Shoes: Regular ‘lace up’ Pt. 1

What to know about regular ‘high top’ cabbage patch shoes, part 1.

Other Relevant Posts: CPK Shoe Summary, Lacing CPK Shoes

Regular lace-up shoes were manufactured by Coleco throughout the entirety of their production. However, the characteristics of the shoes varied by factory and over time.

The information in this post is chronological. If you don’t ‘recognize’ your shoes, keep going.

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 have a number of these features but do not need to have them all.

  • They have a thicker feel to the vinyl. In some cases, the vinyl did not mould well, and they have a runny look to the inside.
  • They have textured bottoms.
  • Not all have HK shoes have black text in the heel, but if it is black, it’s a 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.
  • In some cases, the tongue has not been cut out and is still attached.
Picture with a Hong Kong shoes comparing it to a regular shoes . Both are P factory.
Hong Kong P shoe versus later P shoe. Compare the thickness and edges of the vinyl.
OK  Some have black text. I have found some made with a very hard, almost grey vinyl. The bottom edge can be more rounded than in other factories.
PThe text runs vertical, not horizontal, in the heel. I have not found any P with black text.  
KTIn general, KT shoes have more have black text. There are two versions, one with a font smaller than the other. 

For more information on Jesmar Hong Kong shoes visit HERE

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 look like 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 factory. Indeed, as more factories began production, the amount of variation increased.

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 Factory
The vinyl feels rather flimsy and thin.
The bottoms are flat.
The text is either raised and clear or very blurry.
The text comes in two sizes, the larger being closer to the heel.

P Factory
The stitching decoration is in higher relief than the OK shoes, standing out prominently.
The text is in relief and very clear to read. The text can include numbers. I have recorded the following: 4, 3, 2, 1, 6, 7 They can develop pox.

KT Factory
They look like a regular white P except: They still have a textured bottom.
The vinyl is slightly thicker and continues to have a slight ‘cut’ or ‘trimmed’ look to it, especially the tongue.
The text is raised and clear.

IC Factory
They have very prominent relief stitching decoration, and the vinyl feels more like Jesmar vinyl. The text is embossed and very clear.
A second type looks like the other but has thicker vinyl, which creates a more structured feel. The laces are a nicer, finer, whiter string.
The text can include numbers. I have recorded the following: 5, 2

PMI Factory
They look and feel like OK shoes.
The text says, HONG KONG PMI, in two lines.
A line (like that below) was created by the mould and is visible in the heel. They can develop pox.

UT Factory
The vinyl is firmer but not rigid, very white, and very smooth (almost glossy).
The stitching decoration is in VERY high relief, and it looks like stitches rather than dots.
There is a line, in a U shape, around the heel section of the shoe, on the back, not the bottom.
It was likely left by the moulding process. There is a pronounced sole ridge.
The text says, Made in Taiwan and has a raised relief, embossed along with a circle with UT inside it.
The text can include numbers. I have recorded the following: 1, 4

SS Factory
There are two styles.
The first feels and looks like an OK shoe but is slightly smaller sometimes. They are softer and more malleable.
The second looks more like a P and has high relief decoration.
There are no words, just the factory identifier, either in a circle or not.
There may be numbers located beside the letters. I have recorded: 1,2

The FD and CY factories do not appear to have produced lace-up shoes.

Continue to Part 2

PTP: Which OTHER outfits came on IC and UT kids?

Your UT kids have more clothing options than you thought.

Thanks to the assistance of another collector, one of my many theories has been confirmed.

Most of the time, when a kid is mint-in-box, the outfit factory and the kid factory match. (For details visit HERE.) However, there are some exceptions.

Recently, we determined that AX factory clothing came on IC kids. For these kids, the outfit tag and the kid’s tag would not match.

There were several other factories in Taiwan, but the only one other produced dolls, the UT factory. I speculated that AX outfits may also have come on UT kids. However, until this past week, I had no proof.

Thanks to Melissa W., I now have that proof. She was able to confirm that her MIB UT kid did come with an AX outfit. This discovery was accidentally serendipitous!


So, we now have proof that AX outfits came packaged separately AND on IC and UT kids. This goes a long way to explaining why IC and UT clothing is so difficult to find.

Unfortunately, I do not think we have any way of knowing what percentage of IC and UT kids came with AX outfits.

Some of the other Taiwanese factories produced specialty outfits for the All Stars series (HRS), Sports Collection (CY, FD), and the Western Wear Kids (CY). Like the AX outfits, these outfits normally came on IC kids. Of the remaining Taiwan factories, the only other factory that may have provided outfits for boxed kids would be WW, but my gut says it did not. So far, there is no indication that WW outfits came on kids.
Can you prove me wrong?

Update (April 2021)

I was proven wrong! (read above) I now have proof that regular CPK outfits from Taiwan factories other than IC and UT came on these kids. This includes AX, UT, WW, and HP. This goes a long way toward explaining why there are so few IC outfits and so many IC kids!

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.

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?

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)