Beanie Babies

Beanie Babies

Perhaps the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is best demonstrated by the frenzy that erupted around a little group of critters known simply as Beanie Babies, some of the most coveted and collectible little creatures to hit store shelves since the Great Cabbage Patch Epidemic.

The story begins with toy creator, Ty Warner, who had a simple idea of selling his little furry creatures, unique in that they were stuffed with pellets, rather than traditional stuffings. This gave them a soft pliable feel, not unlike the tacky beanbag furniture from yesteryear. In the hands of another entrepreneur, success might have been modest, but Ty had a plan, one that would eventually make him a billionaire.

He took the first nine babies (Legs, Pinchers, Spot, Flash, Patti, Chocolate, Cubbie, Splash and Squealer, if you must know) and announced that they would soon be retired from production. People soon realized the potential for them to become collector’s items and began snatching them up at every opportunity. Subsequent releases of all kinds of critters, some 300 of them in all, were equally desirable to collectors of all ages, many who desperately tried, and continue to try, to build a complete collection.

While the dolls have always carried a very reasonable suggested retail price, the collector’s market is a very different story. The first baby, dubbed “Ty #1” has commanded prices as high as $8,000. As one might expect, price tags such as these tend to bring the counterfieters out of the woodwork. As a result, a number of Beanie Authentication Services are now available to help collectors ensure that they have the real thing and not a cheap knock off.

In recent years, McDonald’s has included a smaller version of the toys, called Teenie Beanies in their Happy Meals, and Beanie Kids and Beanie Buddies have also been introduced. And the good ol’ Beanie Baby, although it’s popularity has waned since the 90s, is still produced and still scooped up by collectors eager to keep their menagerie of animals up to date and complete. Stuffed animals may come and go but none have ever impacted the market quite like the Beanie Baby, a toy who has won the hearts of millions and made one particular toy maker a remarkably wealthy man.

If you were ever the proud owner of one or two (or a hundred) Beanie Babies, tell us all about it in our comments section as we pay tribute to these lovable creatures from yesteryear.

4 Responses to “Beanie Babies”

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  1. Gina says:

    We only have three in our household–a large parrot, a large ostrich, and a smaller, more traditional-sized ostrich (who we pretend is the son of the larger ostrich).

  2. James says:

    I cant seem to find to much information in my Royal Blue Elephant and was wondering if you could help me out? I recently acquired a supposedly rare TY Beanie Baby Elephant, he looks to be about 8″ long,dark blue, 3rd Generation Hang Tag (no star) and a supposedly 1st Generation Tush Tag (1993. not 1995) Peanut the Elephant was originally made light blue but due to a mistake in the factory 2000 units were made dark blue.According to this website, 3rd generation hang tags (which were introduced spring 1995) can have the 1993 tush tag, now the mistake for Peanut was made in June 1995 and lasted till October 1995 so I am curious as to where or who says that it cannot have the 1993 tush tag, could have this been a mistake in itself? My Peanut looks and seems real, here is the link, is there a chance that this Peanut is Authentic? What would be some other ways I could tell? Now I did find some websites saying that the 1st Generation tush tags come with 1993 and/or 1995 but which one is correct for this 2000 units made mistake or can it be both? Can you please clarify as to if the error in which was made in June 1995 blue peanut had a 1993 tush tag and/or a 1995 tush tag? If just 1995 one, why? Is it possible there was a 1993 tush tag put on my beanie? Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

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