Ty's inaugural edition of Beanie
baby Trading cards was announced at the Atlanta gift show in July
and hit the shelves in early November 1998 with little fanfare.
They sat on the shelves, unwanted and it looked as if Ty had a
rare flop on his hands. Then in early 1999 he announced the retirement
of the cards and suddenly Beanie baby trading cards had life.
They sold out very quickly after that.
Each pack of cards contains a
checklist, a puzzle card and 8 other cards. Most of these cards
will be "common" cards, but some packs will contains one of the
more valuable chase cards. There are a total of six different
card types associated with Series 1:
Each card in Series 1 (including all color
levels of the chase cards) was signed by Ty with a gold marker
on the front and numbered 1/1 on the reverse. All Series 1 cards
are horizontally arranged, in other words the top and bottom are
the long sides of the card.
As the name implies, these cards depict the original 9 Beanie
babies: Chocolate, Cubbie, Flash, Legs, Patti, Pinchers, Splash,
Spot and Squealer. They are numbered 1 to 9 respectively. These
cards are often referred to as clear, plastic or acetate cards.
These cards come in four color variations: Red, Blue, Silver and
Gold, with Red being the most common and gold the rarest. All
of these cards are serial numbered. The odds of finding one of
these cards is about 1 in every 117 packs. Listed below are the
production runs of each card. Each card is marked on the front,
for example 1234/8840. To determine the color of the card, look
at the words "Original 9" in the top left corner. It
is the color of ths that determines the card color. You can also
check by looking at the numbers in the table below.
The way in which
some of these cards are numbered is quite strange. Most of the
cards have the numbers on the right hand side of the front of
the card. Splash, Spot and Squealer and the exceptions. Their
numbers are on the left. What is even more strange is that for
these "S" card, the numbering direction is inconsistent. For all
of the other cards and most of the "S" cards the numbers face
inwards as shown for pinchers above. But some of the "S" cards
have numbers that face out. These are much rarer. In addition,
a few blue cards managed to creep out of the factory that were
not numbered. The numbers of these cards are unknown and generally
fetch lower prices.
There are 15 retired cards (numbered 10 through 24). The odds
of finding a retired card are 1 in every 7 packs. As with the
Original 9 cards, they come in the same four colors, Red, Blue,
Silver and Gold. There are 150 gold cards each, serial numbered
on the front. A few gold cards without numbers did escape. Known
cases for this include Teddy and Goldie. In the top right corner
of each retired card is a circle with Retired through it. It is
the color of this insignia that designates the color of the card.
Click here to see the 4 color variations.
Each of the cards has a very shiny, partly holographic surface.
To the left of the card, the name of the Beanie is in blue on
a gold background. Not all of the cards are as likely to be found
as others. The most common are Goldie, Lefty and Teddy. The most
rare is the Royal Blue Peanut.
/ Rookie Cards
There are 25 Birthday / Rookie cards (numbered 25 through 49).
The odds of finding a birthday / rookie card are 1 in every 2
packs. As with the previous 2 categories, the same colors can
be found with 150 gold of each type. Each card has the name of
the Beanie Baby on it and it is the color of this that determines
the card's color. However they can be a little confusing. On the
Red card, the red fades into gold, the blue fades into silver,
and the silver and gold cards have solid colors. Of these cards
Tabasco and Lizzy are the hard cards to find.
7 of the cards also have
the Rookie emblem on them. These are Ants, Clubby, Erin, Fetch,
Fortune, Glory and Princess. Apart from this there is no difference
between these and other birthday cards. For non U.S. people,
the term 'Rookie' needs to be explained. It basically means that
this is the first year that they have appeared. So all of the
Rookie cards were introduced in within 1 year of the cards introduction.
There are 100 common cards (numbered 50 through 149). Not all
commons are common- in fact some of them are very hard to find.
The hardest to find are:
VHTF - Bumble, Caw, Digger,
Flutter, Garcia, Happy, Libearty, Peanut, Rex, Seamore,
Sting, Stripes, All of the Teddies and Zip
HTF - Bones, Coral, Magic,
Manny, Righty, Sparky
Each of these
cards is embossed with a picture of the beanie. On the back of
each card, there is lots of information about the beanie including:
Name, Birthday, Issue Date, Poem and some little known facts.
Click here for a full list of the
Each pack of cards comes with one puzzle card. There are a total
of 8 puzzles: Winter Beanie Wonderland, Born to be Wild, Tropical
Heat Wave, Star Spangled Beanies, The Original Nine, The Faces
of Teddy, It's a Dog's life, and an unnamed puzzle with dogs on
one side and wildlife on the other.
In order to get these slider cards, you had to buy by the sealed
box and not the pack. Each box contains one of these cards and
is about the same size as a box (5" x 71/2"). There are a total
of 8 different slider cards. With each card a black and white
picture is seen (same pictures as used in the puzzle cards). When
the slider is pulled out, the picture turns into full color. The
sliders are not numbered or named, but most of them follow along
with the puzzles. The unnamed puzzle is not represented and the
original 9 puzzle has been split into two sliders, the first with
Chocolate, Patti, Legs, Pinchers and Squealer which is referred
to as the Original 9 A slider and the second with Cubbie, Flash,
Splash and Spot, referred to as Original 9 B slider.
Each pack also contains a checklist of the Series 1 cards. However,
it does not indicate which of the cards belong to which card group
and does not leave space for the different colors of them. There
is also a mistake in the checklist. It states that # 132 is Tank
without a shell, when in fact it is Tank, 7 lines no shell.