Post 1985 Tag Codes and Locations

The continuing saga of the clothing tag codes . . . what happened in 1986? Why are West Hartford, Amsterdam and Gloversville so important?

By going through and comparing the appearance of clothing tags, I discovered that something interesting happened in 1986 and early 1987.

The original theory about the numbers used in the clothing tag codes was that the first digit of the codes from 500 onward indicated which year the outfit came out.  Jump to: What’s With the Numbers?

E.g. 501 came out in 1985
       630 came out in 1986
       720 came out in 1987

A Question . . .

This works most of the time, but some things did not fit the pattern. For example, half of the Talker outfits are 690s, and the rest are 700-710. If the original theory held, they should all be in the 700s as Talking Kids came out in 1987. Another example is the 670s – 680s BBB series. BBB kids came out in 1986; why would they put out a second set of clothing almost immediately? As it turns out, they didn’t!

In 1986, Coleco seems to stop rigidly adhering to the original rule that they had in 1985. They still used it, but not all the time. I do not know why, but the change corresponds to some kind of upheaval in the Coleco Company itself.

Possible Answer . . .

At some point in 1985 or 1986 they started producing tags which printed the location of the Coleco Company in the US. The first tags said West Hartford, CT. Then sometime in 1986, the address changed to Amsterdam, NY. By sometime in 1987, they stopped using the CT tags entirely.

If your tag says CT, the outfit is most likely older than one which says Amsterdam, NY. They were likely made in the same place, but the tags were changed. It’s interesting to note that it was around this time that the company’s major financial problems started to become public. It is also interesting to note that some 500s Series outfits have West Hartford, CT tags so they must have been produced into 1986 although, they started production in 1985.

Then in 1989, the company address on clothing tags changed again, from Amsterdam, NY, to Gloversville, NY.

Clothing tag from outfit 9-167A, OK factory. Copyright date 1988 and located in Gloversville, NY.

Coleco had owned buildings in both locations for decades. (Coleco – The Official Book.pdf, p. 33) I theorize that as company assets were closed to save money, the main offices and official registered location of the company was moved from place to place.

1986 and Onward

1986+ clothing codes are all over the place. There were some 1987, and 1988 series that follow the original theory (E.g. Splashing kids, Toddlers). However, it was no longer used consistently. More and more outfits show up with ‘odd’ codes.

In some cases, they put 1987 outfits in the 600s (Example A), in some cases they chose a different hundred for the series (e.g. 400s) (Example B), in other cases, they created an entirely new matrix (Example C), and for still others, they didn’t use a code at all ( Example D)!

Another Question

Where are the 1989 outfits? There are no 900s outfits, so how were they coded? I had a theory, but I had no evidence for it. Now I do. To find out, continue to Part 2: The Code Addition

PTP: Pretty Patterns – Lacy White Tights

What’s your lace?

Lacy white tights came with outfits in these three series.

  1. 160s – Cornsilk Series 1: Beautiful Dresses
  2. 718-724 – Cornsilk Series 3: Beautiful Dresses Pt. 2
  3. Satin/Damask twin party dresses
         Sateen              Non-Sateen

Apparently, the tights come in a variety of patterns. I have found four patterns so far. I named and numbered them to make it easier to distinguish between them.


I have several possible theories regarding why there are so many patterns.

  1. They vary based on the factory of production.
  2. They vary based on when the outfit was produced.
  3. They vary based on the series they came in (somewhat related to the factory, but not quite).

What I Know

  • The 160s series was manufactured primarily by the KT factory, but a few outfits were produced by the OK factory. Most of the twin dresses were produced by the P factory, although a few were made by KT, and the 718-724 series was produced entirely by the KT factory.
  • The 160s Series and the twin outfits came out in 1985 and most likely stopped production in 1986. The 718-724 series came out in 1987 and most likely stopped being manufactured by 1988, if not before.

The Problem

I do not have enough data to even guess which theories (or another unconsidered one) are correct. Can you help?

If you have an outfit with lacy tights, and you know it came together as an outfit, can you please send me the following:

  1. Which lace pattern it is (or a picture if it is a new pattern)
  2. Factory of the outfit
  3. The clothing code of the outfit (e.g. 162H)
  4. If it is a twin outfit, did it comes on a set of twins, or an individually boxed kid?
  5. If it is a twin outfit, is it the sateen version or the non-sateen version?

Extra Bit

One outfit comes with BLACK lacy tights, the Girl’s Spanish World Traveler. This outfit was made by two factories. Do you have an OK version to compare to this PMI version? It looks a lot like #3 Trillium above.
Jump to: World Traveler Wear

Cornsilk Series 1: Beautiful Dresses

The first series of Cornsilk outfits, beautiful dresses that came out in 1986.

Intro to the Cornsilk Kids Clothing Series
Cornsilk Clothes Series 2 – Wacky and Layered Pt. 1 (300s)
Cornsilk Clothes Series 3 – Beautiful Dresses Pt. 2 (718-730)
Cornsilk Clothes Series 4 – Wacky and Layered 2 (760s)

These Cornsilk Kids came out in 1986. They came in a box with a curved top and a cardboard vanity inside. They came with a bag of hair ties, a brush, and a hairstyling guide. In order to hold the brush, these kids were hand-holding kids. Their birth certificates were flowery in design.

There are nine outfits in this series, #160 – #168. Each outfit appears to have somewhere between 6 to 12 versions (denoted by the letters). For information on clothing codes, jump to: Clothing Tag Codes.  

Photos courtesy of Jamie Osterbuhr, Jodi’s Punki Patch, and other unknown sources.

These outfits were made by the KT and OK factories. KT is the primary factory for outfits A, B, C, and OK is the primary factory for outfits H, J, and K. I believe that some of the outfits were made by both factories, although not all. I am missing many KT outfits in my record, as many of the KT tags do not come with a letter code for unknown reasons.

Picture of a white clothing tag for outfit 162 KT. There is no letter code.

All these outfits came with either black or white Mary Jane style shoes and wore regular diapers.

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. To understand clothing codes, factories, and variations, please refer to these posts: 1st Blog – Why do this project?, What are Clothing Tag Codes?, Factories and Companies

If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information I would like to hear from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details, visit Taking Clothing Tag Pics.

“They came with” Information

#160: Came with lacy tights and white Mary Jane shoes.
#161: Came with solid white tights and black Mary Jane shoes.
#162: Came with matching bloomers and white Mary Janes shoes.
#163: It generally came with solid white tights, although a few may have been lacy, and white Mary Jane shoes.
#164: Came with white bloomers and most likely black Mary Jane shoes.
#165: Came with matching bloomers and white Mary Jane shoes.
#166: Came with lacy tights and white Mary Janes shoes.
#167: This outfit came with solid colour tights, but they may have been colour-coordinated with the dress. I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure they came with white Mary Jane shoes.
#168: Came with matching bloomers and either regular shoes or Mary Janes, I’m not sure yet. This may be the exception to the Mary Jane shoe rule. I have also seen this outfit packaged.

Outfit Specific Notes

— #162: These dresses come in two fabrics, sateen and non-sateen.
162H has such a big ‘surprise’ that is explained in a separate post – Mystery Fancy Frock.

— #163: They used two fabric patterns for this outfit; one has purple flowers, and one has yellow flowers.

— #166 & #168 seem to be the most difficult to find.

— #167: This outfit is called the Cornsilk Country Dress. This distinction is made because #502, which came out a year earlier, is also called the Country Dress. The easiest ways to distinguish between them are the number of flower patches and the curved name logo patch.

Other Information

— These outfits came out in early 1986 but could still be found on new kids coming out in 1987. Some may even have come on regular yarn hair kids. They were most likely getting rid of old stock. (Ref# 3, p. 152)

— There is a second set of outfits with numbers in the 160s. They are Sipping Kids outfits. I have no idea why they duplicated the numbers.

— For information on the tights, jump to Pretty Patterns: Lacy White Tights

A Match Made in . . . the Factory (Matching Pt. 1)

How do you know if an outfit originally came with the doll? Here’s the first step to finding out!

There is no way to know what outfit originally came on a doll. The choices were made randomly. However, you can match the production year of the doll to the production year of the outfits, and in some cases, the factory information.

1983 – 1985ish: A Match!

Coleco dolls produced from 1983 to 1984 (and some stuff in 1985) generally came with clothing made at the same factory. So, if the doll was OK factory, the outfit and shoes were also OK factory.

            KT Boy                      OK Girl

Dolls wearing 500s outfits which came out in 1985 also matched factories.

The 500 series outfits on dolls, sitting on stairs, to display the outfits.

However, I know of at least one collector who admits to taking kids out and switching clothes AT THE STORE, so even if you bought a kid from the store and it didn’t match, that doesn’t mean it didn’t originally come with the correct outfit!

Series Specific Pairs . . .

Some lines of kids had specific clothing created just for them. In many of these cases, the dolls and the outfits always match. There may be two factories producing them, but there is always a match.

Talking KidsOK 
Circus KidsP, KT 
World Travelers
WT White shirts
Designer LineP 
1st Cornsilk Series (160s)OK, KT 
300s Cornsilk SeriesOK, KT, P
Baby outfits (BBB)SS, WS Exceptions: #1, #2
PJ Series (689-694)KT 
720s series Cornsilk and
regular kid outfits
760s Cornsilk seriesP
Growing Hair KidsP, KT 
KoosasOK, KT 

Continued in: Part 2: A Perfect Mismatch!

PTP: Mystery Fancy Frock

One of these dresses is not like the others, one of these dresses just isn’t the same . . .

While visiting a friend, I noticed that one of her boxed Cornsilk Kids had on a beautiful dress that I had never seen before. Naturally, I asked to take pictures! Wham! A mystery was born!

Her doll’s cornsilk dress . . .

Picture of a Cornsilk kid with large brown curls still attached to the inside of her box. She is wearing a very fancy sateen peach coloured dress with numerous decorations.

 . . . has the same tags (162H KT) as this dress. But they aren’t the same dress, not quite!

Picture of a Cornsilk kid with large platinum curls still attached to the inside of her box. She is wearing a very fancy sateen baby blue coloured dress with a large lace neck ruffle.

There is an orange version of 162, but ALL of the recorded versions of that dress that I have so far, look like the blue one.

Can you see the differences?

  • lace ruffle along the bottom hem
  • three bow and flower accents
  • coloured ruffled socks (all the others I have recorded wear white ruffled socks)

I’d love to know if there are two versions of this dress in every colour, or if this was a one-off. Is it possible there are ‘fancy’ versions of the other outfits in this series?

Do you know anything about this dress?
Do you have this dress?
Do you have another colour for this dress?
Can you shed any light on this mystery?

To learn more about Cornsilk outfits, visit: Cornsilk Kids and their Confusing Clothes