Mary T's Attic|
A Place for Quality Cherished Teddies
Trivia and Special Notes
Buying Cherished Teddies on the secondary market can be a scary thing. First you are bombarded with new acronyms, and then you need to worry about whether you are getting a good piece or getting ripped off!
Most Cherished Teddies pieces have serial numbers, and the earlier the serial number, the more valuable the piece. The first year that Cherished Teddies came out (1991/1992), the serial numbers on the bottom of the pieces all started with a letter followed by a number, a slash, and a 3 digit number. Sometimes the letter is repeated twice. For example, "C1/101" and "EE3/298". All letter pieces are first editions. Common abbreviations for letter pieces include "LTR" and "LR".
Cherished Teddies pieces that were produced after 1992 have the same serial number format except that they start with a number reflecting the year they were produced. For example, "3" in "3D1/099" translates to producion year 1993. A short-hand notation for the 1993 pieces is "3R". A 1994 piece could be specified as "4R" and so forth. It should be interesting to see what Enesco does for the serial numbers starting in the year 2003!
Papers can be another issue. When Hamilton Gifts and later Enesco produced the Cherished Teddies, they included an adoption certificate and postcard with all the figurines. The concept was to mail these items to register your Cherished Teddy. In fact, anyone who mailed these items prior to November 1, 1993 was eligible to buy a special Customer Appreciation Piece (CAP). This figurine has the saying Holding On To Someone Special and features a girl with a frilly pink dress and a teddy bear in her pocket.
Collectors consider the Cherished Teddies to be more valuable with the papers not filled out (also referred to as "clean" papers). While the adoption certificate seems to raise the value of the piece significantly, the postcard is not as important to many collectors.
Here are some of the common acronyms:
- 4R -- production year 1994
- CAP -- Customer Appreciation Piece (Holding On To Someone Special)
- "clean" papers -- the papers (adoption certificate and postcard) have not been written on
- HTF -- "hard to find"; these pieces are typically difficult or impossible to get in stores and usually are only available from the secondary market.
- LR -- production year 1992 (letter piece)
- LTR -- letter piece (production year 1992)
- MIB -- "mint in box"; most people consider this to mean that the piece is "mint" and has a box.
- NRFB -- "never removed from box"; this seems to be an acronym for pieces that have never been unwrapped
- papers -- the adoption certificate and postcard
Quality is a very important issue on the secondary market. Unfortunately, the term "mint" is used to
describe nearly all pieces, and the word is so overused that it has lost any meaning! I really
would like to see more descriptive words used to describe the quality of the pieces, which I have
done on my web site (see My Rating System).
Be aware of the quality, especially for the older pieces. These pieces are often faded or have very bad paint jobs.
Payments can be another tricky issue. How do you send a payment and know the person received it without spending
too much money in the process? Personal check are usually safe, but not everyone accepts
personal checks. I think that one of the post office's best kept secrets is their money
orders. You can buy a money order for 80 cents. If the sellar fails to receive
the payment in the mail, the post office is responsible for giving you the money back!
Banks and supermarkets also have money orders for varying prices.
Paying in US funds from outside the USA can also be tricky. Some payment options include
international money orders (from bank or post office), USA traveller's cheques (from bank
or travel agency), bank drafts (from bank), and electronic funds transfer. Traveller's
cheques are cheaper in $20 or $50
increments, and some people like to combine traveller's cheques with cash and get a return
receipt when sending the payment. If anyone has any other methods that work well, please let me
know so I can post them here!
© 1999, Mary Flatman. All rights reserved.