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Collectors Beware - 17 Ways to Determine If a Beanie Baby is Counterfeit


How to Tell if Your Beanie Baby is Genuine

Find out how to tell if your Beanie Baby is counterfeit.

Beanie Baby plush toys are not only collectable but some of them are worth a lot of money so if you are a collector or wish to start collecting Beanie Baby toys then it's important to know if the product you are purchasing is the real deal.

If you didn't know already, Beanie Babies are small plush toys that are stuffed full of beans and were created by Ty Warner Inc which was later renamed to just Ty Inc. Each plush toy series has a cute name like Patti the Platypus and Spot the Dog and they first surfaced in the early ninties.

Although they went out of production for several years, due to their popularity the company started reproducing them a few years later.

There have been several special editions released over the years including the Princess bear in honor of Diana, Princess of Wales. There are now also Beanie Babies created after some popular childrens characters such as Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer.

Because TY Inc have retired several of the series over time they have become collectable and many fans own huge collections of these cute plush toys. The most expensive collectable Beanie Baby is Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant which is estimated to be worth in the region of four and a half thousand dollars!

Read the guidelines below to find out how to tell if your Beanie Baby is counterfeit.

Image courtesy of Amazon, product available below

Beanie Babies From Amazon

17 Ways to Tell if Your Beanie Baby is Counterfeit

Most of these tips work best if you have a Beanie Baby that you know to be real to compare the new one to.

  1. Check the Beanie Baby's eyes. If you have an original to compare it to this will make it easier. Fake Beanie Babies can sometimes have their eyes too close together or sometimes they are too far apart. This alone won't be concrete evidence that it's counterfeit but it's a good start.
  2. Check for spelling errors. Fake one's can sometimes have misspellings on the tags. However some of the authentic products have had spelling errors on them so don't go by this alone.
  3. Check your new toys tags against another, are they the same? Is there a noticible difference?
  4. Again, the tags are one of the best ways to tell if your product is real or not. There is a yellow star on the hang tag. On a genuine Beanie Baby the star is a bright color, off colors can indicate a replica.
  5. Look for differences in the type of font or text used in the tags, do they match?
  6. Check the date on the tush tag, fake Beanie Babies do not always have the correct tag.
  7. On the hang tag there is a gold trim, it should look gold if it's a real product, fakes look off gold and tend to not be as straight as the originals
  8. Authentic tags are off white, many of the imitation ones are pure or brilliant white, this is a great indication that they are counterfeit.
  9. Look at the shape of your Beanie Baby and if possible compare it to an original or even images of an original. Does it have the same proportions? Sometimes counterfeits are a little off on their measurements.
  10. Overstuffing is common when it's not the real article, if your Beanie Baby feels too full it might not be authentic.
  11. Check the particular toy you are looking at. Beanie Babies have two types of eyes. Solid and two tone. If the original's are solid but the one you have bought is two tone then something isn't right.
  12. Check the color of your new toy and compare to official images of the same toy. Often with counterfeits the shade of color is slightly off so if your Beanie is too light or too dark it's another sign.
  13. Look at the fabric, Beanie Babies are soft, if it's rough or lumpy it's not right.
  14. Check the legs and arms, they could be longer than expected or shorter. This can be hard to notice but if you know what you are looking for you might spot differences in size.
  15. The size of the tags can be a give away, are they a different size than they should be?
  16. Look at the star on the tags again, counterfeits tend to have points that are just a bit too sharp instead of slightly rounded like the official toys.
  17. Is the head of your Beanie Baby in proportion. Again check with official images, if the head is too small or too big you should be able to tell by comparing.

Do You Collect Beanie Babies?

RinchenChodron on March 05, 2013:

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I had no idea they had so many Garfields! Cool. Thanks for these great tips.

MikeRobbers LM on February 20, 2013:

Lovely Beanie Babies.. collecting - the original - beanie babies must be a really interesting and funny hobby

malenk lm on February 18, 2013:

no, but they all look cute.

Blackspaniel1 on February 18, 2013:

Great job

anitabreeze on February 18, 2013:

Good info for collectors!

WriterJanis2 on February 18, 2013:

I appreciate your information.

Heather McGlaughlin from Marryland on February 17, 2013:

Thanks for the tips, I just found a trash bag full of beanie babies in my closet.

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