Determining the generation of a Beanie Baby is fairly simple. There a few clues to look for on each tag. It's also important to know the little differences or changes that may be on a tag, so you can tell if it is first, second, third or a later generation. There are currently 13 generations of Beanie Babies. The earlier the generation of your Beanie, the higher the value. This article walks through the first and second generations' tags. Heart tags are also keys, but these have often been removed, while tush tags remain.
Check the tush tag (so named for its location), which is black and white.
Check the copyright date. Find either 1993 or 1995.
Check that the tag reads either "HANDMADE IN KOREA" or "HANDMADE IN CHINA."
Check whether the name of the Beanie Baby is on the tag.
Check for the first generation heart tag elsewhere on the Beanie Baby.
Check the tush tag for a red heart.
Check that "ty" is written inside the heart.
Check the opposite side of the tag for a 1993 or 1995 copyright date, since first and second generation Beanies were produced in both years.
Check for a Made in China or Made in Korea label.
Check if the tag says "For Ages 3 & Up."
If the name appears on the tag, the Beanie Bay is not first or second generation. The heart tag may have been removed, so don't be alarmed. The value will decrease without all tags, but the absence of the heart tag doesn't mean the Beanie Baby is not first generation. First generation heart tags are red with a small "ty" on them. They also don't open. Not all second generation Beanies had the "For Ages 3 & Up" label, so even if yours doesn't, it may still be second generation. First generation Beanies had a Made in China or Made in Korea label in all caps, while second generation Beanies do not. Third generation Beanies began including the name of the Beanie on the tush tag.