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.

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