were selling Jesmar dolls in regular US boxes that had the ‘Made in China’ label on the box covered by a sticker that read ‘Doll and clothes made in Spain’.  The closures might also explain why Jesmar outfits in Coleco boxes were surfacing at Toys R US stores in the US around 1986 and 1987. (Ref#4, Vol 2, Issue 3, p. 2)

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Jesmar Dolls

The dolls came with head molds #1 – #4. The bum signature, which indicates which year the doll was made, is either black or brown for 1984 and blue for 1985. For both years, the dolls produced earlier in the year have undated signatures, and those produced later in the year are dated.

A great deal of the appeal of Jesmar dolls (or any foreign doll) is the differences between them and the Coleco dolls. Some of the Kids (generally thought to be earlier), had a string holding the heads on instead of a zip tie. Some have eyes that sit higher. Jesmars tend to be a few inches taller than most Coleco Kids. One of their most popular features is their freckles. Jesmar, unlike Coleco, freckled kids with all four head moulds and the freckles come in a variety of patterns. (Ref#3, p. 198-199)

Doll Body Tags

The dolls come with one of five body tags, depending on when they were made and which market they were intended for. Based on data collected so far, I believe the tags without J or OK came after the ‘early Jesmar’ tags, but still early in 1984. They were followed by those with OK in mid- 1984. Finally, they started using the J tags quite late in 1984 and into 1985. (Refer to: Jesmar in Canada)

Leah S. has mentioned that there are Jesmar tags that say ‘Made in Hong Kong’, but I have never seen one. These are supposed to be on some of the earliest Jesmars. (Facebook group conversation, Aug. 11, 2017)

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Jesmar in Canada

CPK’s in Canada were distributed by Coleco Inc., Canada, which was based out of Montreal, Quebec. For a history of Coleco Inc. in Canada visit: http://www.colecovision.dk/history.htm or Coleco: The Official Book .

According to E.N. Chapman of Patchwork: The Missing Piece Bok Choy Wah Way, “Jesmar’s were fairly common in Canada early on.” (Ref#5, p.32) and “Jesmars were in Canadian boxes long before they were in American Boxes.â” (Ref#4, Feb 1987, p. 4) J. Mullin mentions, “These Kids with the OK Made in Spain body tags were found in either Coleco or Canadiana boxes.” (Ref#3, p.41)

Canada was the only non-European country to have Jesmars as part of their regular distribution along with Colecos. There is no explanation of how or why Jesmar dolls came to Canada and ended up in authentic Canadian market boxes. I have two theories:

1) As the factories were shut down, they decided to funnel Jesmar Kids into the Canadian market before the American market.
2) Even before the Jesmar factory started being shut down because the dolls weren’t selling well in Western Europe, Jesmar got special permission to send them to the Canadian market. No record of such a permission exists that I am aware of.

To sell in the Canadian market, they needed to comply with Canadian language laws, meaning they needed a bilingual (English/French) side tag. However, there are two distinctive bilingual tags: one with OK factory and one with J factory.

As noted above, the OK tag likely came out around the middle of 1984, and the J tag started being used late in 1984 and then into 1985. I wonder, were these kids manufactured, and/or clothed, and/or boxed at the OK factory in China, and then sent to Canada for distribution? Is that why they have OK on them? Why did they change the OK to J?

As for their clothing, I have evidence of Canadian market Kids wearing just Jesmar-tagged clothes and Jesmar clothes without tags, but I have no evidence of these Kids wearing bilingual-tagged clothes.  This seems counter-intuitive. Do you have a Kid with that combination? (Jump to: Clothing Tags)

What side tag the dolls have, what they are wearing, and which boxes they ended up in, likely depended on how and when they were manufactured or packaged for distribution.  I just do not have enough data to draw any conclusions.

Interestingly, as time went on and Coleco (US) and Coleco Inc. (CAD) found themselves with an overabundance of ‘specialty’ outfits, so they started putting all sorts of wacky combinations together, and some included the remainder of the Jesmar and other foreign dolls from the recently closed foreign factories. In the Canadian market, you can find Jesmar dolls wearing World Traveler outfits, often in twin sets. In some cases, you can find Jesmar’s dressed up as a clown.

Picture of a set of Cabbage patch 'twins' in a box that was sold on the Canadian market. The dolls Jesmar and have red hair, freckles, and pacifiers. They are wearing Blue Holland World Traveler outfits.
Freckled Jesmar dolls wearing Holland World Traveler outfits in a Twin box produced for the Canadian market.

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Jesmar Clothing

I am working on a research project to track and record Coleco Cabbage Patch Kid clothing. They are generally labelled with a letter/number code. To learn more about this project, visit my first two blog posts. (Blog#1, Blog#2) As most Jesmar outfits are also ‘numbered’ after a fashion, I have started to record this information too.

“Jesmar and other foreign clothing came in a much wider variety of colors, fabrics, designs, and even applique selection.”

(Ref#3, p.363)

Generally speaking, Jesmar produced its own version of the 1983 Series Coleco outfits. The only outfits not reproduced were the Sleeper (#2) and the Corduroy Suit (#5). Jesmar outfits were often made out of fabrics and patterns that were not used by Coleco. These differences add to the appeal of Jesmar dolls.

  • The Velcro on some Jesmar outfits was applied as a long thin strip, rather than the small squares used on some of their outfits, and by all other factories.
  • A single type of Jesmar outfit could be made out of many different fabrics.
  • The silk CPK label might be located in an odd spot on the outfit.
  • Jesmar did not always match the ‘gender’ of the doll and the outfit. (Ref#4, p. 80)
  • Jesmar outfits are known for having many leftover threads inside the outfits. It’s like they never cut off the extra threads at all! Having said that, not all outfits will look like that now, if a previous owner has removed them and not all came that way.

Jesmar outfits are generally considered to be more shoddily made than the Coleco outfits. There was little consistency in fabric, colours, patterns etc. There were also differences in size. Take these two swing dresses. One has 80 on the tag, the other is 89, but they’re definitely two different sizes.

Courtesy of Melissa Crick Gore.

Jump here for a more detailed list of differencesIdentifying Jesmar Outfits

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Jesmar Preemies and Clothing

Collectors believe that the Jesmar factory was in the first stages of producing preemies when they lost their license. The only piece they had in production was the head. This resulted in the creation of half-in-half preemies, typically called Jesmar Preemies. These dolls have a Jesmar-produced head and a Coleco preemie body from the OK factory. They were packaged in Coleco boxes. (Ref#4, 1987, Iss.1 Vol. 2 p. 3)

These preemies should not be confused with the regular Coleco preemies that were sold in foreign boxes. Those dolls were entirely Coleco and wore Coleco clothing. (Ref #3, p. 231)

Three outfits are called Jesmar Preemies outfits, the three velveteen versions of the terry cloth Bunny Preemie Outfit (#12). It is believed that they were originally outfits produced specifically for preemies produced by Jesmar. These special velveteen outfits came in (from least to most rare) navy blue (#12F), steel blue (#12E), and dark green (#12D) (FB Conversation, Jul. 7, 2020, Ref#2, p.96). It seems that, instead of using letters that were not already assigned to an outfit, they chose to reuse the letters D, E, and F for these outfits.

These outfits are labelled OK factory but structurally they appear Jesmar. The Velcro is typical of some Jesmar outfits and there can be extra threads everywhere, which is also typical of Jesmar outfits.

However, the navy blue and steel blue fabric are similar to another Coleco outfit produced in 1986, the velveteen overalls. The green is similar to the material used in the green velveteen twin boys outfit. Was the leftover material also sent to be used by other Coleco factories?

These preemie outfits came on Jesmar Preemies and regular Coleco preemies (FB Conversation, Chris Hansing Tallman, Jan 2024; FB Conversation, May, 2010; Unboxing a Unicorn). In addition, Jesmar Preemies could come wearing regular Colceo outfits. For example, J. Mullin has instances of Jesmar Preemies wearing BSeries preemie outfits from later in 1985. (Ref#3, p.231)

Shoes -Visit: Jesmar Shoes & Hong Kong Jesmar Shoes

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Jesmar Clothing Tags

Jesmar clothing appears to be tagged in one of four ways. It is the information on these tags that is the data I need for my project.

I am just beginning this research journey and need a lot more data to make any final determinations. In the case of Jesmar clothing, I also need more than just pictures of the tags. If it is available, I also need information about the doll it came on, the box it came in and, in some cases, how it was purchased. (Refer to: Taking pictures for the project)

1. Jesmar Tag Only

Picture of a tag from a Jesmar Cabbage Patch swing dress (red plaid). It has the Jemar logo and a circle with the number 1 in it. The printing is in red and the tag is rectangular and made of silk.

To date, for these tags, I have recorded various numbers between 1 and 100. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a pattern as to which outfits have which numbers. For example, I have five outfits with the number #89. They consist of three different outfits and all five are different colours/patterns.

As other Jesmar factory dolls have similar tags, it has been suggested that they are somehow related to Jesmar operations rather than anything specific to Cabbage Patch Kids. If that is the case, then my tracking is useless. (FB Conversation, June 6, 2021.)

I speculate that outfits with only a Jesmar tag were intended for foreign markets, or for the US market (which did not require bilingual tags) after they began closing the foreign factories.

2/3. Bilingual (French/English)Tag – with & without the small Jesmar tag

Picture of a Jesmar shirt (mauve and yellow striped), with both the regular Jesmar tag and the larger white tag. The white tag says P1B.

As these white tags are bilingual, we can speculate that the outfits with these tags were intended for the Canadian market. Bilingual tags (French/English) are required by law in Canada. Generally, you find both a larger white tag and a small Jesmar tag on an outfit, but not always.

Side one of all the bilingual tags has one of two ‘factories’: FS or J. I have no idea what FS stands for or if it is referring to a factory at all. However, it is on the tag in the same format as all other ‘factory’ marks.  

The white bilingual clothing tags found in Jesmar Cabbage Patch Clothing. Front and back of both tags. The FS tag has P1B on the backside. The J tag has P3A on the backside.
Front and back of each bilingual tag.

So far, all of the J tags have the codes P3A or P2A on the back, and all the FS tags have the codes P1B or P2C. (Information on Coleco clothing tag codes) Unlike the Coleco codes, I do not know what these codes refer to or why they are there. There is no pattern as to which outfits they are in. Unfortunately, I only have a small data set, so this could easily change. Over time we may find more codes, a pattern to the outfits, or something else I haven’t even considered.

I have one confirmed example of a Jesmar outfit with ONLY a bilingual tag. There is no small Jesmar tag. This situation appears to be the rarest. Why did they do this? Did they run out of tags and decide that they were unnecessary for the Canadian Market? Did they start doing this because of the closure? I just do not know.

4. No tags

Why some Jesmar outfits come without any tags at all is a complete mystery, but other foreign factories, like the Tsukuda and Triang Pedigree factories, produced most of their outfits without any tags.

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Identifying Jesmar Outfits

Here are the differences other collectors (Ref#3) and I have observed beyond those of fabric, pattern, and construction when compared to the Coleco versions.

(The title links will take you to information on the original Coleco outfit.)

Swing Dress (#1)
* Some dresses have no ribbons. If they do, most of the ribbons are a silkier ribbon-like material. One example of a small cotton bow has been found as had an example of the ribbon as a nice cotton.
Courtesy of Andi Hicks (FB Conversation, April 2024)


* Some of them don’t have ‘ribbons’ at all! (Lori Clark, Sept 2023)
* The tights don’t fit. They are often too short and made of a thicker knitted material.

Kitty Tracksuits (#6)
* They aren’t always grey. They also came in brown, red, green, etc.
* They don’t always have a patch.
* The patch may be located lower on the shirt or in the middle of the chest.

Elephant Romper (#7)
* Some come with striped shirts; some come with solid-coloured shirts.
* Some have no patch or they often have a cat patch instead of an elephant patch.
* The buttons didn’t actually ‘unbutton’ because the straps were sewn to the outfit through the button.
* Sometimes the patch is located in the middle of the bib section.
* The shirt hem is not finished.
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31 Tracksuit  (#8)
* The silk label is on the pants, not on the shirt.

Bubble Romper (#9)
* The sleeves on the sweater are sometimes rather short.
* Like every other factory, the knit pattern of the sweater and booties is unique.
* The silk label may not be in the right spot.

Windbreaker (#10)
* The logo looks different on the windbreaker. It is smaller than Coleco’s logo.
* The shirt’s bottom hem is not finished.
* The windbreaker is sometimes made from a thinner silkier material.
* The pants are made of thinner cotton-like material; it’s not jean material.
* The shirts can be multi-coloured stripes, not just white/colour.
* The shirts may have come in ‘not striped’ patterns although I’ve only seen one example of this.

Knit Ducky Dress (#11)
* Most did not come with a duck patch.
* They came in more vibrant colours.
* They had a different style hem at the sleeves.
* They don’t open all the way down the back.
* They have elastic in the waist of the bloomers. MOST Coleco do not.

Ruffled Overalls (#12)
* The buttons are clear. (Coleco only used clear buttons in 1983)
* The blouse has white lace, not rick-rack at the sleeves and neck.
* There may have been striped knit shirts with some of them.
* They don’t have velcro down the legs.
* The buttons don’t ‘work’. They are sewn.

Pinafore dress (#14)
* The pinafore section can come in off-white/light beige instead of white.

Bib dress (#15)
* The bibs may be patterned, completely blank, or have a different patch.
* They are physically smaller than Coleco bibs.

Denim Romper (#16)
* The romper is not always made with jean fabric; it is often made of thin cotton.
* The shirt has a peter pan collar and buttons at the back with a single button.

Heart dress (#17)
* They didn’t always come with the heart applique.
* Sometimes the heart appliques were the same colour as the dress.

Striped tracksuit (#18)
* They do not have a collar at the neck.
* Sometimes they don’t have stripes at the arm and legs.
* Sometimes the neck and bottom hems match other accents, instead of being white.
* Sometimes they don’t have any piping.

Sailor Suit (#20)
* The ribbon is silkier, not cotton.
* It doesn’t always have an anchor applique.

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Taking pictures for the project

If you would like to send me information on a Jesmar outfit, please include the information listed below for each outfit. I welcome information on any outfit. Don’t worry if I have it already. We know so little that almost anything I receive at this point will provide me with information. Just have fun taking pictures one afternoon! (Instructions for taking great pictures)

> Pictures of the outfit itself (as outlined in the instructions)
> Pictures of the clothing tag(s) (if any); both sides if there’s a bilingual tag
> Outfit’s fabric type

If you have the original Kid it came on:
> Was the Kid a boy or a girl?
> Pictures of both sides of the dolls tag
> What country it came from (language on BC or box), if known
> Approximately when it was purchased, if known
> Where it was purchased, if known

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Special thanks to Erin Cavill for editing the first draft of this post. Her information, ideas, and questions were instrumental in improving all aspects of this post.

#20 Sailor Suit

Safe harbour and calm winds.

Main graphic with light green background and black text tha says "#20 Sailor Suit" and is bracketed by two kids. The first kid is an auburn looped, brown eyed boy with #4 paci head mold wearing a white sailor suit with vivid blue accents. The second is the same hair and eyes with a #2 head mold and wearing a red sailor suit with white accents.

Suggested reading: An explanation of the 1983 series of outfits that the swing dress belongs to. Jump to: 1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes

Description:
Legless romper with short sleeves made from cotton twill fabric. It has a sailor collar with trim and a fabric necktie. There is a pocket with an anchor patch on the right breast pocket and button accents at the waist. Decorative features are enhanced with contrasting trim. It came with sneakers and socks.

Outfit 20B KT. Red sailor suit with white accents, anchor on the pocket, and tie.
Outfit 20B KT

This outfit is not technically a part of the 1983 series as it did not come out on kids until 1984. (Ref #4, Vol. 3 Iss. 8, p.5) However, based on the numbering convention, it is just easier to include it in the 1983 series. It was manufactured/ sold on MIB kids until at least 1986, but probably later.

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 20A OK that has green accents, not red) 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 manufactured by the primary factories CC and SS.

Variations

> The following are observable differences between outfits produced at various factories.

  • tie fabric
  • anchor colour
  • colour/shade
  • one vs. two accent colours
Collage showing four sailor suit outfits. It shows the comparison between version 1 and 2 of both outfits 20A and 20B. In both cases, the P factory outfits have two accent colours, versus one.

> Mimic outfits: The 25th Anniversary version is blue with white accents. It only came on boys. For more information, visit 25th Anniversary Outfits.

In box 25th Anniversary kid with butterscotch looped hair and blue eyes, #2 head mold. He's wearing a blue sailor suit with white accents and white silk ribbon tie.

> There were many variations made by foreign factories. For information on identifying a Jesmar version, jump to Identifying Jesmar Clothing. They came in a rainbow of wonderful colours.

Other Information

> A unique Sailor Suit has been found, visit Sailor Suit Surprise!

Where are tags in clothing located?

Oh where, oh where does the clothing tag hide . . . . oh where, oh where can it be?

Oh where, oh where, can it be?

By clothing tag, I am referring to the information tag found inside the outfit, not the silk flash with Cabbage Patch Kids that is often found on the shoulder of shirts and dresses or pant legs.

Coleco only tagged one piece of each outfit, often leaving the other pieces unmarked in any fashion. This means that that the unmarked pieces can be easily lost and often go unrecognized as Cabbage Patch. This makes it difficult to put an outfit back together. How do you know which pieces belong in an outfit? Well, that’s a question for another post (or a bunch of posts).

In this post, I’m just going to tell you where to look for the informative little things. There are three options when it comes to tag situations.

1. My outfit has no tags

If the outfit has no tag there are four possible explanations:

  1. It’s a foreign CPK outfit.
  2. It’s a fake/aftermarket/handmade outfit.
  3. They’re all pieces of Coleco CPK clothing but didn’t all come together. OR They all came together, but at least one piece is missing.
  4. It is a CPK piece of clothing produced by a later company. eg. Play Along, Wicked Cool Toys

At least one piece in each Coleco outfit MUST have a tag.

2. My outfit has A tag

Regular Tag Locations

  1. Inside the shirt or dress piece of the outfit. If there is more than one top in the outfit, it is generally located on the piece worn closest to the doll’s body.

2. Along the side or back seam of the romper, sleeper, onsie, etc.

NOTE: There are a few outfits that can have them in either location. For example, the ruffled overalls may have the tag in the shirt OR the overalls, but not both, and not neither!

Unusual Tag Locations

There are some exceptions to these rules (of course), most of which involve later outfits (Post 1986) or jackets.

1. The Designer Line outfits that have jackets have the tag inside the jacket, not the shirt, as does the 500s series windbreakers and outfit #100.

2. ‘Made in USA’ outfits tend to have the tag in the pants, if the outfit has pants.

3. Splashing Fun Kids clothing have the tag on the most substantial piece of the outfit, generally the robe, the jacket, or the wrap.

4. Talker dresses have the tag on either the underdress or the pinafore. I see no pattern as to which was chosen.

5. A small number of later outfits (1989 and later) have the tags in an odd location. So look carefully.

3. My outfit has TWO (or more) tags

If your outfit has two or more tags, here are possible scenarios:

  1. It’s a Jesmar outfit. Jump to: Jesmar Clothing Tags
  2. You have two pieces of Coleco clothing that did not originally come together. For example, if your elephant romper has a tag, and the white shirt has a tag, they didn’t originally come together.

For more information on tags (if you haven’t already seen them), jump to:

What are Clothing Tag Codes: An explanation of the codes on Cabbage Patch clothing tags. Learn about the letters and numbers that started it all!
Oddball Tags: Not all clothing tags were made equal. Some have codes, some don’t. Which do? Which don’t?
What’s With the Numbers?: Why 15? Why 125? Why not 485? Who knows, but here are some thoughts.

Clothing Tags: With a code or without?

Not all clothing tags were made equal. Some have codes, some don’t. Which do? Which don’t?

Although MOST Coleco clothing has a code on the tag, not all of them do.

The 1983 outfits have a variety of tags! Each factory had a slightly different look to its tags and some factories changed the look often. After 1985 the tags become more consistent in look and information but there were still variations by factory and over time.

In a previous post, What are Clothing Tag Codes, I noted that some factory codes were put on with stickers so that they were washed off (P, PMI, some IC), some were written on and illegible, and some were stamped on badly. Although these tags are rather rare, they can be annoying. Hopefully, somewhere, you will find the same outfit with a code!

Unfortunately, in some cases, they never put the code on to start with!

The 1983-84 Mess

Some factories like CC, KT, IJ, and PMI always have a code on the tag (if it hasn’t washed off).

Some factories, like the OK and P factories, were generally pretty good with putting codes on their tags, but there are some failures.

For example, early P and OK Hong Kong tagged outfits were hit and miss, and some of the later regular tags did not have codes (pictures below).

Some Taiwanese factories, like IC and AX, put the codes on a few tags.

Some never put a code on their tags. (e.g. UT, HP, EX, SW, CY, FD, WW, USA)

I have also seen tags where they appear to be trying to fix a mistake, or they had run out of a tag. They’ll substitute a different one and then make the correction with a pen or a marker!

Specialty Outfits

Many of the specialty outfits don’t have codes. For example:


Some specialty lines had their own specialty codes.

  • Twin outfits use T1, T2, and T3 to indicate style change, and letters to indicate colour. (TBC in another post.)
  • The Circus kids outfits duplicate the numbers 100 to 105. There are two versions of each costume, A and B.

Later Tags (1985+)

Most tags from 1985 and later have codes. These tags include any numbers 100 and above.

Foreign Factories

From the foreign factories that produced between 1984 and 1985, only Jesmar outfits have tags. (Jump to: Jesmar Tags and Clothing)

After Coleco

As far as I am aware, none of the later companies that produced Cabbage Patch Kids put any kind of code on their tags. At least, not something I know or understand.

For more information . . .

The number/letter codes, jump to: What are Clothing Tag Codes
Where to find clothing tags, jump to: Where are clothing tags located
Information on the numbers in a clothing tag code, jump to: What’s With the Numbers? and Tag Codes Continued: A 2nd Theory
Matching clothing to kids, jump to: A match made in . . . . the factory (Pt. 1)