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The meaning of the Steiff ear tags and buttons

Which Steiff animal is right for me? In order to make this decision easier, the various Steiff product categories have been given revised ear tags, that are easily distinguishable at first glance. (Please note: The changeover to the new ear tags will take place on a rolling basis from January 2024, meaning that products with the new ear tags will already be in circulation from then on, as well as those with the previous ear tags.)

The ear tag, chest tag and "button in the ear" tell you whether the animal or Teddy bear belongs to our extra-cuddly Friends, to the Originals in classic lifelike style or to our exclusive Collectors range.

Our product categories

The three categories differ both in terms of product characteristics and pricing, ranging from entry-level items to limited-edition collector's items.

What they all have in common, however, is the high Steiff quality, the tested product safety and the unique design.

Steiff Friends ear tag

The popular Soft Cuddly Friends will now simply be called “Friends”. They are the affordable entry-level segment for children, providing a warm and cosy start into the world of Steiff. The Friends are characterised by their particularly soft, cuddly appearance and a loving, child-friendly design. They are identified by a colourful yellow ear tag with red Steiff lettering and a silver button in the ear.

Steiff Originals ear tag

The "Originals" category contains the iconic and natural products of the Steiff brand. The Teddy bears in this premium segment are classically structured, and the animals from all over the world are characterized by their elaborate and authentic design. As classic children’s toys, they are nevertheless hard-wearing and washable. They can be recognized by their elegant ear tag in ecru with dark grey lettering and silver button as well as chest tag.

How Originals differ from Friends:

  • elaborate pattern
  • Chest tag
  • Hand stitched nose on Teddy bears
  • Jointed Teddy bears
  • Airbrush details / shading on animals
  • lifelike realistic designs on animals

Steiff Collectors ear tags

The “Collectors” category stands for the uniquely hand made products made from exclusive materials for adult Steiff collectors. They carry the white ear tag with red lettering, fastened with a gold-plated button, or – in case of open editions, blue lettering with a brass button.

You can download the information sheet on the Steiff ear tags here: