As the Beanie Baby craze grows, so do the number of fake Beanies. Collectors need to be on guard when buying new ones.
Look for the tush tag that identifies the Beanie Baby. This tag is usually on the toy's bottom and will have its name on it in red, not orange. There should not be a space between the name and the trademark symbol: Chilly' not Chilly '.
Check the heart-shaped hang tags. Does the year match the production year of that particular Beanie? Does the font type and size match other Beanies from the same generation? Fakes will have larger fonts. Is the gold outline foil (authentic) or ink (fake)?
Notice the tags. Are there misspellings? Are the colors too bold or too muted? Are there circles around the copyright (©) and registered trademark (®) symbols?
Feel the toy. Does it seem heavy? Counterfeiters tend to overfill the toys. Are the proportions right? Fakes sometimes have bigger-than-normal heads and the eyes may be too close together or too far apart.
Compare the Beanie to a known authentic one. Are the colors, texture and birth dates the same?
Examine the ribbon. It should be shiny on both sides and tied with the ends hanging down loose, not sticking out to each side. Make sure that this particular Beanie originally comes with a ribbon. Some don't.
Watching Out for Scams
Beware of deals that seem too good to be true. Know the asking price of the Beanies you are looking for so that you will recognize a sour deal.
Buy your Beanies from quality dealers or individuals. If they mistakenly sell you a fake Beanie, they are more likely to reimburse you, while a scam artist will not.
Don't be afraid to ask for references from past customers.
Check Ty's Web site or a collector's guide to determine which flawed Beanies exist. These sources publish a list of such Beanies so that you can recognize whether a Beanie is counterfeited or considered flawed by Ty.
Call the Better Business Bureau's Beanie Baby hotline, at (612) 695-2442, or Ty's counterfeit hotline, at (888) 317-5489 toll-free, to report suspicious Beanie Babies.