Ty Beanie Babies were introduced in 1993, and millions of the cute cuddly, lovable plush characters have been bought and sold since then. This guide is to help both the novice buyer and seller know the value of the items they have on hand or are seeking, how to find the elusive HTF Ty Beanies they are looking for, and what to do with all those Ty Beanie Babies that get thrown on or under the bed, in plastic storage boxes, and anywhere else they tend to congregate.
Please let us share just a little bit of history on the adorable plush characters:
The first nine Beanie Babies ever introduced to the world were at the World Toy Fair in 1993. The names of these new style understuffed plush creations were Chocolate the Moose, Brownie or Cubbie the Bear, Flash the Dolphin, Legs the Frog, Patti the Platypus, Pinchers the Lobster, Splash the Whale, Spot the Dog, and Squealer the Pig.
Over 300 different kinds of animals and different versions have been produced since the beginning of production. Many of these have been retired, which adds to the value. The most popular Beanie Baby is the teddy bear shaped Beanie Baby. It has been produced in a variety of colors and with different names. It is used the most often when creating special occasion or commemorative beanie Babies. There are teddy bear Beanie Babies for Valentine's Day, Saint Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and most any other special occasion imaginable. Some of the teddy bear shaped Beanie Babies for holidays that have been produced are pictured below.
There are some Beanie Baby bears and other characters to celebrate patriotism and the military men and women:
There is a whole line of Ty Beanie Baby Zodiac, some of which are pictured below:
One of the more recent collector's crazes is the Beanie Babies from other countries, including the exclusives:
Ebay has their very own mascot in Bidder the Bear...
When listing or buying Ty Beanie Babies, there are numerous expressions, terms, or abbreviations that may come in handy to know.
AUTHENTICATED: The Beanie Baby has been authenticated, or verified that it is not fake by a reputable authentication service such as pbbags or Becky's True Blue Beans.The Beanies should come in a sealed, clear box with a COA, or certificate of authenticity. AUTHENTICATED is not to be confused with AUTHENTIC, a term which some sellers might use to try and sell a Beanie Baby that is not the real thing.
BBOTM: Beanie Baby Of The Month-A Beanie Baby that's sent to your door automatically each month if you're a member of the club. These Beanies will be marked on the hang tag as "BEANIE BABY OF THE MONTH", and with a clear, hard plastic "button" that also says "BEANIE BABY OF THE MONTH."
MINT: Usually refers to the quality of the Beanies as well as the tags. This term is to only be used when the Beanie or the tag is in perfect, new, clean, fresh condition.
MWMT: Mint With Mint Tags - This means the Beanie and both the tush and hang tags are in mint condition.
RETIRED: This refers to Beanies that aren't being produced any more. They can only be found on the 2nd hand market. Ebay is an excellent place to find these Beanie Babies!
SWING TAG: Also called the heart or hang tag-It's found at the top of your Beanie Baby, often on the ear. This tag should include the Ty logo, the Beanie's name, a birthdate, and a poem.
TAG PROTECTOR: A clear piece of plastic designed to cover your Beanie Babies tag and help protect it from most forms of minor damage.
TUSH TAG: These are tags usually found on the rear end of Beanie Babies.
VHTF: Very Hard To Find-This is rather self explanatory, describing Beanie Babies that are extremely difficult to find.
WHAT DETERMINES THE VALUE OF A TY BEANIE BABY?
There are several factors that contribute to the value of a Beanie Baby. One factor is whether the Beanie Baby has been retired, or is not in production any longer . If it has been retired, the value is more likely to have gone up. Another value determining factor is the tags. Both the hang tag, which hangs from the ear, and the tush tag, which hangs from the bottom, must be in good condition. The tags have been modified over the years, and each tag is known as a different generation of tags. The hang tags have gone up to 14th generation as of 2006, and the tush tags have gone up to 13th generation. The following will clarify which generation of tags your Beanie Babies should have in order to be authentic:
HANG TAG TUSH TAG YEAR
1st 1st 1993
2nd 1st 1993, 1995
3rd 1st 1993, 1995
3rd 2nd 1993, 1995
4th 3rd 1993, 1995, 1996
4th 4th 1993, 1995, 1996
4th 5th 1993, 1995, 1996
5th 6th 1993, 1995, 1996-1998
5th 7th 1999
5th 8th 1999
6th 9th 2000
7th 9th 2000
7th 10th 2001
7th 11th 2001, 2002
7th 12th 2003
7th 13th 2003
8th 10th 2001
9th 10th 2001
10th 11th 2001, 2002
11th 12th 2002, 2003
11th 13th 2003
12th 13th 2003, 2004
13th 13th 2004, 2005
14th 13th 2005, 2006
This was something that was completely confusing to us when we first started collecting Beanie Babies. Realizing that tush tags and hang tags don't necessarily match on generations will probably be helpful in your Beanie Baby collecting.
HOW DOES ONE KNOW EXACTLY WHICH TAG IS ON A TY BEANIE BABY?
There are some great sites that have close up pictures. In order to research what each of all the variations of tags should look like, google Ty Hang Tags or Ty Tush tags, and you should find a lot of helpful information. Knowing exactly which generation of tag a Ty Beanie Baby will help you know the value much easier.
Examples of Beanies that have several generations but one might be worth a substantial amount more are Ally the Alligator, Blackie the Bear, Bones the Dog, Chilly the Polar Bear, Chocolate the Moose, Daisy the Cow, Goldie the Fish, Humphrey the Camel, Speedy the Turtle, Splash the Whale, Seamore the Seal, Slither the Snake, Trap the Mouse, Web the Spider, and Zip the Cat, just to name a few. All of these have at least one generation that was made that are worth much more than others.
Other Specifics to Look For When Buying Or Selling Ty Beanie Babies:
There are a number of Ty Beanie Babies that have the same name but have been made with different features, such as color, spots, stripes, or other markings. Many of these will have a certain generation that is worth a fair amount more because of a certain feature. Examples of these are: Derby the Horse, 3rd generation with fine mane is worth quite a bit more; Digger the Crab 1st, 2nd, and 3rd orange are worth quite a bit more than any of the red ones; Happy the Hippo gray is worth quite a bit more than the lavendar ones; Inky the Octopus in tan is worth quite a bit more than the pink ones; Quackers the Duck without wings is worth quite a bit more than those with wings; Stripes the Tiger with narrow stripes is worth a bit more than the ones with wide stripes; and most any Teddy with the old face is worth a fair amount of money.
HOW MUCH IS A TY BEANIE BABY WORTH RIGHT NOW?
One of the most helpful and popular sites in determining current market value is MetaExchange.com. This could be helpful in determining how much you would pay for a Ty Beanie Baby, or how much you would list it for on ebay. It also may help you decide whether now is the right time to look into buying or selling a particular Ty Beanie Baby.
WHAT OTHER RELATED PRODUCTS DOES TY HAVE?
There are quite a number of fun Ty and Ty related products on the market. There are books to help identify and determine value with dollar amounts and pictures of tags, books with heartwarming stories, Ty Beanie Babies collector's cards, Ty accessories such as carry and storage bags, Ty Beanie Buddies, Ty Boppers, Ty Teenie Beenies, Ty Jingle and Basket Beanies, and so much more. Several of the misc. products available, including books, collector's cards, and a Beanie Buddy, are pictured below:
Kiki, our daughter, is quite attached to the Beanie Buddy pictured above. After all, the monkey's name is KIKI!
A couple of the books we have really used or enjoyed are:
Warman's Bean Plush Field Guide, edited by Dan Brownell, Values and Identification
Beanie Baby Stories, Heartwarming Stories for Beanie Baby lovers of all ages, compiled by Susan Titus Osborn and Sandra Jensen
WHERE CAN ONE FIND TY BEANIE BABIES?
Ebay is a great place to watch for Ty Beanie Babies. There are several seasoned, knowledgeable, honest, helpful sellers who will help a buyer find what they are looking for. Before buying on ebay, please remember to check a seller's feedback to find out if they are reliable, experienced, knowledgeable, and honest in their dealings. You don't want to pay good money for a fake Ty Beanie Baby. And you don't want to pay extraordinarily high shipping ($ 5.00-6.00 maximum). If you are able to get out and about, there are other local places to look, such as the flower or candy shop, Cracker Barrel, children's specialty toy stores, antique stores, thrift shops, and of course, garage or tag sales.
Before selling on ebay, make sure and check what your Ty Beanie Baby is worth, and start your Ty Beanie Baby at the very lowest you would be willing to take for it. If you have a lot of several theme related Ty Beanie Babies (cats, dogs, ocean, mythical, farm, etc.) it may go better listed as a "lot" in some instances than individually listing them.
WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH ALL THE TY BEANIE BABIES THAT COLLECT IN THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF YOUR HOME?
Ty Beanie Babies are a big part of our seasonal decor. At Christmas we have Santa, Snowmen, and Christmas Teddy Beanies all around the house. For Saint Patty's Day, we decorate with numerous green shamrock Teddy Beanies, and so on for other holidays.
The daycare kids LOVE playing with the Ty Beanie Babies and making a pet store, zoo, or any number of other imaginative activities. The beanies they are allowed to play with are the ones that are not worth as much in value, and they have been trained to NOT take off the tags of ANY Ty Beanie Babies, including their own!
Seasonal Ty Beanie Babies make great gifts for any holiday. They are great stocking stuffers at Christmas and Easter basket fillers. Many beanies can be given for birthday or baby shower presents.
Our daughter Kiki has taken quite a number of Ty Beanie Babies to give to the residents at the local nursing home where she volunteers. The residents love the Ty Beanie Babies! The stuffed creations are not too heavy, and often there is one that the resident can directly relate to, many times one will remind them of a childhood pet. Children that are terminally ill have been know to bond with certain Ty Beanie Babies, and people have been known to fall in love while looking for that one special, hard to find Beanie Baby.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, and we hope it is helpful in getting you started in the wonderful world of Ty Beanie Baby collecting, selling, or giving. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have, and we will certainly try to find the answer for you.
Sky, with a lot of help from Kiki