Cabbage Patch Kids were produced in Hong Kong for a short time before production was moved to mainland China. This seems to be well known, but no sources I can find tell us exactly when production moved or how long it lasted in Hong Kong.
Dolls produced in Hong Kong are generally considered to be of higher quality with thicker hair, nicer complexions, and well-made clothes. A double Hong Kong kid has “Made in Hong Kong” on both their neck and their body tag. A triple Hong Kong kid also has it on their clothing tag. For pictures, visit here.
When production shifted to China, it seems that the factories were able to continue acquiring most of the materials they had been using in Hong Kong, but not all. For some outfits, there are some clear differences between the Hong Kong version and the later Chinese one.
In most cases, the differences are slight. The pattern may be slightly different, or the colour is a shade darker.
In other cases, there are extreme differences that make these outfits stand out. In each of these cases, we cannot definitively attribute the difference to being a Hong Kong outfit. These could also be VERY early outfits that came before the final version was decided upon. However, in each case (except the Ducky Dress), I do not have any examples of HK outfits that do not carry these characteristics. Do you?
Button Ducky Dresses: Early Hong Kong Ducky Dresses came with buttons, not Velcro closures, and are structurally different. Visit #11 Ducky Dress for details.
Hong Kong Jean Rompers: The only example of an HK version of this outfit that I’ve seen came with metal fasteners, unlike the later plastic buttons.
Hong Kong Ruffled Overalls: I’ve seen only two HK examples of this outfit, and both came with metal snap closures, not plastic buttons, at both the straps and the inside leg seam.
Hong Kong Striped Jogging Suits: I’ve seen only two HK versions of this outfit, both owned by the same person, who bought them from two different people. Both tops (which have the HK tag) have small patches on the collar. We can assume they weren’t attached by the previous owners as this would be a highly unlikely coincidence. So, is this specific to HK versions of this outfit? More examples are needed to know.
Finally, and just to make things even more complicated, there may have been factory differences amongst Hong Kong outfits! These two early Ducky Dresses, both marked 11D, are from different factories and are obviously different colours.
Interestingly, outfits with clear buttons are also considered to be ‘early’ and were only produced in 1983. Clear buttons were used on HK outfits, but clearly not all of them. When did they switch to clear buttons on outfits like the Ruffled Overalls and Jean Romper? For details on the button debate visit Beneficial Buttons.
Do you have any HK outfits that are slightly different than their later counterparts?