Beanie Babies were initially launched in 1993 by creator Ty Warner. Beanie Babies were just made much differently than a traditional stuffed animal, rather than using stuffing inside the animals; beans were used-hence the name Beanie Baby. The purpose of using beans rather than stuffing was to allow more flexibility and make the animals cuddlier for children to play with.
There were nine original Beanie Babies created in 1993. The nine original Beanie Babies are: a frog named “Legs,” a pig named “Squealer,” a dog named “Spot,” a dolphin named “Flash,” a whale named “Splash,” a moose named “Chocolate,” a platypus named “Patti,” a bear named “Brownie,” and “Punchers,” the lobster.
Beanie Babies are not only a child’s play toy, but they are also considered collectible items. Though the Beanie Babies are collectible items, you would never know it from the low prices.
So what makes these Beanie Babies valuable collector’s items? Well, a great amount of their value comes from a collector’s tag which is attached to each animal. Each has two tags attached to it, one on its ear and one on its bottom. The tags are to be kept in good condition, and it is said that should a tag get ripped off, a Beanie Baby will lose up to half of its value. To ensure that tags remain in tip top shape, vendors sell protective casings in which to enclose the ear tag.
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Beanie Babies were just all the rage during the 1990’s. When Ty Warner announced that he would no longer make Beanie Babies he had to reverse his decision due to high demand. Beanie Babies were relished by everyone; children loved the cuddly animals and collectors enjoyed them for their collectible values.
Spreading the Right Message
Beanie Babies are wonderful to play toys for children and great collector’s items, but what another purpose can they serve? Well, Ty Warner sent a great message when he decided to create Beanie Baby “Peace Bears.” The Peace Bear itself was originally introduced on May 11, 1997. Consumers went crazy for this bear, and it was highly sought after. Further, what made these tie-dyed bears so special is that each was designed to be individual. There are no two bears alike. This added to the craze. Collector’s sought to collect as many as possible. There are many different ways to identify these peace bears; you can do so through the color, “tush” tags, manufacturing location, and tag generations. For example, there are six different color groups in to which the peace bears are divided. These color groups are as follows: Autumn, Neon, Pastel/Whitewashed, Spring, Summer/Transitional, and Vivid.
Another important aspect we can’t overlook about the Ty Warner Beanie Baby Company is the Teenie Beanie Babies! The Teenie Beanie Babies are a product of the Ty Warner Company working together with McDonald’s. McDonalds’ contract with the Ty Warner Company began in 1997 and lasted for five years. The Teenie Beanie Babies were a big hit and immensely increased sales for McDonald’s. In 2004, McDonald’s worked together again with Ty Warner and launched a promotion to release 12 new Ty Teenie Beanie Babies for the 25th anniversary of the Happy Meal.