Ever wonder where the idea for the heart shaped tags on Puffkins came from? Not where you might think! SWIBCO had a line of small plush animals introduced in 1984 called 'Somebody Loves You'. They had T-shirts that you could get for them with names and sayings on them and they all had the heart shaped tags!
Why the new tag? According to a reliable source the old tags were made from a different paper stock than the new ones. The color rubbed off easily and the tags were scratched leaving a scuffed appearance.
Apparently the color was not exactly what Swibco was looking for either.
After communication problems with the tag manufacturer were solved the new tag was created. It is of a sturdier material and the colors are the ones Swibco originally intended.
These new lighter purple or lavender tags are referred to as 3rd generation tags.
Check your older (dark purple border) tags carefully. If you look on the back of the swing tags you will find a UPC number. On the very first Puffkins that were released the UPC number is all the same. This number is 44046 01362. These tags are considered 'first generation tags'. (See Swing Tag Generations Table)
We can confirm 'first generation tags' on Lily, Shelly, Honey, Benny, Peter, Aussie, Fetch, Lucky, Chomper, Nutty, Paws, Bandit, Gus, Quakster, Lancaster, Tipper, Snowball, Percy, and Murphy
It appears that the earliest shipments of the first and second batches of Puffkins were released with these tags. Puffkins with 'first generation tags' may prove to be more valuable as time goes on.
(03/06/98) - BUYER BEWARE! It has been brought our attention by a reputable source that
a retailer was seen advertising first generation Puffkins, however they did not
have the original UPC code on the swingtag. Please use caution when purchasing your Puffkins!
The older (dark purple border) tags where the last 4 digits of the UPC number are unique to a particular Puffkin are referred to as 2nd generation tags.
Puffkins with the wrong swing tag (mistags) do not necessarily increase in value. Also, when considering buying a Puffkin with the wrong swing tag, please keep the following in mind:
1. Swing tags are easy to remove and switch around. There is no way of proving that a wrong swing tag was put on at the factory or at some later date.
2. If a Puffkin with a wrong swing tag loses the tag, the novelty value of the Puffkin immmediatly drops.
3. Half the fun of getting Puffkins, especially for children, is having the correct birthday and poem of the Puffkin just purchased, not that of another Puffkin.
4. Most collectors feel that a Puffkin with a wrong swing tag isn't worth any more than that same Puffkin would be without a swing tag.