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Beanie Baby - History, Fad, Tags

babies bear value name

Beanie Babies were made by Ty Warner and sold through his company, Ty, Inc. Although Ty claimed the right to the names and varieties of the toys, other companies tried to compete with various beanbag-filled stuffed animals. Parodies such as “Meanie Babies” were also marketed as children’s toys, Originally intended for children, Beanie Babies became a popular gift item for adults. They were considered a cool cubicle decoration. Hundreds of different animals were made into Beanie Babies, including obscure animals such as nutria and anteaters. One of the most popular type of Beanie Babies was the teddy bear model. The bear pattern was often reused, but marketed under different patterns and names. The bear model was used for commemorative purposes, like holidays and even to commemorate the life and Death of Princess Diana of Wales.


Beginning in 1996, the Beanie Babies craze took off with abandon. The craze lasted through 1999. Many people bought the toys en masse, believing they were a good investment that would increase in value. This was reminiscent of the Cabbage Patch Kid craze of the 1980s. Ty helped feed the frenzy by frequently retiring various designs. Similar to the Cabbage Patch Kid fiasco, few people profited from the en masse purchasing of Beanie Babies. Some of the most valued Beanie Babies included, Peanut, the elephant (in dark blue,) Peking the Panda, Nana the monkey, Chilly the polar bear, Zip the cat, Humphrey the camel, wingless Crackers the duck, Derby the horse, etc. Tobasco the bull was also highly valued as its name was changed to Snort following a lawsuit from the Tobasco company over name usage. Many special edition Beanie Babies like the Billionaire Bear and the #1 Bear were very hard to come across. Throughout the mania, the bears were often the most collected beanies because they continuously held the higher market value. At times, early editions of the Beanie Baby, such as the “old face” teddy bears became rarer than newer versions.


Every Beanie Baby came with its own name, birthdate, and silly poetry. The information was collected on a red, heart-shaped tag that was attached to the animal’s right ear. The condition of the tag was a huge factor in determining the value of the Beanie Baby. Hard plastic covers were made available to protect the tag, and thus, its value. Without the heart tag, the Beanie Baby’s value drops by more than fifty-percent. Beanie Babies also came with “tush tags,” which were affixed to the Beanie Baby’s bottom. Over time, the tag has gone through many changes, which have become known as “generations.” There are now 15 generations of heart tags, and 13 generations of tush tags.

Beard, Mary Ritter (1876–1958) - U.S. Women’s History [next] [back] Bean, L. L. - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: L. L. Bean, Inc.

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