Ty Beanie Babies
What's a "Beanie Baby"?
A stuffed 'toy' animal which feels very much like a bean bag; the fabric/material is understuffed with plastic pellets, rather than with the typical 'soft stuffing' that is found in most toys and bears. Whilst some Beanie Babies contain PVC pellets, others contain PE pellets.
Beanie Babies are made by Ty Inc. The company is named after the owner/creator Mr. Ty Warner and was incorporated in 1986.
The Original Nine Beanie Babies
In the early months of 1993, Ty launched his first two Beanie Babies - Brownie (Bear) and Punchers (Lobster). However, a few months on - in late 1993 - he introduced what became known as "The Original 9": Brownie (Bear), Chocolate (Moose), Flash (Dolphin), Legs (Frog), Patti (Platypus), Pinchers (Lobster), Splash (Whale), Spot (Dog), and Squealer (Pig).
The Original Nine, of course, sported 1st Generation hang tags (the cardboard tag): unlike the newer locket-style, two-piece tags, these were simply one double-sided piece of card. The front side had the red and gold Ty logo, whilst the back noted the Beanie's name and style number. The popular Beanie poems didn't exist at this point, though the newer generations of the Original Nine do include them!
These nine Beanies were released at the New York Toy Fair. By 1994, approximately 40 other Beanie Babies had been introduced (most of which showed off the new 2nd Generation hang tag)!
Brownie was renamed Cubbie, Punchers was renamed Pinchers!
Are the Original Nine (and other 1st Generation-tag Beanies) rare?
Yes, they are thought to be very rare. The primary reason for this is because the majority of those still owned and/or in existence today, have actually had their hang tags removed. You may have noticed that there is an advisory note on the cardboard tag warning that the tag should be removed prior to giving to a child to play with. Thus, as Beanie Babies were not regarded collectable at this early stage, tags were removed by parents before giving the soft toys as a gifts. The Original Nine - in addition to other 1st Generation-tag Beanies - are considerably rare and valuable today.
Any other rare Beanie Babies?
Yes, there are quite a few. The main ones are as follows:
Peanut the elephant (royal blue coloured) - made accidently in 1995 and thus this version is very rare; the light blue Peanut is the "proper" one.
Nana the monkey - have 3rd Generation hang tags, most of which used the name "Bongo" instead. Very few are named Nana.
Quackers the duck ( Wingless) - Quackers has - or was supposed to have - wings; an incredily small number are wingless!
Chilly the polar bear - sought after due to having a short "life", having been introduced in June 1994 only to soon retire in January 1996!
Nip and Zip the cats - earlier versions are rare.
Peking the panda
Teddy - coloured bears, very hard to find with the "old style" face (thinner than the popular "round" bear face).
Humphrey the camel - very few produced and was one of the first to retire.