Did you know that before he started making Beanie Babies, Ty Warner made plush Himalayan cats? Then, when Warner started his best-known brand in 1993, he couldn’t resist including various adorable cat characters in the Beanie line, with names including Cabaret, Booties, Catsby and Superstition.
We’re taking a closer look at which of these Beanie Baby feline figures are the most valuable in today’s market.
Zip – $395
The black and white cat Zip was first created as a McDonald’s promotional item. She was one of 12 original Teenie Beanies, which featured in Happy Meals over the course of one month in 1998.
But her diminutive size hasn’t detracted from her value. Thanks to this character’s enduring popularity, one authenticated third generation Zip Beanie sold for $395 in August 2023.
Nip – $300
Pink-whiskered, white-faced Nip the Cat first went on sale on January 7, 1995 and was produced for exactly one year. $299.95 was the final price for one Nip toy, sold on eBay.com in September 2023.
On the certification of authentication for this toy, he’s described as the ‘Old Face’ version – as opposed to the gold Nip, or the version with a white face and magenta whiskers.
Amber – $220
Amber the Cat was reportedly based on one of Ty Warner’s own adopted cats. Dating to 1999, she’s a ginger character with pale whiskers. Some Beanie sellers and collectors claim that certain errors can make a Beanie Baby more valuable, and one such error-riddled Amber sold for $220 in August 2023.
The seller cited various errors on the tush tag, and also noted: “[There’s] no Stamp on inside of Tush tag which means that this Beanie was handmade and not mass produced.”
Empress – $50
The Beanie Baby Buddies came out when Beanie Baby popularity had reached its frenzied height in 1998. Larger and cheaper than their ordinary counterparts, today the Buddies are some of the most valued collector’s items of the bunch. This 14-inch Empress the Cat Beanie Buddy sold for $49.95 in July 2023.
Describing her as “authentic”, this seller noted that the toy is in “new and mint condition”: “The hang tag is mint and will come tag protected… This buddy will come from a smoke-free environment.”
Saffron, Violetta and Pinkerton – $43
Despite the cuteness of this brand, it’s often harder to find puppy or kitten Beanie Babies, compared to cat and dog characters. Aside from the kitten characters Tom and Starlett, there has only been one litter of kittens, released all at the same time in January 2006: Violetta, Saffron and Pinkerton. These characters come in yellow, purple and pink, and they share the style number 40360.
As a set, Violetta, Saffron and Pinkerton have fetched as much as $42.95, in an online auction dating to August 2023. “This adorable hard to find kitty trio are each new with all original tags,” the seller wrote.