25th Anniversary CPK Outfits

In my opinion, the 25th Anniversary kids are the best replicas of the original Coleco kids, and their outfits are just as good! Many people confuse them with the originals. Find out how to differentiate between them.

Anniversary CPK Outfits – 10th to 40th

Quick Links:    Girl Outfits
                              Boy Outfits
                              Preemie Outfits

The 25th Anniversary CPKs manufactured by Play Along are, in my opinion, the best replicas of the Coleco kids and clothes produced thus far. Although they created only one version of each outfit, they replicated many outfits. In addition, the outfits came on a wide variety of dolls. Play Along produced ten girl outfits, two boy outfits, and seven preemie outfits for this series. Each kid came wearing a white baby diaper with sticky tabs underneath.

These kids came in a box very similar to the original Coleco boxes, but the primary colours are silver and white, and each one came with a silver plastic spoon. They also have a special birth certificate and hand tag. The signatures on their bottom are black and say 25th Anniversary.

One consistent difference between Coleco and 25th Anniversary outfits is the buttons. The 25th buttons are much thicker and slightly smaller in diameter than any of the Coleco.

Reminder, these outfits do NOT have clothing codes.

Reminder, these outfits do NOT have clothing codes.

Shoes

These are also of high quality and look very similar to Coleco shoes. There are 25th Anniversary versions of the three original types of shoes, and all have the 25th logo on the sole of the shoe. Inside the heel, they have the pattern often associated with Jesmar shoes inside and say ‘Made in China / Fabrique en chine’. They also come with a piece of white cardboard in the bottom of the shoe (see sneakers below). I have no idea why.

Girl Outfits

All but one of these outfits are faithful replicas of the original twenty 1983 outfits. The Butterfly Dress is from the 1986 mimic outfits series.

Bubble Romper

This only came in yellow with a yellow sweater and booties. Unlike the original, the romper has flutter sleeves, and the knit pattern on the other pieces is similar to the KT outfits but still different. The yarn used for the knit outfits is thinner than the original Coleco yarn.  
Shoes: Matching knit booties; Quick Link: 1983 Bubble Romper

Ducky Dress

The 25th and the original outfits are very similar. I believe the yarn on the 25th is thinner, but otherwise, they would be hard to tell apart at a glance, although there are differences in the sleeve and collar ruffles.
Shoes: Mary Janes; Quick Link: 1983 Ducky Dress

Ducky dress from the 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch series.. Pieces shot.

Elephant Romper

The 25th version is very easy to distinguish from the original, as the 1983 version never came in pink. In addition, the elephant on the 25th version is a heat transfer, while the original has an applique. Finally, the white shirt has no coloured stitching and doesn’t undo at the back like the original white shirts.
Shoes: Pink striped sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Elephant Romper

Pink Elephant Romper from the 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch series.

Heart Dress

At first glance, they look very similar. However, the 25th version doesn’t open all the way down the back, and the heart is a heat transfer rather than an applique. The other obvious difference is that the 25th dresses have two ribbon stripes around the bottom hem, whereas the 1983 version has three.
Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Heart Dress

Pinafore Dress

At first glance, this outfit is also very similar to the original 1983 outfit. However, the edge stitching on the 25th outfit is different from many of the 1983 outfits and is black, whereas the others are all shades of blue. Finally, the 25th dress doesn’t open completely at the back like the 1983 version.
Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Pinafore Dress

Ruffled Overalls

The 25th outfit is very similar to the 1983 outfit. It would be very difficult to distinguish between them in a photo, except that the blue 1983 overalls came with yellow rick rack on the shirt, not pink. However, that’s not conclusive evidence because there were 1983 shirts with pink rick-rack and may have been paired with the wrong overalls. Always double-check if you’re not sure. The most obvious difference visible differences are the buttons and lack of tag inside the shirt.
Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Ruffled Overalls

Close up of the top of the ruffled overalls from the 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch series.

Shoulder-tie Dress

The easiest difference to spot between the 25th dress and the 1983 outfit is the collar colour. In the 25th outfits, the collar is the colour of the ‘blouse’, whereas the collar of the 1983 outfit is the same colour as the dress portion. In addition, the 25th dress doesn’t completely open down the back.
Shoes: Mary Janes; Quick Link: 1983 Shoulder-tie Dress

Corduroy Suit

The most interesting aspect of this 25th Anniversary outfit is that it only came on girls, whereas the 1983 outfit generally came on boys. In addition, the 25th Anniversary colour was never used in 1983 and the bear applique is a heat transfer, and the hat is a very unique shape, nothing like the 1983 hats. Finally, unlike the 1983 outfit, the 25th Anniversary outfit doesn’t come with a white shirt.
Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1983 Corduroy Suit

Windbreaker Outfit

This outfit has a few significant differences. With the pants, it’s the fabric and how white the stitches are for the pockets. For the shirt, it’s the lack of white neck and sleeve hems. With the jacket, it’s the logo and the collar. Each piece stands out as visibly 25th anniversary.
Shoes: Pink striped sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Windbreaker Outfit

Butterfly Dress

This outfit is unique amongst the girl outfits as it doesn’t replicate a 1983 outfit. The original Butterfly Dress came out in 1986. However, it never came out in this pattern, and the lace of the 25th version is very frilly, not the cotton used in the 1983 dresses.
Shoes: Mary Janes; Quick Link: 1986 #661 Heart/Butterfly Dress

Boy’s Outfits

There are only two boy outfits, and both are from the original 1983 series.

Denim Romper

The romper is made of a thinner cotton fabric, not denim, and it has wider straps. I can’t see any differences in the shirt except that it has PA buttons. It would not have a Coleco tag in it, which it would if it was Coleco. The hat is much thicker, almost quilted, with a more baseball cap style bill. It is made of a shinier nylon-like fabric.
Shoes: Blue Striped Sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Denim Romper

Sailor Suit

This outfit is also very similar, but there are immediately visible differences. The accent stripes are silver, whereas the Coleco is always white, and the bow isn’t as big. In addition, the anchor is a heat transfer, not an applique.
Shoes: Blue striped sneakers; Quick Link: 1983 Sailor Suit

Preemie Outfits

There appear to be seven preemie outfits, but I could be missing some. All but the Bunting Bag outfit are from the original 1984 series. It’s from the 1985 B-series.

I’ve only owned one of these, so I can only comment on visible differences. It appears many came with some white cotton slippers or booties, but I’m not sure. Based on the “Only at Target” on these boxes, preemies were never sold in Canada. I’m unaware if Target sold them in other countries. Their boxes were slightly different, with a heart behind the logo. Their hand tags had the same heart.

Gown with vest

The 25th Anniversary version doesn’t appear to come with a hat, and it isn’t two separate pieces. The vest is attached at the side seams, and there’s no lace at the neck.
Shoes: White cotton booties; Quick Link: 1984 Gown with vest

Bubble Bottom Romper

This 25th Anniversary version has an all-white bonnet instead of a pink one with white lace. The small shoulder ruffles are made of frilly lace, not cotton fabric, and the waist ribbon is silky and sewn to the outfit, not cotton with the option of tying a bow.
Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1984 Bubble Bottom Romper

Brown eyed preemie MIB wearing the pink Bubble Bottom Romper from the 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch preemie series.
Photo from HERE

Bunny Outfit

This outfit is very similar, except that this colour combination was never used. The blue isn’t dark enough. In addition, the hat has the pattern on the entire bill, not just the underside.
Shoes: Lace-up Shoes; Quick Link: 1984 Bunny Outfit

Yoked Gown

The 25th Anniversary and Coleco versions are very similar in almost every way. The lace is different, otherwise, visually it’s a great replica. Shoes: White cotton booties; Quick Link: 1984 Square Yoked Gown

Frilly Gown

This 25th Anniversary outfit is significantly different from the original Coleco outfit. It never came in purple, and the neck area wasn’t white. In addition, in most cases, it should have four rows of lace around the neck. Finally, there’s no lace around the bottom hem of the dress. Shoes: White cotton booties; Quick Link: 1984 Frilly Yoked Gown

Striped One-Piece

These outfits are very similar to the original. They even look like they’re made from the same type of fabric. However, the lace on the 25th is frilly lace, not cotton lace like the original. Shoes: Lace-up shoes; Quick Link: 1984 Striped One-piece

AA preemie wearing the pink and white striped one piece with matching bonnet from the 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch preemie series.

Bunting Bag Outfit                    

This is the only 25th Anniversary preemie outfit that is not a replica of the original 1984 outfits. It’s from the BSeries, which came out in 1985. It doesn’t have a hood (from what I can see) but there is a tie at the neck with a different type of string, not ribbon. Unlike the Coleco versions, which were either a solid colour or had striped sleeves, the 25th Anniversary outfit has solid white sleeves on a blue bunting bag.
Shoes: Unknown; Quick Link: B501 Bunting Bag

MIB brown-eyed, yellow tuft preemie wearing the blue and white Bunting Bag Outfit from the 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch preemie series.
Photo from HERE

Lacing CPK Shoes

Learn how to lace High-top (aka Lace-up) shoes and Sneakers. There may be more options than you think!
Pictorial and video demonstrations included.

Note: Below you will see a slideshow for each procedure. You can also find videos of me showing how to tie the shoes here:  Lacing CPK Shoes

Lacing Sneakers

This is pretty straightforward. There are only four holes.

(More information – Shoes: Sneakers)

Lacing High-tops

I have found that there are at least two ways that CPK high-top shoes were laced. I’m not sure exactly which factories used which one, but I’ll tell you what I (think) I know.

If you have a MIB kid whose shoes have never been untied and you see a different pattern, I’d love to hear about it! I’d also love to know which factories used which option.

(More information Shoes: Regular ‘lace up’ )

Option 1

I have seen this procedure used by the P, OK, and KT factories. This is what I would call the normal way of lacing, as the ends of the laces are pulled even as you go.

Option 2

I found this procedure on a few OK factory kids. I don’t believe they were all done this way, but the ones I’ve seen were on OK kids.

I believe that this procedure has a significant benefit over the other option. When you pull the laces tight, there isn’t as much pressure on the holes, and they won’t rip as easily.

Other shoes that have laces

Here are pictures of other CPK shoes and how they were originally tied. I apologize. I don’t have many pictures, but I’m always willing to add those sent to me.

Other suggested posts: CPK Shoes: An Overview and Links

Shoes: Solid Form Boots/Sneakers

A sign of the 80’s, these Solid Form Boots/Sneakers are unique to certain CPK outfits. Find out which ones.

I call these shoes Solid Form Boots, but I’ve also heard them called High Top Sneakers as they look a lot like the sneakers that came out in the late 1980s and 90s.

As far as I am aware, these shoes came with some outfits in the Cornsilk 300s series, some transitional outfits, and they came separately packaged.

I know Boots came with Cornsilk outfits #321-324, #326, #328, #332, and #333, but the transitional outfits are more difficult. Transitional outfits came on both Poseable Kids and regular transitional kids. It’s possible that these outfits did not come with a consistent shoe type. At the moment, I know that the outfits below came with Boots, but they may not have come exclusively with Boots. Other options include Ballet Flats, Striped Sneakers, and coloured Mary Janes.  

Like most Coleco shoes, Boots have a factory mark. It can be found on the top opening edge. Likely, the boots that came with Cornsilk outfits were only manufactured by the P, KT, and OK factories. Later transitional Boots are likely marked with CHINA or have no mark at all.

So far, I have nine colours recorded. Do you have any others?

A collection of pictures showing the different colours of boots available.
Large photo courtesy of Callie Anne.

Special thanks to Callie Anne for providing pictures and incentives.

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.

Shoes: Knit Booties

Knit booties came with a small number of very specific outfits, but which ones? Find out!

Jump to: CPK Shoe Summary

A pair of white knit Cabbage Patch kid knit booties.

Knit booties were manufactured by Coleco from 1983 to 1987. However, the characteristics varied by factory.

I do not have any examples of Hong Kong period booties, so I do not know if there are any significant differences.

Yellow and white booties came with one regular-sized outfit, and white booties came with several preemie outfits.

Variation

So far I know that booties were manufactured by the following factories:

  • OK
  • P
  • KT (only made Bubble Romper booties)
  • PMI (only made Bubble Romper booties)
  • IC (only made Bubble Romper booties)
  • SS (only made preemie booties)
  • FW (only made preemie booties)
  • CC (only made preemie booties)
  • FD (only made preemie booties)

It seems that each factory used a different knitting pattern. You can see visual differences between them. I have one pattern that I cannot associate with a factory, but I think it might be the CC factory. I am still missing examples of many factories. Do you have them?

The booties also appear to come in two different sizes, but I do not know why. It would make sense that the larger ones were for the #9 Bubble Romper outfit and regular-sized kids, while the smaller ones were for the preemie outfits. However, I have seen the smaller-sized booties in yellow, which never came with the preemie outfits.  

Three OK factory knit booties, all of various sizes. The middle is white, the other two are yellow.

Finally, there is a Play Along 25th Anniversary version of the Bubble Romper outfit. These booties look like OK factory booties, but the yarn is thinner and finer.

Yellow Play Along 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch Kids Bubble Romper knit bootie.

Other Information

I have never seen booties separately packaged like other CPK shoes.

Foreign factories did produce booties. The Triang-Pedigree are a lot like P factory booties.

These aren’t CPK shoes?!

What do you mean these aren’t Cabbage Patch Shoes? How can I tell?

Hundreds of different doll shoes fit on CPK kids, but only a handful are considered to be ‘real’ CPK.

To be real, they must have been manufactured by Coleco, or one of the other companies that made CPK products, FOR CPK dolls.

All other shoes are considered to be aftermarket. There is nothing wrong with these shoes. Many were created with the intention that they be worn by Cabbage Patch Kid dolls; they just weren’t created by the original company.

This post focuses primarily on Coleco shoes; however, the shoes produced by other companies (i.e. Hasbro) were generally labelled CPK in some way. Consequently, they are easy to recognize.

Recognizing Aftermarket Shoes

For details on real CPK shoes go to Shoes: An overview and reference links

Some hints for recognizing aftermarket shoes

  • The vinyl is thin, translucent (so light passes through), badly poured, and feels fragile.
  • They are completely formed in vinyl, laces and all.
  • They say ‘Hong Kong’ on the bottom of the shoe, not inside the shoe.
  • Coleco did not produce any ‘animal slippers’ – bunny, bear etc.
  • There are no fabric Coleco shoes, except slippers and booties.

Photos courtesy of Becky Alvrey, Callie Anne, Cathleen Mary, and many unknown sources.

Typically Confused Shoes

* As it is the 21st century, we are even starting to see 3D printed shoes. However, the examples I’ve seen so far are also visually different and will be easy to separate from the original shoes.

* My Child doll shoes are frequently confused with CPK shoes. They are not CPK.

Four pairs of My Child Doll shoes sitting on a table. There are 3 mary jane pairs, one of them mint green, and one lace up pair in white.
Source unknown

* These shoes look VERY similar to Jesmar CPK shoes. However, they have MADE IN HONG KONG stamped on the soles of the shoe and are believed to be aftermarket. Special thanks to Sherri Evans Downey for these pictures.

Shoes: Sneakers

Sneakers can be found in a rainbow of colours. Which kids did they come with and how can you tell?

Other relevant posts: CPK Shoe Summary, Lacing CPK Shoes

CPK Sneakers were manufactured by Coleco throughout the entirety of their production. However, the characteristics of the shoes varied by factory and over time.

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

  • The stitching is VERY prominent.
  • They have a thicker feel to the vinyl. In some cases, the vinyl did not mould well and may have a runny look on the inside.
  • Some are extremely hard vinyl. VERY hard.
  • Not all HK shoes have black text in the heel, but if it is black, it’s likely an 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.
  • HK shoes are more likely to discolour and get pox than later shoes.
  • The bottoms are ‘bumpy/textured’.
  • The body is bumpy (see below).
Comparison picture of an Hong Kong sneaker with a regular later sneaker. They both have pink stripes.
Hong Kong shoe vs. later shoe

OK HK Shoes
– very hard & very malleable
– very prominent stitching
– The tongue is not cut out (or is partially cut). It is formed as part of the shoe.
– textured body and bottom
– laces are thick and not very long

P HK Shoes  
– The text runs vertically, not horizontally, in the heel.
– I have not found any P with black text.
– The vinyl is very malleable.

KT  HK Shoes
– I am unable to comment on specifics. I don’t have any in my collection.
Photo courtesy of Christy Gann.

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

1987-1989

Although there are quite a few colours available, many did not show up until 1988 and 1989 (Transitional period). They came on later kids and wearing outfits 800 – 815 and as separately packaged accessories.

It seems that Hasbro did not continue to produce or use sneakers.

25th Anniversary Sneakers (separate post)

Stripe Patterns

The sneakers come in three different stripe patterns.

#1 – the most vertical
#2 – slightly more angled
#3 – the most angled

Picture of three sneakers, each one with a different stripe pattern. One at the top, three at the bottom.

Some factories, like P, appear to have produced all three patterns. Others did not. For example, all the OK sneakers I have use pattern #1.

Stripe Colours

The first sneakers came in only two colours, blue and pink.

In 1985 they started producing additional colours.  For example, the stripes on the All-Stars Kids sneakers often matched the colour of the uniform, so colours like red, green, black, and navy blue show up. I believe that most of these shoes were produced by the FD and IC factories. At the same time, both coloured and white striped shoes were produced for Sports Collection outfits (CY and FD) and by the UT factory. Do you have UT shoes with coloured stripes? I have only seen white.

Some colours were produced in varying shades. I believe this was caused by factory variation and changes over time. For example, the PMI factory seems to have very distinct pink and blue colours.

Three sneakers, each one with blue stripes, but all of various shades of blue. The top is lighter, the bottom is navy blue.

In some cases, the same factory produced different shades of colour. For example, these two P shoes are varying shades of pink.

The Rainbow

Here are all the colours, and their variations, that I have owned. I know that I am missing yellow and hot pink.

Update: Brown stripes came with the Padre’s baseball outfit. Special thanks to Margaret Granato and Jennifer Pelfrey.

Picture that shows all the colours I am currently aware of. Black, purple, red, green, pink, blue and white.

Numbers

Some of the shoes have numbers near the factory code. I think these numbers are related to moulds, but I really don’t know. What I do know, is that there are lots of numbers and a matching pair does not have to have matching numbers. One shoe can be 1 and the other 4. Numbers are most often found in shoes produced by the Taiwanese and P factories.

Which outfits came with Sneakers?

Sneaker Descriptions by Factory

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 Shoes
– They are thin and flexible with a tongue that is the same size as the opening.
– The text is raised, comes in two font sizes, and is sometimes blurred.
– They tend to discolour and become sticky more than others.
– They only appear to use stripe pattern 1.

P Shoes
– They tend to stay very white, and the stitching is very prominent.
– The tongue is smaller than the opening.
– The text is raised and very clear. It is generally vertical along the length of the shoe.
Numbers used: 1, 2, 3, 4
Stripe Patterns used: 1, 2, 3

KT Shoes
– They feel like OK shoes but with a very thin top edge. Some are extremely malleable.
– The tongue looks to have been formed as part of the shoe and then cut out.
– Some material is missing, making the tongue smaller than the hole.
– The text is raised.
– The bottom and inside are VERY smooth.
– Some of them have the ‘Jesmar’ shape inside.
Stripe pattern: 1

PMI Shoes (small sample size)
– The feel and stitching are similar to OK shoes, but they tend to say while like P shoes.
– The text is a large, well-spaced PMI that is generally very legible.

IC Shoes
– They are rather hard, with little flexibility.
– Moderately prominent stitching
– The tongue is similar to P shoes.
– The text is raised and very clear. They say MADE IN TAIWAN and have numbers underneath.
Stripe patterns: 2, 3
Numbers: 2, 3, 5

UT Shoes (small sample size)
– They feel and look like IC shoes.
– Text is clear, in a small font.
Numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Stripes: 2

FD & CY Shoes
– They feel and look like IC shoes.
– Text can be VERY large or rather small.
FD Numbers: 1, 4,3, 6,9, 12
CY Numbers: 3, 4
Stripe Pattern: 2,3

SS factory: They did not produce sneakers.

PRC Sneakers?

Recently, a collector showed me a pair of shoes with writing on the inside that they had never seen, and honestly, neither had I!

Inside each shoe is PRC enclosed in a rectangle. The IC and Taiwan that would normally be there are only faintly visible like they’ve been rubbed out. For some reason, they changed the shoe mould. Why?

Picture of the inside of a Cabbage Patch sneaker. It has a large rectangle with the letters PRC inside.
Picture courtesy of Dixie McLaughlin.

There have been two theories put forward.

  1. It stands for Professional Regulation Committee. They believe that this label was put on the first 50 to 100 examples of the product to denote that they are samples. (FB Conversation, Feb. 9, 2021)

This may be what PNC stands for, but I’m really not sure. I could only find references to this body in relation to legal areas in Ontario, the US, and the Philippines. None of the legal areas they deal with specifically relate to physical product samples themselves. Also, no other CPK product has this label on it that I am aware of, even though MANY different ‘specialty dolls’ were produced by Coleco. Finally, these sneakers had been out for years before these shoes came out. The only difference might be the colour of the stripe.

2. The PNC stands for the Peoples Republic of China.

The history of Taiwan is long and complex. During the 1980s, Taiwan was being held under Martial Law by the KMT government. However, in 1987, martial law was lifted, and governance started moving toward democracy. However, there was a segment of the population who wanted to unify with China, both before and after martial law was lifted. (Source) I’m not sure this is a reasonable theory either. Unless someone with these political leanings got control of one of the clothing factories for a time, I have no idea why they would change the shoe moulds like this.

Based on the scarcity of these shoes, I theorize that they were only produced at one of the Taiwanese factories, likely for a short time. As they appear to have come primarily on All-Stars Kids, that would mean they were produced sometime from mid-1984 to 1985. All-Star Kids were primarily produced by IC factories.

Picture of a Cabbage Patch doll dressed in a Phillies Baseball uniform with a flag in hand,inside a CPK box. The box says CPK Stadium at the top and is from the All Stars line.
Photo source unknown.

Do you have a theory? Or maybe some evidence to put toward one of the current theories? I’d love to hear about it!

Special thanks to Dixie McLaughlin, Patty-Fisher Sheahan, and Christie Mounce Racine for their assistance with this topic.

For more information on CPK Sneakers jump to Shoes: Sneakers

Shoes: Mary Janes

Mary Jane shoes came with some of the most beautiful dresses. Which did they come with and what shoes go with what?

Shoes: An overview and reference links

Mary Jane shoes were manufactured by Coleco throughout the entirety of their production. However, the characteristics of the shoes varied by factory and over time.

Hong Kong Shoes

Click for a definition of Hong Kong Kids.

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 may have a runny look on the inside.
  • Not all have HK shoes have black text in the heel, but if it is black, it’s likely an 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.
  • HK shoes are more likely to get pox than later shoes.
A picture of three different white Mary Jane shoes for comparison. HK P, HK OK, and a later regular shoe.
HK P vs HK OK vs. later regular shoe
OK  Some have black text. I have found some made with a very hard, almost grey vinyl. Some are very narrow and long. 
PThe text runs vertically, not horizontally, in the heel. I have not found any P with black text. The vinyl is very malleable. 
KTUnable to comment. I don’t have any in my collection.  

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
There are two different sizes of text font.
They generally feel thin & malleable.

P Factory
The vinyl feels like OK shoes but is whiter in colour.
The text is very clear and easy to read, and larger than that in the OK shoes.
The text can include numbers. I have recorded the following:  1,2

KT Factory
The inside tends to be very smooth and clean.
The text is raised and easy to read.
Some have slightly thicker vinyl and feel less malleable.

PMI Factory
They feel like the thicker KT shoes.
The text is raised, easy to read, and quite large.
This shape is inside:

UT Factory
They are slightly bigger than the other shoes.
They are very white, with almost a bluish tinge.
The text is raised, larger, and very clear.
There is a line across the inside bottom.
The text says, Made in Taiwan and has a raised relief, embossed along with a circle with UT inside it.

The IC, SS, FD, and CY factories do not appear to have produced Mary Jane shoes.

Mary Jane’s come in two distinct sizes, one more oval than the other. Within those sizes, there are also differences in length and width depending on age and factory.

Picture of the traced soles of 6 different Mary Jane shoes. The picture shoes the different sizes of shoes that are available and which factories they are from.

All the coloured shoes are of the smaller, rounder type, like the KT shoes.

1986ish – 1989

CHINA Shoes (1987-1988ish)

Eventually, they changed or made new shoe moulds. They now said CHINA instead of HONG KONG (only a few years late), but they no longer used factory indicators. I believe these shoes came next because I have coloured shoes which straddle this situation, some with factory indicators, some with CHINA.

Picture of the inside of a white Mary Jane shoe that says "CHINA".

No Text Shoes (1988ish – 1999)

I believe the last shoes produced had nothing in the heel except possibly a mould number. They are essentially blank. Either this was the final change before Hasbro took over, or these shoes may have all been produced by Hasbro during the transitional period; it is hard to know.

Coloured Shoes

Black and brown Mary Janes appeared in 1985 on Spanish Girl and Scottish World Travelers.

In 1986 the black Mary Janes started appearing on Cornsilk Kids. It wasn’t until 1988 that other colours came out on Growing Hair kids and were sold separately. In addition, occasionally, they can be found on regular transitional kids, probably done as they were getting rid of stock.

I have recorded shoes in the following colours:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Light purple
  • Yellow
  • Light blue
  • Teal/ Mint green
  • Bright red (not confirmed real)
  • Red (rather bright)

25th Anniversary Mary Janes (separate post)

Foreign Shoes

All the foreign factories produced Mary Jane shoes.
Tsukuda produced a lot of Mary Jane’s shoes, many in colour. It’s not unusual to find a Tsukuda boy wearing Mary Janes. The only Tsukuda Mary Janes I have seen had no markings inside.
For information on Jesmar Mary Janes jump to Shoes: Jesmar Shoes

What outfits did they come with?