7 Highlights from 28 

Years of Beanie Babies


Since the initial launch of the Original 9 Beanie Babies, Ty, Inc. has been innovating and blazing new trails in the toy industry. I've pulled together 7 of the biggest highlights from the last 28 years. Plus, I'm sharing ways you can enjoy the fruits of the Ty's innovation! Keep scrolling to learn more!

1. Where it Began
1. Where it Began
The Original Nine

Ty, Inc. first began in 1986 in Oak Brook, Illinois. Ty Warner found his love for toys while working at a plush manufacturer named Dakin. After quitting his job at Dakin, he put his entire life savings into Ty, Inc. Fortunately, this investment paid off, and in 1993, the Original Nine Beanie Babies were released at the New York Toy Fair. Afterwards, a group of friends in Chicago began trading the Beanie Babies, until the media caught wind of it. The toys then quickly grew in popularity with collectors of all ages. The cute collectable toys were the perfect gift for everyone! Within the first year, three dozen Beanie Babies were added to the collection. Want to learn more about the Original Nine that started it all? Read up on our Original Nine Blog Post!

Ty, Inc. first began in 1986 in Oak Brook, Illinois. Ty Warner found his love for toys while working at a plush manufacturer named Dakin. After quitting his job at Dakin, he put his entire life savings into Ty, Inc. Fortunately, this investment paid off, and in 1993, the Original Nine Beanie Babies were released at the New York Toy Fair. Afterwards, a group of friends in Chicago began trading the Beanie Babies, until the media caught wind of it. The toys then quickly grew in popularity with collectors of all ages. The cute collectable toys were the perfect gift for everyone! Within the first year, three dozen Beanie Babies were added to the collection. Want to learn more about the Original Nine that started it all? Read up on our Original Nine Blog Post!

2. The Magic of Marketing

Ty Warner knew exactly what he was doing when he thought about marketing of Beanie Babies. Warner wanted these toys to be sold exclusively in boutique shops and specialty stores – making the stuffed animals seem rare to collectors. He also wanted the toy to be affordable for kids on an allowance. 


Incredibly, Ty, Inc. didn’t stop there! They put an emphasis on making their stuffed toys stand out from other competitors at the time. They stuffed their toys less, used virtually no advertising, and their animals were produced in limited numbers. This meant that Beanies were taken off the shelf and retired. Other marketing programs included, a website far ahead of its time (more on that in #6), Beanie Baby Of the Month, the Beanie Baby Official Club, and Internet-Exclusive Beanies.  

Pinchers the Lobster

2. The Magic of Marketing

The Magic of Marketing

Ty Warner knew exactly what he was doing when he thought about marketing of Beanie Babies. Warner wanted these toys to be sold exclusively in boutique shops and specialty stores – making the stuffed animals seem rare to collectors. He also wanted the toy to be affordable for kids on an allowance. 


Incredibly, Ty, Inc. didn’t stop there! They put an emphasis on making their stuffed toys stand out from other competitors at the time. They stuffed their toys less, used virtually no advertising, and their animals were produced in limited numbers. This meant that Beanies were taken off the shelf and retired. Other marketing programs included, a website far ahead of its time (more on that in #6), Beanie Baby Of the Month, the Beanie Baby Official Club, and Internet-Exclusive Beanies.  

3. Notable Beanie Babies
Patti the Platypus

As with all collectibles, some are more notable than others. Lets chat about a few of the most recognized Beanie Babies! 

Princess the bear was released after Diana, Princess of Wales passed away in August of 1997. All the proceeds acquired from this bear were donated to the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Ty originally stated that retailers could each only purchase 12 Princess bears, but with the rapid rise in popularity, retailers were able to buy more.


Tabasco the bull is known as a classic among avid collectors, but he’s more commonly known as Snort. Tabasco had his named changed to Snort to avoid trademark infringement. Snort can be seen with white feet while Tabasco has red.


Peanut the royal blue elephant is probably the most notable Beanie of all. The royal blue fabric was actually a manufacturing mistake! The royal blue Peanuts were pulled from the shelves and replaced with a light blue version. Sources vary, but it’s estimated that only 500-2,000 of these royal blue peanuts were produced.


Most recently, Tremor the Dinosaur was the first Beanie to be sent to space in May of 2020!

3. Notable Beanie Babies

Notable Beanie Babies

As with all collectibles, some are more notable than others. Lets chat about a few of the most recognized Beanie Babies!


Princess the bear was released after Diana, Princess of Wales passed away in August of 1997. All the proceeds acquired from this bear were donated to the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Ty originally stated that retailers could each only purchase 12 Princess bears, but with the rapid rise in popularity, retailers were able to buy more. 


Tabasco the bull is known as a classic among avid collectors, but he’s more commonly known as Snort. Tabasco had his named changed to Snort to avoid trademark infringement. Snort can be seen with white feet while Tabasco has red.


Peanut the royal blue elephant is probably the most notable Beanie of all. The royal blue fabric was actually a manufacturing mistake! The royal blue Peanuts were pulled from the shelves and replaced with a light blue version. Sources vary, but it’s estimated that only 500-2,000 of these royal blue peanuts were produced.


Most recently, Tremor the Dinosaur was the first Beanie to be sent to space in May of 2020!

4. Depth of Design

The design of Beanie Babies and their tags was a major factor in their popularity and success. Beanie designs were extremely simple. This kept the cost of Beanies down and helped broaden their appeal. Ty also decided to use the concept of generations to increase the rarity and excitement over certain generations. For example, Beanies with first generation tags are more sought after and valuable. Each toy was also was given a unique name, birthday, and, with the release of generation 4 - a poem! This made the plush toys personable and extremely loveable. Ty expanded their simple, yet elevated designs by regularly developing new stuffed animals. All together, the depth of design was  big part in making Beanie Babies stand out in the marketplace. 

Erin the Bear

4. Depth of Design

Erin the Bear

The design of Beanie Babies and their tags was a major factor in their popularity and success. Beanie designs were extremely simple. This kept the cost of Beanies down and helped broaden their appeal. Ty also decided to use the concept of generations to increase the rarity and excitement over certain generations. For example, Beanies with first generation tags are more sought after and valuable. Each toy was also was given a unique name, birthday, and, with the release of generation 4 - a poem! This made the plush toys personable and extremely loveable. Ty expanded their simple, yet elevated designs by regularly developing new stuffed animals. All together, the depth of design was big part in making Beanie Babies stand out in the marketplace.

5. New Spins on Old Favorites

New Spins on old Favorites

From their initial product line, Ty, Inc. created several spin-offs. From trading cards, to collector coins, to McDonalds Happy Meals, they did it all! One of the most popular variation of Beanies were Teenie Beanies. When McDonalds partnered with Ty, they ordered 100 million Teenie Beanies (one of the company’s largest toy orders), and, within a week, their stock was nearly gone! Another product Ty gave their fans were Collectors Cards. These cards were released in 1998, but did not gain popularity until 1999, when Ty, Inc. announced the cards were being retired. After collectors heard the cards would no longer be available, they bought up every last one! Read up on the 9 New Spins Ty put on Beanie Babies.

$
12.00
 
$
$
12.00
 
$

6. The Ty Website

2.0 Beanie Babies

In 1995, Ty, Inc. was truly ahead of its time. Back then, only 14% of Americans were using the internet when Ty launched the first business-to-consumer website. The site entered cyberspace at the perfect time for the company. In late 1995, the Beanie ‘fad’ was beginning to fade. That same year, the website was released with exciting features such as online trading, building Ty portfolios, fun facts, and (most importantly) announcements of when Beanies would be retiring. Ty quickly became one of the world’s first internet sensations. Want to see what the Ty.com looked like in 2001? Click here!

7. The End?

The Beginning and The End
In 1999, Ty announced that all Beanie Babies would be retired at the end of the year. “The End” bear was released to commemorate this announcement. Collectors around the world were devastated, but at the start of the year 2000, fans were given the chance to determine the fate of Beanie Babies. Fans could go onto the Ty website where they would be charged a 50-cent fee to cast their vote on whether or not the company should release more Beanies. It’s speculated that this vote raised millions of dollars for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, as all proceeds were donated. Not surprisingly, collectors from everywhere agreed that Ty needed to continue with the Beanie Babie line!

Picking just 7 highlights from the Beanie Babies 28-year history, was no easy feat, but I hope you found these tidbits fun and interesting! If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic about your favorite childhood toys, be sure to checkout our post about 5 ways to share that nostalgia with the next generation!


Grateful for you, 

5. New Spins on Old Favorites
Flash the Dolphin

From their initial product line, Ty, Inc. created several spin-offs. From trading cards, to collector coins, to McDonalds Happy Meals, they did it all! One of the most popular variation of Beanies were Teenie Beanies. When McDonalds partnered with Ty, they ordered 100 million Teenie Beanies (one of the company’s largest toy orders), and, within a week, their stock was nearly gone! Another product Ty gave their fans were Collectors Cards. These cards were released in 1998, but did not gain popularity until 1999, when Ty, Inc. announced the cards were being retired. After collectors heard the cards would no longer be available, they bought up every last one! Read up on the 9 New Spins Ty put on Beanie Babies.

$
12.00
 
$
$
12.00
 
$
$
28.00
 
$
$
28.00
 
$

6. The Ty Website

In 1995, Ty, Inc. was truly ahead of its time. Back then, only 14% of Americans were using the internet when Ty launched the first business-to-consumer website. The site entered cyberspace at the perfect time for the company. In late 1995, the Beanie ‘fad’ was beginning to fade. That same year, the website was released with exciting features such as online trading, building Ty portfolios, fun facts, and (most importantly) announcements of when Beanies would be retiring. Ty quickly became one of the world’s first internet sensations. Want to see what the Ty.com looked like in 2001? Click here!

Splash the Whale
7. The End?

In 1999, Ty announced that all Beanie Babies would be retired at the end of the year. “The End” bear was released to commemorate this announcement. Collectors around the world were devastated, but at the start of the year 2000, fans were given the chance to determine the fate of Beanie Babies. Fans could go onto the Ty website where they would be charged a 50-cent fee to cast their vote on whether or not the company should release more Beanies. It’s speculated that this vote raised millions of dollars for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, as all proceeds were donated. Not surprisingly, collectors from everywhere agreed that Ty needed to continue with the Beanie Babie line!  

Picking just 7 highlights from the Beanie Babies 28-year history, was no easy feat, but I hope you found these tidbits fun and interesting! If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic about your favorite childhood toys, be sure to checkout our post about 5 ways to share that nostalgia with the next generation!


Grateful for you,