LIFE

12 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Beanie Babies

by Nicoletta Richardson

Who can forget the adorable heart-shaped red tag with the white letters “Ty” splashed on the front?

It seemed like everywhere you turned in the ’90s, there were Beanie Babies on the shelves… if they weren’t sold out already.

People couldn’t get enough of these plush animal dolls with cute names and appearances to match.

And now, looking back on the craze, it’s truly amazing how much of a phenomenon the Beanie Babies actually were.

Although the obsession has definitely died down, the “TY” tag can still be found attached to the latest versions sold in stores, and you can still purchase some of the most famous vintage dolls online — for a pretty penny, of course.

However, since there’s nothing quite like these nostalgic animals, we did a little digging on our own to find out some surprising facts about Beanie Babies and the craze they created!

Did we miss any need-to-know details about Beanie Babies? Let us know in the comments, and please SHARE this with your family and friends on Facebook!

Thumbnail Sources: Flickr, Wikimedia Commons

1. It All Began With Nine Original Dolls

1. It All Began With Nine Original Dolls

Much of the brand’s fame is thanks to the nine original dolls: Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Legs the Frog, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Brownie the Bear, Patti the Platypus, and Pinchers the Lobster.

2. At First, They Were Exclusively Sold In Small Stores

2. At First, They Were Exclusively Sold In Small Stores

When Beanie Babies were first introduced to the market, Ty Warner wanted them only sold in boutique shops and specialty stores. He obviously caved on this rule eventually and branched out to every store imaginable, but his initial strategy created a sense of exclusivity.

3. Tabasco Sauce Inspired One Of The Most Popular Beanie Babies

3. Tabasco Sauce Inspired One Of The Most Popular Beanie Babies

You read that right: One of the most well-loved Beanie Babies of all time was originally named Tabasco the Bull, which was changed to “Snort” in order to avoid any legal issues with the brand. The first version actually had red feet, just like the color of the sauce!

4. Retirement Was A Thing

4. Retirement Was A Thing

Ty Warner was a genius when it came to making his dolls more desirable than they already were, and created the concept of “retiring” his dolls so that consumers rushed to grab them while they could.

5. They Were Created To Be Affordable For Kids

5. They Were Created To Be Affordable For Kids

Going beyond the adult consumer, Ty Warner wanted to make a doll that was affordable for kids on an allowance!

6. Less Stuffing Was Used To Make Them Different

6. Less Stuffing Was Used To Make Them Different

If you ever noticed that Beanie Babies had less stuffing than many of their competitors, it was actually done on purpose to make them stand out more — and clearly, it worked!

7. There Were Two Forms Of ID For Every Doll

7. There Were Two Forms Of ID For Every Doll

Beanie Babies were identified in two ways: their swing tag, which was the heart-shaped marker complete with a name and often a poem, and also their tush tag, which was usually found at the rear end of the doll.

8. Cardboard Hearts Made The Dolls Twice As Valuable

8. Cardboard Hearts Made The Dolls Twice As Valuable

If one of the heart tags was ripped off, the plush instantly lost half its value. This was partially due to counterfeit Beanie Babies being produced, so the tags made the buyer know it was the real deal.

9. Ty Was The Very First Billion-Dollar Plush Company

9. Ty Was The Very First Billion-Dollar Plush Company

Not only did Beanie Babies make Ty the first company of its kind to earn billions of dollars, but it also made founder Ty Warner one of the richest people in the world at the time, according to Fortune.

10. Teenie Babies Were Created Exclusively For McDonald's

10. Teenie Babies Were Created Exclusively For McDonald's

The miniature Beanie Babies were sold alongside Happy Meals as a promotion offered by the popular fast-food chain, who got in on the action while the plush dolls were all the rage.

11. A Monthly Magazine Was Dedicated To Beanie Babies

11. A Monthly Magazine Was Dedicated To Beanie Babies

Known as Mary Beth’s Bean Bag World, this publication was a monthly magazine filled with feature articles, price listings, and similar products to Beanie Babies while the craze was going on.

12. One Was Sold For More Than $3,000

12. One Was Sold For More Than $3,000

This hefty price was for Peanut, the royal-blue elephant, according to Reference.com. Peanut was sold back in 2000 for more than $3,000, partially due to the fact that the plush doll was supposed to be baby blue — therefore making the royal-blue ones that much more valuable.

Did we miss any lesser known details about these iconic dolls? Let us know in the comments below, and please SHARE with your family and friends on Facebook!