Ty Inc. introduced the first nine Beanie
Babies (The Original Nine) in early 1994. All of them are now retired.
Flash the Dolphin and Splash the Whale retired in May, 1997. Legs the Frog and Spot the Dog retired October 1, 1997, Cubbie the Bear retired this January of 1998, and Patti the Platypus, Pinchers the Lobster, and Squealer the Pig retired May 1, 1998. Chocolate just retired Jan 1, 1999.
For a Text-Only list of Currents and Retireds, see the Basics Page.
Since 1996, these cuddly creatures, complete with clever name, birthdate, and special poem, have spawned a cultural phenomenon that has eclipsed the Cabbage Patch Doll craze of the 1980s. The boom began in the Midwest and by Christmas of 1996, spread to both coasts.
There are more than 100 Beanies, and about two-thirds of them are no longer made. Retirement greatly increases a toy's value to collectors.
When McDonald's included Teenie Beanie Babies in Happy Meals in spring of 1997, customers snapped up the five-week supply -- 100 million toys -- in just a matter of days.
When the Chicago Cubs promised to give Cubbie the bear to the first 10,000 children at a home game, 38,849 fans showed up, setting an attendance record.
DON'T CLIP THAT TAG! Beanie Babies lose 50 percent of their value when the "swing tag" -- the red cardboard tag attached to all Beanies with a piece of plastic -- is cut off. Even scuffed or bent tags reduce the value, so one of the hottest accessories are plastic tag protectors.
In the Beanie world, mutations are desirable. Tags with misspellings, manufacturing errors such as the wrong number of legs, and other mistakes inspire glee. Minor variations in design also make a difference.
You will notice that some of the Beanie names change, often to avoid copyright conflicts. Doodle the rooster became Strut after Chick-fil-A pointed out that it uses a Doodle character in its advertising. Tabasco the bull was replaced by Snort, for obvious reasons.
If you want to buy, sell or trade Beanies, take some time to educate yourself. Check the Bookstore for Price Guides and this online site: http://beaniemom.com/beanprimar14.html.
Beanie Site Guide
& Hobbies & Links, Oh My!