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Cherished Teddies Identification and Value Guide
Introduction

Do you have figurines from the Cherished Teddies collection that you would like help identifying and valuing? Have you seen one you would like to buy but want more information on its value first?

Many of us purchase or collect figurines simply because they appeal to us. They are collected for what they are, not as long term investments. However, as manufacturers retire models and certain pieces become harder to find, the natural market forces will increase their values. At some point, most of us will wonder how much our collection is worth.

This guide will not tell you exactly how much your individual figurine is worth as the actual value will change over time, and on any given day you may be able to buy or sell a particular piece for an amount significantly different from the accepted "market value". Anyone that watches items selling on eBay will be familiar with the phenomenon of identical items selling for different prices only minutes apart.

What this guide will do is to help you understand the identifying characteristics that affect the value of your figurines.


Identification

Starting with the basic identification information, there are 2 numbers that will uniquely identify your figurine (if they exist):

  • The model number
  • The registration number
The model number

The model number is usually one of the following formats:

  • 6 or 7 digit numeric (e.g. 104047 or 0000832)
  • 6 digit numeric with a single letter suffix (e.g. 476595R)
  • 3 or 4 digit numeric prefixed with "CT" (e.g. CT003 or CT0112)
  • 3 digit numeric prefixed with "CRT" (e.g. CRT240)
There may be other variations of these formats, but these are the most popular formats used.

CT and CRT pieces are Cherished Teddies Club Membearship pieces but no official meaning has been communicated for the remaining numbers, other than blocks of numbers are used for different series, sets and licensees.

The model number uniquely identifies the model and every figurine should have one. Smaller models and hanging ornaments may not have a visible model number printed on the item itself.

The registration number

The registration number is comprised of 2 parts, separated by a slash ("/") symbol (e.g. IC3/250).

The first part of the number is of most interest from an identification and value perspective, as it indicates the year of manufacture. Figurines produced in the first 2 years of production (1991 and 1992) had a registration number beginning with a letter (one of the letters of the word CHERISHED). From 1993 until 1999, they began to notate the year with a leading numeric. E.g. 3C0/412 would be from 1993, 4H1/665 would be from 1994, etc. For the new millennium, the initial numeric was replaced by roman numerals to represent the year (e.g. I for 2001, II for 2002, III for 2003, IV for 2004, V for 2005, etc.).

The year indicated by the registration number will not necessarily match the copyright year. The copyright year indicates the year that the model design was registered. It will be constant through the life of the model regardless of the actual production year. Early issues of a model may well have matching dates.

The non-year element of the first part and the second part of the registration number are not known to have any special meaning other than to provide uniqueness. It has been speculated that the letters were from the word "CHERISHED" and had meaning but since 1993 there have been letters including L, G, P and Z also.

Some figurines and ornaments will not have registration numbers. Hanging ornaments are generally not uniquely numbered but most figurines are. If the piece was produced in a limited edition quantity, the backstamp will display a unique number within the limited edition range in place of the usual registration number. E.g. 2354 of 25,000.


Valuation

Step one of valuation is identification. Once you have the model and registration number you can check against a price guide for the market value at that point in time. Please note that while price guides are useful for a snapshot valuation for insurance purposes, they are often based on subjective factors and can quickly become outdated. The latest known published price guide for Cherished Teddies (at the time of this article) was for 2000 price, published by CheckerBee Publishing.

We would recommend an Internet search as the best method to find current values for a specific figurine, although this can be laborious for large collections.

The following provides broad guidelines and indicators for valuing your figurines.

Value Factor #1: Age In general, the older the figurine, the more valuable it will be. For example, a figurine with a registration number of 4CO/232 will be more sought after than the same model with registration number IVH2/736. Age gives the figurine value because older models are more likely to be retired, fewer will have survived intact over time and the earliest models were produced in fewer numbers.

Value Factor #2: Condition Cherished Teddies figurines are often very delicate. They can be easily chipped or scratched and many have small parts than can be snapped off or lost. A figurine in perfect condition is clearly more valuable than a damaged one. Cleanliness is also a factor in condition but less of a concern as cleaning is usually possible without damage to the item. Larger figurines and those with delicate outstretched limbs or accessories are most likely to be broken and therefore less likely to be found in good condition. A good example of a larger, more delicate piece is therefore likely to command a higher value than a more robust piece.

The condition of a figurine can drastically affect the value. The value of a restored or damaged figurine may be no more than 5-10% of the 'perfect' value. Even the smallest damage can wipe 75% from the value.

Value Factor #3: Original Packaging There is a little debate over this factor. Some claim that the packaging and paperwork is of no consequence to the value of the figurine as it is just paper and the object of our affection is the figurine itself. While many may agree that the figurine is the reason for purchase, there is clearly a segment of collectors that demand the original boxes and certificates. While the demand is higher for figurines with original packaging, the value will be higher too. Another reason that original packaging affects the value is that a figurine stored and/or shipped in original packaging is probably better protected than one that is not.

Although not a big factor in value, expect to lose between 10% and 25% of the value of a Cherished Teddies figurine if you are missing the original box and paperwork. Note that box condition is less important than figurine condition.

Value Factor #4: Retired & Suspended Status Cherished Teddies models have been regularly retired or suspended over the years to make room for newer models. "Retired" means that the mold was broken and no more of that model will ever be produced, effectively giving those figurines a limited edition status at that point. "Suspended" means that the model is no longer being produced but the mold has been retained for potential future reinstatement. In some cases suspended figurines are retired without reinstatement.

Clearly once a model is retired or suspended, the supply is restricted and the secondary market is the only way to access these models. This increases the value but the amount of the increase depends on how popular the model was when in production (i.e. how many were produced), how long ago it was retired (the greater the retirement period, the higher the value) and the level of current demand.

Value Factor #5: Limited Edition Unlike a retired figurine, a limited edition figurine is produced in a limited quantity or for a limited time period that is known from the outset. Limited edition pieces are generally more valuable for the same reason of limited availability but they usually start out with a higher price and therefore it is unusual to see a sudden jump in the value that might be associated with a retired figurine. The lower the number of figurines produced in a limited edition and the shorter the production timeframe, the more valuable the item will be.

Value Factor #6: Club Exclusives Some figurines were made available exclusively to club members; some for a price and some as gifts/rewards of membership. These were often presented to members for a single year only. As such these pieces are automatically limited editions and command a higher value because of it.

Cherished Teddies figurines were also issued through events and other 'exclusive' channels that would similarly make them limited editions.

Value Factor #7: Signed Items At Collector Club events it has been possible to have figurines signed by the artist or other prominent person. Most people agree that a signed piece is more valuable than an unsigned piece. Some people specifically collect signed items. The most popular signature to have or want on your Cherished Teddies figurine is that of creator and artist, Priscilla Hillman. Her signature will add the most value. How much value depends on the prospective buyers; signed items pricing is much more volatile than unsigned pricing.

Two other signatures you may find on Cherished Teddies figurines are those of Glenn Hillman, Priscilla's son and Cherished Teddies co-artist, and Eugene Freedman, the co-founder of Enesco and the driving force behind Enesco's distribution of the Cherished Teddies collection. These signatures hold a lesser value than those of Priscilla Hillman, but are still collectible.

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